Sesshin Schedule

Bodhisattva, Afghanistan, vallée du Ghorband, ...Our sesshin schedule is generally as follows:

Opening Evening

[4:30-6:00 PM Oryoki instruction, as needed; service instruction, as needed.]
8:00-8:30 opening remarks; zazen
8:40-9:10 zazen; Four Bodhisattva Vows
9:30 Lights out

Full Days of Sesshin

5:00-5:25 Coffee and tea
5:30-6:10 Gatha of Atonement; zazen
6:20-7:00 zazen
7:10-7:40 zazen; Verse of the Kesa
7:40-8:20 service
8:20-9:00 breakfast
9:00-10:00 break
10:00-10:30 zazen
|10:40-11:40 Dharma Talk (on first, third, and fifth days of sesshin)
|10:40-11:10 zazen  (on second, fourth, and sometimes the sixth day of sesshin)
|11:20-11:50 zazen
12:00-12:10 service
12:10-12:40 lunch
12:40-2:15 break
2:15-3:30 samu
3:45-4:15 zazen
4:25-4:55 zazen
5:05-5:25 zazen
5:25-5:35 service
5:35-6:10 dinner
6:10-7:00 break
7:00-7:30 zazen
7:40-8:10 zazen
8:20-8:50 zazen; Four Bodhisattva Vows
9:30 Lights out

Final Day of Sesshin

5:00-5:25 Coffee and tea
5:30-6:10 Gatha of Atonement; zazen
6:20-7:00 zazen
7:10-7:40 zazen; Verse of the Kesa
7:40-8:20 service [and Nenju if sesshin is ending after breakfast]
8:20-9:00 breakfast  (Note: Some sesshin end after breakfast. All participants are expected to help with clean up.)
9:00-10:00 break
10:00-10:30 zazen
10:40-11:40 Dharma Talk
11:40-11:50 kinhin
11:55-12:05 service
12:05-12:45 lunch
12:45-2:15 break
2:15-3:30 samu
3:45-4:15 zazen
4:25-4:55 zazen
4:55-5:00 Nenju
5:00-5:30 Clean up (Note: All participants are expected to help with clean up.)

Oryoki (formal meal) instruction will take place at 4:30 PM of the first day of sesshin. It is mandatory for first-time participants to attend this instruction session.)  If time allows, there will also be some instruction in service formalities.

For those sleeping over, you are advised to bring a sleeping bag, wash cloth, towel, and other personal toiletries as necessary. It is also helpful to have a small flashlight.  If you bring a cell phone to retreat, you will need to restrict calls to break times and set the ringer to silent.

We are sometimes asked whether it is OK to come to just the Dharma talk.  This is fine, but we prefer that those who come for the talk commit to the period of meditation that precedes it.  Therefore, if you want to come mainly for the talk, plan on arriving just before the 10:00 AM period of zazen and staying until about 11:40.  If you cannot commit to the period of zazen before the talk, please arrive promptly at 10:30 AM, so that we can seat you in time for the talk.  We appreciate your cooperation.

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Reminder: May Half-Day Retreat

?esky: Seššú Tójó: Bódhidharma a Chuej-kche (J...
?esky: Seššú Tójó: Bódhidharma a Chuej-kche (Japonsko, 15.stol.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

This is just a gentle reminder to join us for our half-day retreat this Saturday, May 18th. This retreat will be in “Bodhidharma” style–no formal schedule, bells, or services.  Just come and go anytime you like. We only ask that silence be maintained in the zendo. This retreat is for both beginners and more experienced practitioners and is free of charge.  For more details and the online registration form, please visit the website at http://greatwave.org/ai1ec_event/may-2013-half-day-retreat/?instance_id=14726.

 

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2013 White Plum Asanga Meeting

Below is an email from Sydney Musai Walter, Roshi, that I thought perfectly summarized my first experience at a White Plum Asanga meeting.  I was excited to be in the presence of all of these amazing teachers, learned a great deal, and was deeply honored and humbled to have been inducted into the organization as a member.

As you will see in Musai Roshi‘s message below, a topic of concern for the organization is the White Plum Asanga‘s transition from that of an affinity group to that of an organization that will be responsive to instances of teacher misconduct.  I will be a part of that transition, having volunteered to provide leadership for a newly formed Wisdom Circle.  This membership of the Wisdom Circle is yet to be determined, but it will have the responsibility to hear complaints from students (and possibly teachers) that cannot be resolved at the local sangha level.  This kind of work is difficult, and I appreciate very much the training we received from Marie Fortune, of the Faith Trust Institute, who helped us understand how we might navigate the  cloudy water of alleged teacher misconduct.

As part of this transition for the White Plum Asanga, I will be asking Great Wave’s Board of Directors to adopt an ethics policy and to establish procedures for hearing complaints.  While I hope we never have to use such policies, having them sends a message that we care about the purity of our practice and that we expect a great deal from teachers in particular.  I want to represent–and hope to model–the kind of ethical behavior that establishes the essential bond of trust that teachers and students need for the perpetuation of the Buddhadharma.

For now, however, I hope Musai Roshi‘s message below will give you a sense of last weekend’s meeting, and what a great time I had.  I will tag the group photo on Great Wave’s Facebook page so that you all can link faces and names.

I look forward to seeing everyone at the zendo!

Gendo Sensei

______________________________

 

Dear Sangha and Friends,

Each year there is a meeting of the White Plum Asanga, Maezumi Roshi‘s dharma successors, their successors, and so on. There are many successors now in this lineage. Not all have chosen to be part of the White Plum Asanga, and of those who have, not all attend every meeting. As with any organization, I suppose, there tends to be a core group who sustain the organization. I have chosen to be a member because I have a strong interest in community, and because many of the individuals in this community are people who have had a profound impact on my Zen practice and on my life.

Maitreya Abbey
 
Shishin Roshi 1.JPG
Shishin Roshi 1.JPG (Photo credit: Big Mind Zen Center)

This year we met at Maitreya Abbey, in Longmont, CO, near Boulder. This is the center established and led by Shishin Roshi

and his partner and successor, Shinko Sensei. It is a lovely residential center on the Colorado Prairie, just east of the Front Range. The telephoto shot below shows the mountains that dominate the view to the west, with Long’s Peak, over 14,00′, in the center.

 

 

 

Long’s Peak
 
Each day I walked on the roads and trails around this rural center, usually in conversation with one or more of my dharma brothers and sisters. Long’s Peak and the other mountains of the Front Range provided an inspirational setting for these conversations. The mountains’  spaciousness, strength, and beauty infuse me with their qualities. I am less likely to be small-minded with the example of the mountains before me.
White Plum teachers

With the exception of 1 or 2 teachers who had to leave early, here is the group that met for three days to discuss the structure and the future of the White Plum Asanga.

A sizeable chunk of this meeting was taken up with a presentation by Marie Fortune, of the Faith Trust Institute. The subject matter concerned the sexual involvement of spiritual teachers with students. Should it be characterized as “abuse”? Why is it so prevalent?  And, especially, what should be the response of those who are not directly involved–“bystanders”, in Marie’s terminology? Marie is a powerful presenter who has thought deeply about this matter and who has genuine concern for all who become caught up in these affairs. The presentation led me to some soul-searching, as I reflected on my own involvement in such circumstances–where did I act in accord with principles of healing, and where did I fail to do so?
One outcome of this presentation and the discussions that followed was a decision on the part of those of us attending to shift the WPA from an “affinity group”, with no responsibility for the conduct of its members, to an organization that establishes standards for its members. This is a work in progress, of course, and committees have been created to take this project forward.
Another notable outcome of this meeting was the resignation of Shishin Roshi, who has served as our president for several years, and the election of Seisen Roshi as our new president. I believe we all feel tremendous gratitude to Shishin Roshi for leading us through some very difficult times, and Seisen Roshi seems like the perfect successor.
As always, the most moving part of this three-day meeting was the opportunity to re-connect with dharma brothers and sisters, some of whom I have known and practiced with for over 40 years. It was also a chance to get to know new members, and if the ones I spoke to are representative the WPA has a strong future.

Musai

Musai Sensei
Musai Sensei (Photo credit: Big Mind Zen Center)
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