AZC Fall 2023 Ango: Things-as-It-Is

Oct. 21 (formal opening) to Dec. 9 (Buddha’s Enlightenment Celebration)

This Ango (Practice Period) will be led by AZC Guiding Teacher Rev. Choro Antonaccio. You are warmly invited to participate in this fall’s Ango (Practice Period). Ango is an opportunity to find your edge of practice, by committing to as much of the schedule as you can. Add some zazen at the temple with others, join one of the retreats, sign up for the class, attend ceremonies, extend yourself and support others while doing so! 

 “…without sticking to some particular way, we open our minds to observe things-as-it-is and to accept things-as-it-is.” (Shunryu Suzuki)

About this Ango (Practice Period)

The founder of the San Francisco Zen Center, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, used the phrase “things as it is” to capture the teaching of the inseparability of the multiplicity of things, and nonduality. We will study the Sandokai, sometimes translated as the “Harmony of Difference and Equality”. It is a poem written by a Chinese Zen master of the 8th c. CE, Shitou Xiqian (in Japanese pronunciation, Ancestor Sekito Kisen). We chant this poem as a sutra every week at Austin Zen Center, and it is a fundamental text of our Soto Zen lineage of Buddhism. (The calligraphy is the characters for Sandokai, by Zen priest Taisen Deshimaru.)

The class on the Sandokai will meet for the first time on Thursday, Oct. 19 at 6.45 pm for six weeks until Nov. 30 (no meeting on Thanksgiving).  We will study Suzuki Roshi’s talks at Tassajara monastery on the Sandokai text, given in the summer of 1970, eighteen months before he died, edited and published as Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness (1999).  Another feature of Ango is meeting for informal discussion and Way Seeking Mind talks given by sangha members who are participating. These meetings are on Oct. 28, Nov. 4 and 18 after the regular program. There will also be dharma talks during the Saturday program. In addition, we will have an all-day sitting on Sunday, October 22, with a focus on exploring the postures of zazen and receiving hands-on instruction. There will also be a weekend retreat, November 10-12, and the annual winter sesshin, Rohatsu, from Dec. 1-8.  Finally, we will have our usual Full Moon Bodhisattva Ceremonies on Wednesday Oct. 25 and November 29, and the annual Sejiki Ceremony (Feeding and Nourishing Hungry Ghosts) on November 1. Ango concludes with a celebration of Buddha’s Enlightenment on Dec. 9 as part of our regular Saturday program, open to all. The registration for Ango and individual events will be posted soon.  Please contact me if you have questions: or in person.

Ango schedule: 

  • Sandokai Thursday, October 19-November 30 6:45pm (no meeting on Thanksgiving)
  • Ango (Practice Period) opening Saturday, Oct. 21st 
  • All day sitting – Sunday, Oct. 22 
  • Full Moon Bodhisattva Ceremonies October 25 and November 29
  • Informal discussion and Way Seeking Mind talks October 28, November 4 and 18
  • Sejiki Ceremony (Feeding and Nourishing Hungry Ghosts) Wednesday November 1 (evening) 
  • Weekend Retreat November 10-12
  • Rohatsu December 1-8
  • Ango concludes with Buddha’s Enlightenment Ceremony – Saturday morning Dec. 9th
  • Winter Interim December 18-January 2 except New Year’s Eve program, evening December 31


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 above. 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!