Beginner's Mind Zazenkai

3/18/2022, 7:00pm - 3/20/2022, 8:00am at Myoshinji or Online

Please read carefully as the guidelines for this retreat have changed.

Beginner's Mind Zazenkai will take place March 18-20 2022. We especially encourage those new to retreats with GPZC to join us for the Beginner's Mind Zazenkai. While this retreat is open to everyone, additional explanation and instruction in zendo procedures, service and the how-to's of sitting are provided for those new to retreat practice. This will be a particularly meaningful retreat as we are allowing the possibility for overnight participation for the first time since the onset of the pandemic.

There are several ways to attend the March Beginner's Mind Zazenkai. Participants can 1) attend the entire zazenkai is person, 2) Attend Saturday in person during the day and the remainder online or 3) attend entirely online. We are excited to welcome back in person participants at the retreat. It will be good to see you. We also welcome those who are more comfortable participating online.

The retreat begins at 7 PM Friday evening, with sitting, including opening remarks and precautions and sitting instruction/review for anyone who would like it. On Saturday morning at 6:00 AM, we begin with the chanting of the Verse of Atonement and Three Refuges, sitting and morning service, followed by breakfast for those attending in person.

The late morning schedule begins at 9:30 AM and will consist of sitting, walking meditation and a talk. Lunch will be provided for in person participants. After lunch, there will be a short work period, sitting, evening service, and dinner. There will not be a Gate of Sweet Nectar Ceremony during this retreat. Evening sitting begins at 7 PM on Saturday and finishes Sunday morning, with two periods of zazen starting at 6 AM

You are welcome to participate in any of the three ways described above. Part time participation is also allowed. In your registration, please indicate how you'll be participating. If you are having any meals at the Zen Center, please indicate any dietary allergies or limitations. Please note that our COVID guidelines have been updated since the previous retreat and apply to anyone attending in person. The guidelines are as follows (although subject to change as necessitated by the pandemic status):
COVID-Related Precautions:

  • We are requiring that anyone attending in person be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and will require proof of vaccination. We strongly recommend also having the booster shot, but do not require it.
  • Anyone providing proof of medical contra-indication (i.e. a letter from their doctor) for the COVID vaccine (or booster, should we require it in the future) can provide proof of a negative molecular COVID test (NAAT, PCR, etc., not an antigen test) within 72 hours prior to attendance in lieu of vaccine.
  • Participants will be seated in the zendo at least 6 feet apart and asked to maintain distance during kinhin, services and lunch.
  • Masks must be worn indoors except when eating, sleeping, or if you are the only person staying in a room and have the door closed. Participants must sit at designated spots for meals and eat in silence.
  • Masks must N95, KN95 or KF94 and participants will be provided with one if they do not bring one.
  • Participants must wash their hands frequently, use hand sanitizer when handling shared equipment and wipe surfaces with disinfectant after use as appropriate.
  • Please do not attend the retreat in person if you are ill and/or have any symptoms (COVID-related or not) that indicate a possible contagious illness.
  • If procedural changes become necessary due to changes in pandemic guidelines, participants will be notified.

Donation: The suggested donation for this retreat is $50. If this amount presents a hardship, please contribute what is comfortable for you. If you are able to contribute an additional amount to help offset the cost of scholarships and retreat meals, it will be gratefully accepted on GPZC website's Dana page.

Registration: Please register by Monday, March 14. Use the comments section on the registration page to indicate any food restrictions/allergies you have and if you will be staying overnight either night or if you plan to attend online.

Please contact our retreat registrar, John Genshin Knewitz with any questions about the retreat. We hope that giving options for participation will allow more to attend and hope it is not confusing.

$50 suggested donation (scholarships offered if needed and additional donations welcome).