November 23rd 5am: Regular morning service. No evening meditation.
November 24th No morning service. 6:30pm: Regular evening meditation.
December 3rd Zazenkai 8am. In person and online. Start of Rohatsu Sesshin. Details: Rohatsu Retreat.
December 4th-7th 5am: Regular morning service. 6pm-8:45pm : Extended evening meditation in observance of Rohatsu. All events offered in person and online. Details: Rohatsu Retreat.
December 8th and 9th Rohatsu Weekend Retreat. In person and online. Details: Rohatsu Retreat.
December 10th, Bodhi Day Ceremony and Holiday Gathering 8am: Bodhi Day ceremony during our regular Zazenkai. Open to all. 9:30am: Followed by an informal holiday gathering. Details: Rohatsu Retreat And Bodhi Day Ceremony.
December 23rd, 2023 – January 5th, 2024 Winter closure: no online or in-person events
January 6th, 2024 Regular daily schedule resumes.
All days not specifically listed will be on our regular schedule. Please see our Calendar for the events offered for each day. This is kept up to date with any changes to the daily schedule.
Please come and join us at Tahoma Zen Monastery for our annual New Years Celebration. We will sit zazen from 8:30pm until approximately 11:15pm followed by a chant ceremony and the traditional 108 strikes on the temple Kansho Bell at midnight..
Feel free to join the zazen at any point, coming in during kinhin (walking meditation) or a stretch break. During the evening one can always “sit out” a period of zazen, leaving during a stretch break or kinhin and taking a break, having a snack, or what-have-you, returning during another kinhin or stretch break.
Please note that full vaccination including with the latest boosters continues to be required for all in-person events. Newcomers to our eventsshould email us with a photo of their vaccination card.
“The preparation of a monastery for winter may seem unremarkable. Everything that needs to be attended to is done, yet no trace of effort is apparent. This expresses the spirit of my teacher, Gempo Yamamoto Roshi, who spent most of his time doing zazen, and who was often completely absorbed in studying the Diamond Sutra. He would say that you are not yet mature if you are seen as great or wise by others. It is not good to be absentminded, but you should be unpretentious while being aware of all necessary matters. This is important!”
As the activity from Rohatsu fades away and the solstice has marked the start of winter I often think of these words from Sōen Nakagawa. The days are surely getting longer but these are the cold, hard times. Especially right now where there is so much suffering that often has to be endured on ones own. It is vital to remember what is important. Today, December 24th, we held a memorial for Mumon Roshi and read these words from him:
All who promise to seek the wisdom of awakening and to serve all human beings are without exceptions Bodhisattvas. Those laymen and women who join our zazen are also Bodhisattvas–Bodhisattvas who study prajña-wisdom.
In the Buddha mind there are two aspects; wisdom and compassion, just as the sun shines making light and heat. To seek for wisdom or “Bodhi” is to train oneself in the practice of awareness. Compassion is the practical manifestation of wisdom. To attempt to save sentient beings is to practice Buddha’s wisdom, even if we are not awakened to it ourselves. “Compassion is not far from us. It is here in our hands whenever we practice.”
Mumon Yamada Roshi, from Lectures on the Zazen Gi in How to Practice Zazen, p. 6
In this time around the solstice people everywhere practice compassion through acts of charity, kindness, helping out others as they can. Likewise when we attend to that which needs attending, preparing the monastery, our homes, our lives for winter, we are manifesting this wisdom, this practice of compassion. At this time, when staying away from others is the most compassionate action we can take, prajna-wisdom is essential.
These times too will pass and we will again gather together to laugh, hug, share a meal, sit together. As the New Year dawns may we all deepen in our maturity, renewing our vows to practice for all beings and with no trace of effort manifest this wisdom.
On New Years Eve we will ring the Kansho Bell 108 times, dispelling all delusions for a moment. Join us if you will. There will be no formal activities beforehand but the zendo will be open for unstructured sitting throughout the evening. Masks and Social Distancing required.
Please come and join us at Tahoma Zen Monastery for our annual New Years Celebration. We will begin with a potluck in the kitchen. The Monastery will provide hot spiced cider and a dish or two. Please bring a vegetarian main, side, snacks or desert.
Then we will retire to the Zendo for a series of zazen and kinhin. You can always “sit out” a period of zazen, leaving during a stretch break or kinhin and taking a break, having a snack, or what-have-you, returning during another kinhin or stretch break.
At 11:30 we will have a short chant service and ceremony followed by the traditional 108 strikes on the temple Kansho Bell at midnight.
Do come for all or any part of the evenings activities as your schedule allows. Directions to the Monastery can be found here: Directions to Tahoma. If you have any questions do contact us: Contact Information.
New Years CelebrationSchedule 6:30pm Potluck in the kitchen 7:30pm cleanup 8:00pm Zazen; Zazen; Kinhin 9:00pm Zazen; Zazen; Kinhin 10:00pm Zazen; Zazen; Kinhin 11:00pm Zazen; 11:30pm New Years Chanting 12:00am Bell Ringing