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!

Dragon Howls and Tiger Roars


Eihei Dogen Zenji once said to his assembly:

A dragon howls in a dark cave; the whole universe quiets.  A tiger roars at the edge of a cliff; the cold valley becomes warm.  Kaa!”

Utagawa Yoshitsuya (1822-1866), Japanese.
Utagawa Yoshitsuya (1822-1866), Japanese.

This is what you have been hearing all along, even if you don’t realize it.  You hear it when the wind blows through the trees or when you set a spoon down on the table.  But to hear it right, you have to become a dragon or a tiger.

How do you do that?  How do you become a dragon or a tiger?  It’s all well and good to answer, “Let go!” or “Sit!” or “Practice zazen!”  But if you sit in zazen that is just the cave; if you let go, that is just the edge of a cliff.  Where is the dragon, where the tiger?  How do you hear the howl at the center of the universe, the roar beyond life and death?

Sometimes, as I take a step when walking in kinhin, I disappear.  But the stepping is still there.  Seated in zazen, the cushion is all by itself, but breathing still happens.  If you want to penetrate into this, you will have to be alone.  I do not mean that you need to be solitary.  To be alone means to apprise yourself of your immaculate nature.  To apprise yourself of your immaculate nature, leave off dragons and tigers entirely.  Do not make something up about sun-warmed valleys or the quiet of interstellar space.

Gendo Roshi
Gendo Roshi is Spiritual Director of Great Wave Zen Sangha.

Just go on toward it and, without howling or roaring, tell me: what is the sound of your whole life?

 

 

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!

Call to Join the 2018 Rohatsu Zazenkai

Dear friends of Great Wave Zen Sangha,

It is at this time of the year when the Zen tradition commemorates the enlightenment, 2500 years ago, of Shakyamuni Buddha.  It was at that moment that he is said to have uttered the words, “Wonder of wonders! I and all beings on Earth together attain enlightenment!”

Image of the Buddha depicted touching the earth at the moment of his awakening
The Buddha depicted touching the earth at the moment of his awakening.

In the aftermath of his awakening, the Buddha questioned whether he should even try to tell others how they too could awaken.  The path he had taken to emancipation had been difficult. But he soon decided that there would always be someone who was willing to do what has to be done to realize the truth of this life.  And so he began what would become a 50-year teaching career.

What will be your special connection to this story?  How will you realize, and then actualize, your Buddha-nature?  These are questions you can spend a lifetime exploring, and the best way to do that is by entering into a traditional retreat environment where each of us strives to awaken just as Shakyamuni Buddha did 2500 years ago.  I invite you, therefore, to attend the upcoming 2018 Rohatsu Zazenkai and to share in the spirit of gratitude for the Buddha’s extraordinary example.

You can find more information about this retreat and a link to the registration form by navigating to our events calendar.

I look forward to practicing with you.

Roshi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!