No Retreat in 2019


Our Guiding Teacher - Zen Master Dae Gak

Zen Master Dae Gak is the Founder, Abbot and Guiding Teacher of Furnace Mountain. He has practiced Zen for almost forty years, and received Inka (permission to teach in 1986) and final Dharma transmission as a Zen Master from the Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn in 1994. Before becoming a student of Zen Master Seung Sahn, he studied extensively with other teachers in Japanese lineages.

Zen Master Dae Gak, together with Mara Genthner, founded the Lexington Zen Center in 1980, and began building the retreat center at Furnace Mountain in 1986.

Since his recognition as a teacher Zen Master Dae Gak has directed his life toward supporting people in their efforts to realize their original nature of fearless immediacy and unbounded compassion, following the clear teaching of the Zen Ancestors and his own realization that the practice of spiritual inquiry cannot be fixed, organized or institutionalized.




Rules for Retreat

Participating in a Retreat at Mud and Water Zendo

 Getting here: Address is 2558 Wrenwood Lane, Neenah WI.  Please enter through the second driveway on the way to the barn.  The Zendo is then on the left with a sign in the window.

Accommodations: None are provided for this retreat but we may be able to help with recommendations.

Meals:   Vegetarian meals are provided. If you have special dietary needs you may wish to bring some supplementary snacks for yourself.  Coffee and tea provided.

Please bring:  Sitting cushions, mats are provided in the zendo, but please bring your own cushion, bench or chair if you have particular needs.  Please wear dark colored clothing (black, brown or grey) in the temple and dress modestly: no shorts or tank tops.

Work period:  Limited on this retreat.  However, working with horse as a part of your meditative practice may be available.  Bring proper attire if this is your desire.

Dana: the cost of the retreat is strictly donation based.  If you want or need a tax deduction please write a check to Furnace Mountain Retreat Center.  See Bob for further questions.

Electronics: There is no public internet access and please do not bring cell phones into the zendo.

Horse Farm:  This property is also an active horse facility.  Working with the horses is available but please check with Bob before working with them.  The property is available and encouraged for walking during retreat.  

Four Agreements:   During most retreats we ask all participants to follow our four agreements:

  • 1. Be still: sit still in the temple. Outer stillness supports the mind’s stillness.

  • 2. Be silent: observe silence in and outside the temple. Outer silence supports inner silence.

  • 3. Don’t look around: keep eyes down and allow one another the psychological space to meditate without interference or intrusion. We support our own practice by remaining inwardly focused.

  • 4. Do your best: we seek to create an atmosphere where each person can wholeheartedly enter this inquiry into our human existence and we support one another by giving our best energy to the practice.