Honoring the Way of Zazen

10/9/2020, 7:00pm - 10/11/2020, 8:00am at Online

Honoring the Way of Zazen Online Zazenkai will take place from Friday evening October 9 through Sunday morning, October 11. We have done these sitting-only retreats every April and October for a number of years, but this is the first one that will be done online. Sitting-only retreats originated as a tribute to the legendary Zen figure, Bodhidharma, who often met inquires from others with only resolute sitting. This is an intensive retreat with periods of zazen (sitting meditation) alternating with 10 minute periods of walking meditation throughout the day. It will include a total of 15 zazen periods, three more than during a typical retreat.

As with our other retreats, there will be a work period and time for rest. However, unlike other retreats, there will be no talks, no chanting services, and no dokusan (face to face meeting) with the teacher. Sitting on the Buddha's seat, we immerse ourselves in our practice throughout the day with determination, great faith and great questioning.

The zazenkai begins Friday evening at 7 PM with a brief overview of zazenkai precautions and opening remarks, followed by three periods of zazen, the Four Bodisattva Vows and 3 bows. On Saturday, we begin at 6 AM with 3 periods of zazen followed by a breakfast break. The mid-morning sitting starts at 9:30 AM with four periods of sitting (with kinhin between and a short break between the second and third periods). After the lunch break, the retreat continues with a self care period at 2 PM, a work period, and one period of zazen. After dinner, are three more periods of zazen. On Sunday, there are two periods of zazen and a brief gathering after. Note that although there are no formal services during the retreat, we will do the chants that occur at the beginning or ending of some sitting periods as usual. The chants can be found here.

As always, this schedule is only a framework. Some may wish to do more sitting, some may wish to substitute walking or a bodywork practice for some of the sitting or you may find that you need more time for household chores and skip some activities. During the sitting periods, we will turn off our audio and video.

There will not be a formal charge for the Honoring the Way of Zazen. Instead, we invite you to make a free will donation of any amount you would like on our Dana webpage here. Please indicate in the comments that your donation is for the Honoring the Way of Zazen. Register by Thursday, October 8th. For more information or questions about the zazenkai, email Roshi at myoyu.roshi@greatplainszen.org.