Fragrant Grasses Zazenkai

Decorative image of grass with the following caption:

One day Chōsa went for a walk. When he retuned to the gate, the head monk said, “Oshō, where have you been strolling?” Chōsa said, “I have come from walking in the hills,” The head monk said, “Where have you been?” Chōsa said, “First I went following the fragrant grasses, and now I have returned in pursuit of the falling blossoms,” The head monk said, “You are full of the spring.” Chōsa said, “Better than the autumn dews falling on the lotus leaves.”

—Case 36, Blue Cliff Record (Sekida, trans.)

To practice Zen is to return to your true home. It is also to appreciate your life, just as it is.

We hope, therefore, that you will follow in Zen master Chōsa’s footsteps and join us at Kyoseikan Dojo in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for the Fragrant Grasses Zazenkai. This retreat will take place on Sunday, June 9, 2019, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Practitioners of all levels of experience are encouraged to attend this day that will be rich with opportunities for meditation, scripture recitation, teisho, and dokusan with Gendo Roshi. A vegetarian lunch will be included.

To participate, please complete our Event Registration Form by no later than June 5. Your timely registration and payment allow us to plan a menu and make other arrangements.

We look forward to practicing with you!

In Gassho,
Gendo Roshi

Gendo Roshi

Finding the Way of Reality

Dear Friends of Great Wave Zen Sangha,

If you’re like me, you are probably both numbed and shocked by world events—from the breakdown of civility in our culture to the UN’s recent prediction of the extinction of one million plants and animals in the next twenty years.  On a more personal level, you may, like most Americans, feel overworked and stressed out.  These are uncertain, volatile times.

It was under similar conditions that Zen grew to ascendency in ancient China.  It presented a life-path originally formulated by Shakyamuni Buddha, a way of being at peace in an unstable world.  It is a path that does not depend on escapism or denial but penetrates into the enduring root, or the source, of reality.  Serenity with engagement, peace of mind within daily life—this is what the Zen tradition offers, and it is why I’m appealing to you to register today for Great Wave’s brand new Zen Fundamentals course.

Image of an enso, or Zen calligraphic circle.
The Zen Circle (Copyright © John Gendo Wolff, Roshi, 2015 Onwards).

The Zen Fundamentals course will take place at Kyoseikan Dojo, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on four consecutive Sundays, starting May 12,  2019.  (Details can be found here.) I and a senior student will provide instruction in breathing meditation, Buddhist scripture and ceremony, Zen ethical precepts, and the student-teacher relationship.  Discussion, refreshments, print materials, and a class certificate will be offered.  Once you have completed the course, you’ll be in a position to go deep with Zen practice and to settle for yourself the “great matter of life and death.”

Seating for the Zen Fundamentals course is becoming increasingly limited, so please complete the Event Registration Form as soon as possible, preferably today or tomorrow.

I look forward to practicing the Way of Reality with all of you.

In Gassho,
Gendo Roshi

 

 

 

Zen Fundamentals Course Offered in Grand Rapids

Image of the Buddha Family Mandala. (Image by Aloka. Originally published at The Buddhist Center.)
Buddha Family Mandala. (Image by Aloka. Originally published at The Buddhist Centre.)

What is Zen?  What is meditation all about?  The answers to these and other questions about the Zen Buddhist tradition will be answered in a four-part introductory course, which will take place at Kyoseikan Dojo, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on four consecutive Sundays, starting May 12, 2019, from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

Participants will receive instruction in the fundamentals of Zen practice, including breathing meditation, an introduction to Buddhist scripture and ceremony, the central importance of the Buddhist precepts, and the student-teacher relationship. Discussion, refreshments, print materials, and a class certificate will be offered.  Most sessions will be led by Rev. John Gendo Wolff, Roshi, resident teacher at Great Wave Zen Sangha.

As a culminating event, a traditional zazenkai (one-day retreat) will be offered at Kyoseikan Dojo on Sunday, June 9. (Please register for the zazenkai separately by visiting our Events Calendar where you can find more information about this retreat.)

Seating for the Zen Fundamentals course is limited.  Please complete the online Event Registration Form by no later than May 8.

2019 March Winds Zazenkai

Image by Gendo Roshi

Great Wave is pleased to announce the  2019 March Winds Extended Zazenkai which will take place March 22-24.  This retreat will give participants an opportunity to deepen their practice of zazen, hear a teisho, receive private instruction from Gendo Roshi, and participate in service ceremonies. As always, everyone who has received an orientation, regardless of experience, is welcome to attend this retreat.

We ask that you complete the Event Registration Form as soon as possible as seating and accommodations are limited. Once you are registered, you will receive an email with further details about this retreat.

We look forward to practicing with you!

February 2019 Beginner’s Mind Zazenkai

Lost Lakes, Ludington, Michigan
“By the water, deep within the forest, you find the traces.” —The Oxherding Pictures

Great Wave Zen Sangha is pleased to announce its 2019 Beginner’s Mind Zazenkai.  This retreat will take place on Sunday, February 10, from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.  Our time will be dedicated to introducing the fundamentals of Zen practice to those who are new to Zen—but practitioners of all levels of experience are encouraged to attend this day that will be rich with opportunities for meditation, scripture recitation, teisho, and dokusan with Gendo Roshi. A vegetarian lunch will be included.

Our retreat will take place at Great Wave’s new practice center, Myogenji Temple. (Please see our Location page for details.) To participate, please complete our Event Registration Form as soon as possible. Your timely registration and payment ($30) will allow us to plan a menu and make other arrangements.

We look forward to practicing with you!

2018 Rohatsu Zazenkai Announced

The Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment as he gazed at the morning star after 45 days of meditation under the Bo tree.

Great Wave Zen Sangha is please to announce its 2018 Rohatsu Zazenkai retreat.  This will be an extended zazenkai, beginning at 7:00 PM, Friday, November 30, and ending at 9:00 AM, Sunday, December 2.  Rohatsu is the traditional anniversary of Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment.  Practitioners of all levels of experience are encouraged to attend this retreat. It will be rich with opportunities for meditation, scripture recitation, Teisho, and dokusan with Gendo Roshi. Vegetarian meals are included.

To participate, please complete our Event Registration Form as soon as possible. Your timely registration and payment ($80 for members; $120 for non-members) allow us to plan a menu and make other arrangements. Limited overnight accommodations are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

We look forward to practicing with you!

October 19-21, 2018, Extended Zazenkai

Great Wave Zen Sangha will host an extended zazenkai from 7:00 PM, Friday, October 19 to 9:00 AM, Sunday, October 21. This retreat is perfect for those who are new to Zen—but practitioners of all levels of experience are encouraged to attend this day that will be rich with opportunities for meditation, scripture recitation, Teisho, and dokusan with Gendo Roshi. Vegetarian meals are included are included.

To participate, please complete our Event Registration Form as soon as possible. Your timely registration and payment ($80 for members; $120 for non-members;) allow us to plan a menu and make other arrangements. Limited overnight accommodations are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

We look forward to practicing with you!

August 2018 Gate of Sweet Nectar Sesshin

 

Great Wave Zen Sangha is pleased to invite you to its 2018 Gate of Sweet Nectar Sesshin.  This retreat will be held from Friday, August 3, at 6:30 PM, to Thursday, August 9, at approximately 9:30 AM.

This retreat will offer you an opportunity to deepen your practice of zazen; hear talks by, and receive private instruction from, Gendo Roshi; go on a mindful nature walk in one of the many parks along the west shore of Lake Michigan; and participate in service ceremonies. This particular sesshin will conclude with our annual Kanroman (the Gate of Sweet Nectar ceremony), one of the most beautiful and stirring ceremonies that we perform. The Kanroman is associated with the Japanese festival Obon.

Picture of Obon laterns floating in a Japanese waterway.
Obon laterns floating in a Japanese waterway.

As always, everyone who has received an orientation, regardless of experience, is welcome to attend this retreat. We ask that you complete the Event Registration Form as soon as possible as seating and accommodations are limited. (Both full- and part-time participation .poptions are available, depending on space limitations.) Once you are registered, you will receive an email with further details about this retreat.

Please feel free to share this message to interested others.

We look forward to practicing with you!

July 2018 Weekend Sesshin

Great Wave Zen Sangha is pleased to announce the July 2018 Weekend Sesshin.  This retreat will begin on Thursday, July 12, at 6:30 PM, and end on Sunday, July 15, at approximately 9:30 AM.

Participants will have an opportunity to deepen their practice of zazen, hear a teisho, receive private instruction from Gendo Roshi, and participate in service ceremonies.  Vegetarian meals are included.  As always, everyone who has received an orientation, regardless of experience, is welcome to attend this retreat.

We ask that you complete the Event Registration Form as soon as possible as seating and accommodations are limited. Once you are registered, you will receive further details about this retreat.

We look forward to practicing with you!

2018 Beginner’s Mind Zazenkai

Lost Lakes, Ludington, Michigan
“By the water, deep within the forest, you find the traces.” –The Oxherding Pictures

Great Wave Zen Sangha will host a Beginner’s Mind Zazenkai on June 9, from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. This retreat will be dedicated to introducing the fundamentals of Zen practice to those who are new to Zen—but practitioners of all levels of experience are encouraged to attend this day that will be rich with opportunities for meditation, scripture recitation, Teisho, and dokusan with Gendo Roshi.  Lunch will be included.

The retreat will take place at Great Wave’s new practice center. (See our Location page for directions.)

To register for this event, please complete our Event Registration Form as soon as possible. Your timely registration and payment ($30) allow us to plan a menu and make other arrangements.

We look forward to practicing with you!