I am happy to announce our first Day of Zen Retreat, which will be held Saturday, August 19. The day will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 4:30. I will send a full outline of the schedule in the coming weeks. The retreat is an opportunity to deepen your Zen practice through longer meditation time, shared meals, and one-on-one instruction. We will be introducing new elements to the Zen experience at Monju-do, including:
-Intensive zazen practice
-Traditional Monastic breakfast (genmai) and vegetarian lunch
-Ceremony/chanting practice (and training for those interested)
-Samu (mindful work practice)
-Yoga for Meditators
Zen retreats (called Sesshin) are incredibly important for the life and health of our Zen group. The word sesshin means "to touch the mind." In a powerful way, the day long experience of sesshin transforms individual practice and community life in an intensive, though natural way. The time practitioners spend with one another breathes life into the spaces of practice (the dojo). It sanctifies the practice space and solidifies the individual practitioner's resolve to practice because there are others present to share the "one mind" of zazen. During sesshin/retreat, more than any other time, the experience of being one with the cosmic order of reality occurs in shared zazen. In an intensely personal (though shared) way, sesshin is a time when zazen does the teaching and provides the motivation to further pursue the infinite merits of zazen practice.
The minimum donation is $35 to cover building costs and food.
*** We ask that you please let us know that you can attend by August 15. No matter what, no one will be the turned down, but we do need to know to account for the cost of food and proper planning.
Sign up by replying to this email firstname.lastname@example.org
*** We also ask if anyone is interested in chanting/ceremony training or Dharma instruction to please be in touch with me at email@example.com
Beginners are welcome, so spread the word. We hope to see you there!
Below you will find some food for thought regarding preparation for the retreat:
Reflection by a Zen master about Sesshin/retreat: Our Time Together- Kusen by Robert Livingston Roshi
As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
With hands palm to palm,