AZC Fall 2021 Practice Period: Queen Śrīmālādevī on Buddha Nature

This Practice Period will be led by visiting teacher Rev. Kokyo Henkel. Together we will take up the study and practices of lay woman ancestor Queen Śrīmālā. In the Śrīmālādevī Simhanda Sutra, she teaches Buddha-nature as the pure essence of heart/mind which we all share. 

“Embracing the complete Teachings of Reality is the perfection of all the infinite facets of Awakened Awareness.”

– Śrīmālādevī Simhanada Sutra

Koyko Henkel trained for 19 years in residence at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center (most recently as Tanto, or Head of Practice), Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, No Abode Hermitage in Mill Valley, and Bukkokuji Monastery in Japan. He was ordained as a Zen priest in 1994 by Tenshin Reb Anderson, receiving Dharma Transmission from him in 2010. He served as Head of Practice at Tassajara and Head Teacher of the Santa Cruz Zen Center. Kokyo has also been practicing with the Tibetan Dzogchen (“Great Perfection”) Teacher Tsoknyi Rinpoche since 2003, in California, Colorado, and Kathmandu. 

Program Fees*:
$75 Members / $100 Non-members

* Please note that AZC is committed to making the teachings available to everyone. To request financial assistance from our Scholarship Fund, or if you would like to donate to the Fund for others to be able to participate, please contact Maida Barbour by email or call 512-452-5777.

ABOUT Practice Periods: (Jp. Ango , or “peaceful dwelling”) Practice Periods offer an excellent opportunity for beginners as well as more experienced Zen practitioners to join together to bring a collective spirit of warm-hearted mindfulness into daily life. Over this six-week period we will have the opportunity to renew and concentrate our efforts as well as to fully inquire into our way-seeking-mind. While there may be some minimum requirements, it is within these requirements that each person can create their own schedule. This is the nature of lay practice. Some may be able to do only the minimum, while others may be able to extend themselves much more.

When you include your zendo schedule into your calendar it incorporates zazen into the rhythm of your life as an intention and commitment rather than as a random or arbitrary activity based on passing fancy. When we gather our intention for a defined time period, taking into consideration all of the other factors and responsibilities in our life, we have a foundation for practice. It will be necessary to honor our commitments and to be realistic about how we create our schedule.

It is good to think of the spirit of practice period as the wish to fully participate in everything that is offered, and then to narrow it down to what is practical or possible, rather than simply picking and choosing pieces of it based on preference or convenience. This helps to create an edge; something to feel our way around, but not too much to be inhibiting. When we all have this attitude it creates a strong sangha feeling of mutual support and encouragement.

It is also important to manifest the spirit of zazen in our daily life at home and at work: as continuous practice, and not just something we do on the cushion. This provides a positive atmosphere for those who may be sitting but are not in a position to practice as intensively. What makes all the difference is our deep intention and commitment.

Submit my Practice Period Intention

Practice Period Events: 

Online mostly with in-person as possible (outdoors)
  • Practice Period orientation & opening ceremony – Wednesday, Oct. 13th 6:45-8:00pm ‡
  • Wednesday eve practice period gatherings (6:45-8:00pm) *in-person 
  • Saturday noon practice period gatherings (12:00-1:00pm) *online 
  • 6 week class w/Rev. Kokyo Henkel – Thursdays 6:45-8:00pm (Oct 14 – Nov 18)‡
  • One-Day Retreat – Oct. 16 ‡
  • Weekend Retreat – Nov. 12 (eve) – Nov. 14 ‡
  • Rohatsu Sesshin – Dec. 3 (eve) – Dec. 10 ‡
  • Bodhisattva Full Moon Precept Ceremonies – Oct. 20, Nov. 17 
  • Seijiki Ceremony & Reception – Oct. 27
  • Buddha’s Enlightenment Ceremony – Dec. 11th 
  • Jukai Precepts Ceremony – Dec 11th
  • Practice Period Closing – Dec 11th (after Enlightenment ceremony)
  • PP Shosan Ceremony – Friday, December 10th (evening) 

– Registration separate from Practice Period; not included in Practice Period program fees 

*May be subject to change depending on Covid