Keeping ones practice solid, energetic and ever deepening is why we push hard during the training period. Keeping up the momentum in October we offer a long weekend retreat. Two full days followed by a half day on Sunday to deepen or renew your commitment. We will continue our investigation of the Letters of Dahui and his teachings for lay practitioners without ready access to a teacher. Truly valuable teachings for these times and for lay practice in general. This retreat is offered virtually with limited in-person attendance, restricted to those in the local area, contact us if interested.
Zazenkai has returned to being virtual only due to the Delta wave of the pandemic.
Every Sunday from 8am to around 9:30am we hold community zazen, or Zazenkai. It is a straightforward service with chanting, zazen, a short talk an opportunity at the end for casual conversation. Please join us online when you are able.
Tuesday October 12th, 2021, 6:30am to 8:30am Pacific Time Virtual Practice with Watermoon Dojo Choka (chant service), zazen and dharma talk. Casual “tea” to follow. For the Dharma Talk we will be reading from Torei Enji’s Discourse on the Inexhaustible Lamp of the Zen School. Download a PDF of it here (note: links to a 43MB pdf). You can find notes and recordings of the previous discussions here: Discourse on the Inexhaustible Lamp.
Dear Friends On Saturday October 2nd we’ll meet online at 10:00am (PDT, 1:00pm EDT, 7:00pm CET) for an opportunity to share the Way of Tea.
Sokan will offer Chado (formal tea) and lead us through preparing our own bowl of matcha. [No matcha? please brew a cup of your favourite and come along.] Once we’ve made our bowl, we’ll savour our tea, and if we wish share a verse or quote that inspires us. We’ll start with a short zazen, then Sokan will offer formal tea, followed by our preparing our own. Sokan will open our conversation and if we wish we’ll take time and offer poems, quotes, and share our experience.
Please join the event via Zoom: [event has passed]
The Autumn Training period begins with our Autumnal Equinox Retreat starting Monday September 20th. This will kick off a 90 day period of intense practice where ones primary focus is training. This is a time to give oneself over completely to ones method. This retreat is offered virtually with limited in-person attendance, restricted to those in the local area, contact us if interested.
The online retreat will have four major broadcast blocks throughout the day: 5am to 7am: Choka and Zazen 10:30am to Noon: Zazen 2pm to 4pm: Dharma Talk and Zazen 6pm to 9pm: Zazen
Zoom Link for Online Retreat: [Event has passed]
I encourage those who are able to give themselves completely to this week as they would to any sesshin. While of course everyone is welcome to attend events as circumstances allow, if you are able do engage in the full days schedule and maintain sesshin spirit throughout the self-directed portions. While there are many periods where one has to be the master of their own practice, set a routine for meals and engage in work around your place that coincides with the practice schedule. Undertake your own physical practice or follow the outdoor practice during periods when that is offered.
Throughout the Autumn Training Period we will be working on the practice of questioning utilizing the procedures established in Dewdrops on Stinging Nettles. We will investigate these methods and put them into practice via Dahui’s methodology for working with lay practitioners found in his Letters. Over the course of the three retreats of the training period we work with both principle and practices of questions and survey Dahui’s many pieces of advice, suggestions, methods and technique. With so many of us still unable to attend retreats in person and work directly with a teacher Dahui shows the way toward deep committed practice done remotely. We will also continue to engage in the outside practices described in Dewdrops on Stinging Nettles – Outside Practices which can be downloaded as a pdf.
Remarkably at almost the same time as last week the power has gone down again at Tahoma. I have no idea what is going on. Again if the power is restored by 8am we will proceed with Virtual Zazankai as normal, perhaps a bit late. However if you can’t connect by say 8:10 then we will have to hope that next week we will be back to normal.
Update The power outage was caused by a tree that fell from Tahoma property about 20 feet from the driveway onto the power lines. The power was restored around 1pm after about 6 hours of outage.
September 20th-26th, 2021 Tahoma Zen Monastery Online
The changing of the seasons into Autumn heralds the start of the most intense period of practice in the training year. Please join us online from September 20th though 26th, for a weeklong retreat. This retreat is offered virtually with limited in-person attendance, restricted to those in the local area, contact us if interested. With a virtual retreat one can take part as ones schedule, energy and interest allows. But, as always, we recommend committing to what you are able to attend and then holding fast to the sesshin spirit for that period. Sesshin is always and only as deep and powerful as you make it.
I encourage those who are able to give themselves completely to this week as they would to any sesshin. While of course everyone is welcome to attend events as circumstances allow, if you are able do engage in the full days schedule and maintain sesshin spirit throughout the self-directed portions. While there are many periods where one has to be the master of their own practice, set a routine for meals and engage in work around your place that coincides with the practice schedule. Undertake your own physical practice or follow the outdoor practice during periods when that is offered. Some suggestions and procedure for getting the most out of a virtual sesshin can be found in our Guidelines for Virtual Events and Orientation to Virtual Sesshin.
The retreat begins Monday September 20th at 5am and concludes Sunday morning after Zazenkai. All days apart from the final day with follow this basic schedule:
General Broadcast schedule (all times PDT) 5am to 6:55am: Choka and zazen 10:30am to noon: Zazen 2pm to 4pm: Dharma Talk and Zazen 6pm to 8:45pm: Zazen
The full, final schedule for the retreat with all the activities we will engage in at the monastery will be posted in the days before the retreat as well as mailed out in a stand alone email. This post will also include all of the essential information, Zoom Link and etc. Please email us with any questions: email@example.com
As we wish to share the dharma with everyone we are not setting a fixed cost for the retreat. However there are costs to us for food, utilities and operations. So please do consider making a donation online or in person with this in mind.
Vaccination required at all events. Masks required for indoor events.
As per WA State guidelinesmasks are required for indoor activities for the fully vaccinated. Additionally we will continue operate at 50% capacity and the zendo has been setup with this in mind. If one finds each seat in the Zendo occupied we ask that you come at another time.
We are limiting drop-in attendance to our events to evening zazen only. Be prepared to show proof of vaccination. Our morning chant service and Sunday Zazenkai will not be available for in-person attendance. Zazenkai will continue to be offered virtually.
It is still best practice to stay home if you feel sick and to continue to regularly wash your hands and use hand sanitizer.
While we welcome people to freely enjoy the trails we caution against visitation at this time especially if you have traveled from afar. We ask those who do come, to stay primarily on the trails and avoid the monastery grounds during our work period (8:30-1pm) Larger groups are discouraged and should be masked. Our buildings remain closed to drop in visitors.
Autumn 2021 Schedule
Monday through Saturday Evening Zazen (meditation): 6:25 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Full vaccination and masks required.
Sundays Zazenkai (community sitting): 8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Online only. For more information see: Virtual Zazenkai
All other events are open to monastery residents only.
Masks and full vaccination required for in-person attendance. Be prepared to show your vaccination card.
Update 08.16.21: the heat and poor air quality have subsided for the time being.
Please note that from August 12th through the evening of August 14th Western Washington is under an Excessive Heat Advisory. Temperatures in the zendo for evening services can easily exceed 80(f).
Additionally there is an Air Quality alert as wildfire smoke from British Columbia, Eastern Washington and Oregon have made their way here. There is makeshift air filtration in the zendo to attempt to alleviate this but it requires the windows be kept closed and we won’t run the fans during zazen.
We will continue to offer morning and evening zazen but be advised of the effects of poor air quality and be aware of the temperature constraints. The temperatures are more reasonable during the morning service but the air quality can be just as poor at that time.