September Mindfulness Walk in Ludington State Park

Hamlin Lake
Hamlin Lake. Photo by Jimfix, 2011.

Great Wave Zen Sangha will offer an outdoor guided mindfulness event in Ludington State Park, starting at 9:30 AM, Saturday, September 11, 2021.

As part of this (mostly) silent mindful walking experience, we will perform an abbreviated version of the Gate of Sweet Nectar ceremony (Kanroman) to memorialize those who lost their lives in the World Trade Center Bombings of 2001. The walk (out and back) should be easily accessible for anyone in reasonably good physical health.

Please note that to ensure everyone’s health and safety, we will require proof of vaccination against COVID-19.  All participants will also be required to wear masks when stopped or congregating and to maintain social distancing throughout the experience.

To sign up for this event, please log in and complete our Event Registration Form by no later than Monday, September 6, at 5:00 PM.

Reminder: Rising Sun Zazenkai, July 9-11

Dear friends,

I just wanted to send you a little reminder that Great Wave will hold an in-person retreat July 9 – 11.  I called this event the Rising Sun Zazenkai because it is like a new day to be able to offer our first in-person retreat since the coronavirus pandemic began over a year ago.  I really do hope you’ll find a way to participate in this special event.

For those of you who cannot make it to this event in person, we are offering the opportunity to attend my teisho virtually via Zoom video conferencing.  The teisho will take place on Saturday, July 10, 10:00 – 11:00 AM, and we ask for a $10 donation.  To participate, please complete our Event Registration form.  You will then be emailed details about how to join the Zoom meeting.

Please take good care of yourselves and practice with as much dedication as you can.

In gassho,
Gendo Roshi

 

Great Wave to Hold Rising Sun Zazenkai, July 9-11

Even when the clouds hang low, we always know when the sun has risen. Now, after the long night of the pandemic, we are at last able to rekindle our in-person practice. We hope you will join us at Myogenji Temple, in Ludington, Michigan, for the Rising Sun Extended Zazenkai. This retreat will begin at 7:00 PM, Friday, July 9, and end at 9:00 AM, Sunday, July 11.

Practitioners of all levels of experience are welcome to attend this day that will be rich with opportunities for meditation, scripture recitation, teisho, and dokusan with Gendo Roshi. Four vegetarian meals will be included.

To participate, please complete our Event Registration Form by no later than July 1. Your timely registration and payment ($40) allow us to plan a menu and make other arrangements.

For those who are unable to attend this retreat, we are offering the opportunity to attend Gendo Roshi’s teisho (Dharma talk) by Zoom. To participate, please just let us know by using our contact form. We will respond with details and instructions for connecting via Zoom. We ask that Zoom participants make a $10 free-will donation, but no will be turned away for inability to pay.

We look forward to practicing with you!

Online Zazen Tonight, Nov 5, 2020

Dear Friends,

This is just a friendly reminder that Great Wave Zen Sangha will be holding a period of zazen tonight via Zoom, starting promptly at 7:15 PM.

I know that votes in the presidential election are still being counted, and you may feel a compulsion to watch news outlets this evening, instead of sitting zazen.  That is fine.  There has never been a better time to find your center, your true home, than now.

To protect the security of our online sessions, we ask that everyone complete our registration form.  It’s free and easy to do.  Once registered, you will receive an email with a link that can be used to join the online Zoom video conferencing session.  You need only register once to join all future zazen sessions.

I look forward to practicing with you.

In Gassho,
Gendo Roshi

Video of Memorial Service for Taizan Maezumi, Roshi

Image of the White Plum Asanga Crest
The White Plum Asanga Crest

Each year in May, White Plum Asanga teachers around the world commemorate the passing of our founder, Hakuyū Taizan Maezumi, Roshi, (February 24, 1931–May 15, 1995).  Because of the global coronavirus pandemic, however, this year’s memorial service was held informally via Zoom on May 15.  The service was recorded, and I am able to share the video with you now.  As you will see, Maezumi Roshi’s surviving Dharma heirs each shared their reminiscences, including my teacher Susan Myoyu Andersen, Roshi.  The event revealed to me (and I’m sure it will to you too), just how important it is to perpetuate the Dharma through our unceasing practice and dedication.  It is a moving testimonial about the power that each of us has to promote a saner, happier world.

To watch the video, please use the link and password below.

In Gassho,
Gendo Roshi

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/7pFFCYnNsTJIHZXn7FvTaIUFQYj5T6a8h3IY__IMzEsO6tuzwtMcqUbidQ5ZuOn-

Access Password: 9w+w$@*y

August 2019 Gate of Sweet Nectar Sesshin

Great Wave Zen Sangha is pleased to announce the 2019 Gate of Sweet Nectar Sesshin.  This sesshin will take place at the beautiful Hall Family guest house at Hamlin Lake, just north of Ludington, from Wednesday, August 7, at 7:00 PM through Tuesday, August 13, at approximately 9:30 AM.  We hope you will join us!

Participants will have an opportunity to deepen their practice of zazen; hear talks by, and receive private instruction from, Gendo Roshi; go on a mindful nature walk in one of the many Lake Michigan parks in our vicinity; and participate in service ceremonies. This particular sesshin will conclude with our annual Kanroman (Gate of Sweet Nectar) ceremony, one of the most beautiful and stirring ceremonies that we perform. The Kanroman is associated with the Japanese festival of lights, or Obon.  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 options are available.) Once you are registered, you will receive an email with further details about this retreat.

We look forward to practicing with you!

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

[avatar user=”roshi” size=”thumbnail” align=”left” link=”https://greatwave.org/our-teacher/” /]

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.