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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
In the Dharma Talks we will be reading from Torei Enji’s Discourse on the Inexhaustible Lamp of the Zen School translated by Yoko Okuda from Tuttle Publishing. Download a PDF of it here (note: links to a 43MB pdf). We will begin with the Preface by Torei Enji and Daibi Zenji on p. 11. Do read the two forwards beforehand.
The opening day of the sesshin is Monday September 21st at 6pm. We request that everyone join all of our events a few minutes early so that you have time to start up the connection and settle in before things begin. The schedule for the opening day is:
All times Pacific Time. Please tune in five minutes before scheduled events
The Schedule from Tuesday through Saturday will be our standard virtual sesshin schedule. Locals can drop-in for the late morning and evening Zazen periods (masks required).
Tuesday, Sept. 22nd – Saturday, Sept. 26th
Choka (sutras p.3-13); sampai
Zazen(short period); Kinhin; Zazen; Zazen;
Breakfast / Samu / Break
UninterruptedZazen; Kinhin; Zazen; Zazen; Kinhin
Lunch / break
Sutras (p.14); Dharma Talk; Kinhin; Zazen; Zazen
Physical Practice / Dinner / Break
Uninterrupted Zazen; Kinhin;
Zazen; Zazen; Kinhin; Zazen; Zazen
Closing Sutra(p.16); Sampai
All times Pacific Time. Please tune in five minutes before scheduled events Events in Bold will be streamed, events in Italics are self-directed.
The final day, Sunday will be quite different. Morning Sutras will be abbreviated and we will end zazen a little early. There will be no samu period, but our regularly community Zazenkai. Sesshin attendees should tune in to Zazenkai as this will incorporate the final Dharma Talk on the Inexhustible Lamp. After Zazenkai there will be a break and then our concluding activities. After sesshin has ended there will be an hour for Q&A on any topics but especially on the study material. Note: no in-person attendance at any of these events.
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.