This year, All Beings Zen Sangha will be participating in a Fall Practice Period beginning on September 29th. Practice period is a tradition in Buddhism allowing for more time dedicated to focused practice, and in the Japanese Zen tradition, it is known as “ango” or “peaceful dwelling”. This traditional period is an opportunity to clarify spiritual intentions, deepen understanding and more fully integrate practice with life circumstances. It is said that participating in practice period is not only a way of returning to the three treasures of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, but also of upholding and revitalizing the entire community.
Below are details of the offerings at All Beings during this period:
Two main opportunities for deepening practice period will be in the areas of zazen (including sesshin) and dharma study as described below. Note that for Dharma study we will be reading and discussing the Lankatavara Sutra. This is the famous text Bodhidharma gave to his successor right before he vanished, saying something to the effect of, “Everything you need is in this book.” It is a classic Zen text.
– Full-Day Retreats (one): Sept. 29th
– Half-Day Retreats (three): Oct. 20th, Nov. 16th, Nov 17th
– Regular sittings: Thursday evenings at 7pm, Monday and Friday mornings at 6:30am
– 5 Day Sesshin (at conclusion): Starting Tuesday December 3rd, Ending Saturday December 7th
Dharma Study & Talks:
– The Practice Period will open with a Dharma talk offered by long time All Beings member Ja Shin Elizabeth Bourne on the topic of “Quotes that inspire my zen practice”. The talk will be given following one period of zazen on Thursday September 26th.
– Three Sunday Morning Teas will be offered to discuss the Lankatavara Sutra on these dates; October 13, October 27 and November 10th. 8am- 9:30am. The first morning we will read the introduction together and decide upon topics for the following two study discussions.
– Other Dharmas Talks, provided by Dairyu Michael Wenger of Dragons Leap Temple in San Francisco California via audio broadcast during full-day sittings and sesshin and by Inryu Bobbi Ponce-Barger our All Beings Sangha Resident Teacher.
Here is a draft sample of the next half day schedule .
– October 20th, 2013-
9am – Zazen
9:30 – Kinhin
9:40 – Zazen
10:10 – Service Heart Sutra
10:20 – Break/Walk
10:50 – Zazen
11:20 – Kinhin
11:30 – Zazen
12:00 Oryoki Lunch
12:45 – Break
1:15 – Dharma Talk
2:00 – Refuges and Closing
The efforts of many hands bring forth the Dharma. If you are in a position to support the Sangha financially through a donation it is most welcome. Donation envelopes can be found near the door of the zendo.