September 21st-27th: Autumnal Equinox Virtual Sesshin Tahoma Zen Monastery
Join us online over the Autumnal Equinox for a weeklong virtual sesshin. Due to the restrictions imposed in response to the pandemic this event will be primarily online. Read this post, Orientation to Virtual Sesshin, on how to best take advantage of this opportunity. For those local you are welcome to drop-in (masks required) for any of the Zazen periods, but Choka and the Dharma talk remain closed and online only. Please contact us with any questions.
Dharma Talks will be from Torei Enji’s Discourse on the Inexhaustible Lamp of the Zen School. This text is rarely engaged with in the west but presents a complete description of Rinzai Zen Training in the Hakuin tradition. We will conclude the sesshin with a Q&A and discussion of the text. If you’d like your own copy you can purchase the book here (scroll down) or download a free PDF of it here (note: links to a large pdf). If you are searching for your own copy be sure to get the edition translated by Yoko Okuda and published by Tuttle Publishing.
There is no fee for participating in this event but do be mindful that virtual events also utilize resources and the monastery does have regular expenses in order to keep open. We wish to facilitate the practice and promote the dharma as widely as possible, thus our practice of putting on these events without cost. This is especially important in these times with so many out of work and confined to home. For those who are able to offer support, we appreciate your including us in your consideration. Thank your for your continuing support and please email us with any questions: Contact Information.
While we remain unable to offer in-person retreats and our teachers remain safely ensconced at Sogen-ji we intend to have as vigorous of an Autumn Training period as possible. In light of this we will offer Virtual Sesshin every month during the this period. We will have a week long sesshin in September, KoSesshin in October and November and a full eight day Rohatsu in December. The September retreat will be held to coincide with the Autumnal Equinox and details will be published here shortly.. Information regarding upcoming events will be added to the website as the schedule firms up with an announcement in each months newsletter. We will also send out a general email on this list a day or two before the sesshin to encourage people to take advantage of this opportunity.
Autumn Training Period Retreat Calendar September 21st-27th: Autumn Equinox sesshin October 16th-18th: October KoSesshin November 14th: Day of Practice December 1st-8th: Rohatsu sesshin December 19th: Solstice Practice Day
During this training period we will also engage in study material that will be the subject of the dharma talks during retreat. For the Autumn Training period our study material will be Torei Enji’s Discourse on the Inexhaustible Lamp of the Zen School. This text is rarely engaged with in the west but presents a complete description of Rinzai Zen Training in the Hakuin tradition. In the three sesshin’s leading up to Rohatsu we will conclude the final day with an open discussion of the text. If there is interest we will continue in 2021 with a reading group around this text. You can purchase your own copy of the text from here (scroll down) or download a PDF of it here (note: links to a large pdf). If you are searching for your own copy be sure to get the edition translated by Yoko Okuda and published by Tuttle Publishing.
This January, 2020 we will hold a KoSesshin at Tahoma Zen Monastery in observance of the traditional Rohatsu sesshin. There will be three full days concluding with an early morning Bodhi Day Ceremony on Sunday the 19th. Attendance can be for the whole period or any fraction that works for you. We ask that those interested in attendance in any capacity please email us with your desired attendance. During these days drop-in attendance is available in the morning period before breakfast and the evening period after dinner.
The schedule for the first two days (January 16th and 17th) will follow our standard Day of Practice Schedule with an extended period of zazen into the late evening of the third day (January 18th). Sunday, January 19th, we will have Choka and zazen an hour earlier at 4am followed by a Bodhi Day Celebration and an informal breakfast. For those who wish to sit with the local sangha we will wrap everything up with Zazenkai at 8am.
For attendance of a day or more, we require registration. Part time attendance is allowed. Please email email@example.com to signup and let us know your attendance plans.
There is no fee for this sesshin but donations of food, funds or time are always welcome.
Drop in attendance
If you wish to drop in for a period of zazen, the following times are available: 4:50am to 7:55am: Choka and two periods of zazen 5:20pm to 8:30pm: Three blocks of two periods of zazen with kinhin in between.
You can sit for one hour in any of these blocks, please arrive during the kinhin, or before Gosei and leave during kinhin or at the end of the period. Sesshin attendees will be continuing directly to the next event and we ask that you directly leave and not interact with sesshin participants.
Call for Assistance
We could use your help for this sesshin. We would like to have prepared dishes: soups, salads, casseroles and other food that can be stored for a few days. We would also gratefully accept food donations of sweets for tea, coffee and snacks for breaks, fruit and vegetables that we can use at meals and really any other food items we could put to use for sesshin
Additionally if you are planning to attend we would like people to help with meal preparation, tea serving, chant services and the like. If you have taken part in any of these activities or would like to learn please let us know. Everyone will need to help in one way or another and we will do in situ training as needed.
The September 2019 training period at Tahoma Zen Monastery begins on Thursday the 5th, and concludes Monday the 23rd. The online application can be found here: Sesshin Application
FULL TIME RESIDENTIAL TRAINING is available September 5 – 23, 2019
OSESSHIN: Thursday, September 5 – Thursday, September 12, 2019
Kokuho is Thursday evening, September 5. Osesshin, led by Harada Roshi, concludes the evening of Thursday, September 12. Full time participation is required. Apply here: Sesshin Application
CALLIGRAPHY DEMONSTRATION, Friday, September 13th, 1:00 p.m. Nalanda West
3902 Woodland Park Ave North
Seattle, Washington, 98103
KOSESSHIN: Friday, September 13 – Monday, September 16, 2019
Kokuho is Friday evening, September 13. Three full days of sitting led by Harada Roshi. Apply here: Sesshin Application
JUSEN GARDEN BLESSING & OPENING, September 17th, 10:00 a.m.
KOSESSHIN – Wednesday, September 18 – Monday, September 23, 2019
Kokuho is Wednesday evening, September 18. Five full days of sitting led by Daichi Zenni. Apply here: Sesshin Application
The application deadline is Friday, August 2. Acceptance emails will be sent soon after the deadline date. Please send your sesshin fee once you have been notified of your acceptance. The maximum cost for the month is $600. The cost of Osesshin is $400. The cost of kosesshin is $60/day.
Schedules, guidelines for conduct, and directions to the monastery can be found here: Sesshin Guidelines.
Attending Osesshin is a commitment to full time participation. Kosesshin allows for less than full time participation. In order for kosesshin to run smoothly we request that you provide your arrival and departure dates and approximate times, and keep us updated of changes. Temple housing is limited so we appreciate your flexibility. Any help with set up before or clean up following sesshin is greatly appreciated. There may be a wait-list for any “segment” of this month of practice. People on the wait-list will be contacted immediately as spaces become available.
For a week in early March a group of seven students from Whitman College came to experience daily life at a Rinzai Zen Monastery. We followed the general day schedule with choka, zazen, formal breakfast, samu and a formal lunch. Additionally we had a session each afternoon where we discussed topics surrounding monastery life and Rinzai Zen with ample time for personal experiences and questions. On the last afternoon at the monastery they went to Enso House where Sōen and Ann discussed the hospice and its relationship to Tahoma. The students ended their week with a day of decompression at Jisai’s beach house. By all reports it was a fruitful experience for the students.
This retreat wouldn’t have been such a success without the efforts of Jiyu, Myokan, Seiwa and Sōen in the tenzo. Extra special thanks to Jiyu who flew up from Portland and apart from being tenzo also helped with shopping, the teas and with the students.
Another picture of the group and a bit more information can be found in the April Tahoma Newsletter.