Time of Awakening Zazenkai

1/15/2021, 7:00pm - 1/17/2021, 8:00am at Online

Our Time of Awakening Zazenkai, the first of the New Year, takes place January 15-17 2021. All are warmly invited to begin the New Year with this online retreat, which will feature a talk by member Matt Dewar, Ed. D., professional educator, speaker and author. Matt presented a retreat on Narrative Identity at GPZC in October 2018. Retreat participants will also be encouraged to engage the ancient Buddhist practice of the Four Brahma Viharas (Heavenly Abodes): metta (loving kindness), karuna (compassion), mudita (empathic joy) and upekkha (equanimity). We will end the retreat on Sunday morning with the Gate of Sweet Nectar Ceremony.

After registering, you will receive instructions on how to do the practices mentioned above, as well as the schedule and other important information for participating. When registering, please indicate if you are willing to take a role in the Gate of Sweet Nectar. You are welcome to participate in as much or as little of the retreat as is desirable/feasible for you. The following is a summary of the basic schedule.

Friday evening, we will begin with three periods of sitting, which will include opening remarks and precautions. The evening will end with the Four Bodhisattva Vows and three bows. On Saturday morning, we begin at 6 AM with the chanting of the Verse of Atonement and Three Refuges and two sitting periods.  Morning service (as well as noon and evening services) will consist of a group reading, followed by a breakfast break.  There will be two late morning sitting periods starting at 9:30 AM, followed by a talk at 10:50 and lunch service (online) and lunch on your own. There is a self care period at 2 PM during which you can do a body work practice (such as yoga, tai chi or qigong), take a walk, attend to family needs or another activity. This will be followed by a work period, during which you can do a work task of your choice at home, followed by a period of zazen and then evening service.  After dinner break will be three more periods of sitting (online) beginning at 7:00 and ending with the Four Bodhisattva Vows and 3 bows. On Sunday morning, we will have two periods of zazen starting at 6 AM, followed by the Gate of Sweet Nectar.

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.  You may find that you need more time for household chores and cannot participate in all of the activities.  During the sitting periods, we will turn off our audio and video.  In this way, we are still able to feel each others' presence, but can attend to unforeseen needs of young children or pets that might occur during the sitting  without disturbing others-- connection and flexibility.  

There will not be a formal charge for the Time of Awakening Zazenkai.  Instead, we invite you to make a free will donation of any amount you would like on our Dana Page. Please indicate in the comments that your donation is for the Time of Awakening Zazenkai. Register  by Monday, January 11.   For more information or questions about the zazenkai,  email Roshi at myoyu.roshi@greatplainszen.org.