This Practice Period will be led by AZC Guiding Teacher Rev. Choro Antonaccio. Together we will delve into the earliest teachings of our founding ancestor in Japan, Eihei Dogen Zenji, who brought Soto Zen from China to his country in the 13th c. CE.
We will concentrate on his early written teaching, Bendowa (Wholehearted Practice of the Way) and Fukanzazengi (Recommending Zazen to all People). In Bendowa, Dogen says,
“The Dharma is amply present in every person, but without practice, it is not manifested; without realization, it is not attained”.
Our practice period is an opportunity to study and experience these teachings.
About Practice Periods:
Practice Period (Jp. Ango , or “peaceful dwelling”) offer a rare and ideal opportunity for both beginners and experienced Zen practitioners to support each other in bringing zazen into daily life. Over this eight-week period we will have the chance to renew and focus our practice and study our way-seeking-mind. There are some minimum requirements for participation, but each person creates their own schedule around them. Each of us will be encouraged to find our edge of practice, to extend ourselves for the sake of all beings.
When we focus our intention to practice for a specific time, it will be necessary to honor our existing commitments and to be realistic about how we create our schedule, while attempting to establish zazen and sangha practice as a priority for this time.
It is recommended that rather than simply picking and choosing pieces of what is offered based on preference or convenience, instead to think of the ango as one integrated thing and to participate as much as is possible. We will all support each other fully in this endeavor.
Dogen says, “When one displays the buddha mudra with one’s whole body and mind, sitting upright in this samadhi even for a short time, everything in the entire dharma world becomes buddha mudra, and all space in the universe completely becomes enlightenment.” This is the truth we will taste and express together.
Practice Period Events:
- [Opening Ceremony for PP, followed by Dharma Talk] Saturday, Oct. 15th 9.50/10.15 talk and First Gathering for Ango participants after talk‡
- Saturday practice period gatherings (after talks, 11:30-12:30pm) Oct. 15, 29, Nov. 5, 19
- 6 week class w/Rev. Choro Antonaccio – Thursdays 7:00-8:15pm (Oct 20 – Dec 1)‡
- One-Day Retreat – Oct. 22 ‡
- Weekend Retreat – Nov. 11 (eve) – Nov. 13 (noon) (schedule TBD) ‡
- Rohatsu Sesshin – Dec. 2 (eve) – Dec. 9 ‡
- Bodhisattva Full Moon Precept Ceremonies – Oct. 12, Nov. 9
- Seijiki Ceremony & Reception – Nov. 2
- Buddha’s Enlightenment Ceremony – Dec. 10th
- Practice Period Closing – Dec 10th (after Enlightenment ceremony)
Below you will find a form to register for the practice period. The fee supports the temple and its offerings. There are individual fees for the class and retreats that offset associated costs (like food for the retreats) and also support the temple’s operation. Thank you for your generosity.
All the practice period events are listed below. Consider what works for your existing commitments and then stretch a little as you consider how much to participate. There are options to set an intention for body practice and home or work practices of mindfulness. If you would like to speak to the practice period leader about your intentions please do so!