Virtual Rohatsu Participation Information

“People vow to experience this very same experience of the Buddha as they approach the Rohatsu OSesshin. In every single Zen dojo people put their lives on the line to be able to experience the exact same state of mind, on the eighth of December, as that of the Buddha.  This is the firm vow with which they come to Rohatsu OSesshin.” 

Shodo Harada Roshi

December 1st – 8th, 2020

Before taking part in a Virtual Event at Tahoma please read these posts:
Guidelines for Virtual Events and Orientation to Virtual Sesshin.

Please note that this is a winter sesshin and storms and power outages are possible. If there is no connection at a scheduled time, please sit on your own until the host is able to join. Check here on the website where we will post updates as we can.

Dharma Talks will be from Torei Enji’s Discourse on the Inexhaustible Lamp of the Zen School. Download a free PDF of it here (45MB pdf). An archive of previous talks can be found here: Torei zenji’s Discourse talks.

Download the full schedule here: Rohatsu Sesshin Schedule.
Updated for Rohatsu Sutra book: Virtual Sutra book
You will need the above sutra book for Banka.

Sesshin Schedule

Tuesday, December 1st – Monday, December 7th

5:00amChoka (morning sutras); sampai
5:40amZazen (short period); Kinhin
6:00amZazenZazen
7:00amBreakfast / Samu / Cleanup
9:30amUninterrupted Zazen; Kinhin
10:30amZazen;Zazen; Kinhin
11:30amZazen
12:00pmLunch / Break
2:00pmDharma Talk; Kinhin
3:00pmZazen; Zazen; Kinhin
4:00pmBanka (afternoon sutras); sampai
4:30pmOutside/Physical Practice
5:00pmDinner / Break
6:00pmUninterrupted ZazenKinhin
7:00pmZazen; ZazenKinhin
8:00pmZazen; Zazen;
Day 1-4
8:45pmKaichin / Yaza
Day 5&6
8:50Kinhin; Zazen; Zazen
9:45pmKaichin / Yaza
Day 7
8:50pmKinhin; Zazen; Zazen
9:45pmKaichin / Break
10:00pmZazen; Kinhin (Ho Chanting); Zazen
11:00pmYaza
All times Pacific Time. Please tune in five minutes before scheduled events
Events in Bold will be streamed, events in Italics are self-directed
As the sesshin progresses the schedule runs later. Download the full schedule for details.

Tuesday, December 8th

5:00amChoka (abbreviated sutras); sampai
5:40amZazen (short period)Kinhin
6:00amZazen; Zazen
6:50amBreak
7:00amBodhi Day Ceremony
7:30amClosing Remarks
All times Pacific Time. Please tune in five minutes before scheduled events
Events in Bold will be streamed, events in Italics are self-directed.

Schedule Notes
Monday November 30th: No evening zazen
Sunday December 6th: No Zazenkai
Wednesday December 9th: No scheduled events

In Person Attendance
The following blocks are open for in-person attendance (masks required):
9:30am-Noon
6:00pm to Close

To receive the links for the Virtual Events by email:
Tahoma Virtual Events mailing list.

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.

Virtual Rohatsu 2020

Rohatsu is the traditional peak of the practice year and commemorates the Buddha’s enlightenment.  The classic story is that after his years of ascetic practice the Buddha sat under the Bodhi Tree vowing to sit there until complete awakening. Nine days later on seeing the morning star (Venus) he penetrated to the depths.  Rohatsu Sesshin commemorates this with an eight day sesshin that models a single day of practice. We play the Han as we sit on the first day and not again until on the eighth morning we conclude this one long single day with the Kaimei Han. The amount of sitting increases as the sesshin wears on and it is expected that one sits through the night on the final day.  

Tahoma will hold a Virtual Rohatsu Sesshin on the traditional days, December 1st through 8th.  While we are not able to gather in person, we can all dedicate ourselves to an extended week of zazen. This is an intense schedule and while participating virtually one is not as held by the social pressure we encourage those who can to take full advantage of this opportunity. The broadcast simply provides a structure just as attending a sesshin in person does. The commitment is up to the individual.  If one is able commit to doing the entire sesshin, prepare yourself a space where you can minimize distractions. Have your meals planned out and the shopping completed. Work out a way to do kinhin and physical practice. Then just flow along with the schedule.

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. If you’d like your own copy you can purchase the book here (scroll down) or download a free PDF of it here (45MB pdf).

Before taking part in a Virtual Event at Tahoma please read these posts:
Guidelines for Virtual Events and Orientation to Virtual Sesshin.

Schedule Notes
Monday November 30th: No evening zazen
Sunday December 6th: No Zazenkai
Wednesday December 9th: No scheduled events

Sesshin Schedule

Tuesday, December 1st – Monday, December 7th

5:00amChoka (morning sutras); sampai
5:40amZazen [short period]Kinhin
6:00amZazenZazen
7:00amBreakfast / samu / cleanup
9:30amUninterrupted Zazen; Kinhin
10:30amZazen;Zazen; Kinhin
11:30amZazen
12:00pmLunch / break
2:00pmDharma Talk; Kinhin
3:00pmZazen; Zazen; Kinhin
4:00pmBanka (afternoon sutras); sampai
4:30pmOutside/Physical Practice
5:00pmDinner / Break
6:00pmUninterrupted ZazenKinhin
7:00pmZazen; ZazenKinhin
8:00pmZazen; Zazen;
8:45pmKaichin / Yaza
All times Pacific Time. Please tune in five minutes before scheduled events
Events in Bold will be streamed, events in Italics are self-directed
As the sesshin progresses the schedule runs later. Download the full schedule for details.

Tuesday, December 8th

5:00amChoka (abbreviated sutras); sampai
5:40amZazen [short period]Kinhin
6:00amZazen; Zazen
6:50ambreak
7:00amBodhi Day Ceremony
7:30amClosing Remarks
All times Pacific Time. Please tune in five minutes before scheduled events
Events in Bold will be streamed, events in Italics are self-directed.

Download the full schedule here: Rohatsu Sesshin Schedule.
Updated for Rohatsu Sutra book: Virtual Sutra book

To receive the links for the Virtual Events by email:
Tahoma Virtual Events mailing list.

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.

Autumn Training Period at Tahoma

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.