Rohatsu Sesshin

12/3/2019, 5:30pm - 12/8/2019, 9:00am at Myoshinji

This five-day intensive meditation retreat commemorates the Enlightenment of our original Ancestor Teacher, Shakyamuni Buddha. The Buddha developed deep questioning about the nature of life after witnessing the pervasive suffering and death around him. He immersed himself diligently in the practice of asceticism, but was unable to find satisfying answers. He realized that neither extreme asceticism nor indulgence in sensual pleasures would lead him to the answer to his question. Instead, he believed, the answer was already within him, and that he just needed to be still and concentrated enough to see it. With great courage and resolve, he sat beneath a great fig tree in Bodh Gaya, now known as the Bodhi Tree, determined to awaken to the true nature of life.

Inspired by his example, each year, we celebrate Buddha's Enlightenment with a five-day silent meditation retreat called Rohatsu. Throughout the day, there are multiple periods of zazen (seated meditation), walking meditation, Teisho (formal Dharma talks), silent meals (oryoki), work practice, chanting and rest. The retreat begins Tuesday evening with informal dinner at 5:30 PM, followed by procedures instruction for those new to retreats. The formal silent retreat starts at 8 PM. We will have a special Bodhi Day Service on Saturday morning at 7 AM. The retreat concludes Sunday morning with the Gate of Sweet Nectar Ceremony at 7 AM followed by informal breakfast. Zen Centers around the world are holding similar retreats at this sacred time. The Buddha stated that we should not take his word for it, but should find out for ourselves what our life really is. Human life is rare and precious -- and the time to awaken is now.

The suggested donation for full time participation in this retreat is $250 for GPZC members and $300 for non-members. This includes all meals and overnight accommodations. Part time attendance is accepted.

$250 for current members, $300 for others.