One-Day Meditation Retreat – Training in the Preliminaries

The AZC Fall Practice Period kicks off with this One-Day Retreat in line with traditional Sōtō Zen forms and the topic of our Practice Period- Training the Mind with Lojong. This daylong meditation retreat will be led by Visiting Teacher Dawn Neal and AZC Head Teacher Doshin Mako Voelkel. The focus will be on the embodied experience of ānāpānasati, mindfulness of breathing, as a foundational practice. During the day we will lightly weave in contemplation on the four preliminaries of Lojong below. The emphasis will be on allowing those contemplations to inform and to be supported by mindfulness of breathing.

At the end of the day, there will be an optional tea and discussion time to share learnings in a lightly facilitated way.

The four preliminaries of Lojong:

  1. Awareness of the preciousness of human life.
  2. Awareness of the reality that life ends; death comes for everyone
  3. Recalling that everything you do, virtuous or not, has a result. 
  4. The understanding that too much focus on self-importance, including too much thinking about being good or bad leads to suffering. Obsessing about getting what you want and avoiding what you don’t want does not result in happiness.

ALL ARE WELCOME, whether you are participating in the Fall Practice Period or not! This retreat includes an Oryoki Lunch as well as an optional Tea & Discussion at the end of the day.

Saturday, October 12th @ 6:00am – 5:00pm

NOTE: There will be a required Oryoki training and orientation on Friday eve at 6pm.

Retreat Fees: $75/members; $100/non-members (Scholarships available)

Oryoki rental: $10

As always, 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 call the AZC Administrator at 512-452-5777.

About Visiting Teacher Dawn Neal: Dawn has accumulated over two years of silent retreat practice since 2005. She holds an MA from the Institute of Buddhist Studies, and has completed 15 months of professional ministry/ chaplaincy training (CPE). She has studied and practiced with Gil Fronsdal since 2009. Dawn serves the community as a chaplain, facilitator, integral coach, and scholar. She teaches and facilitates for Buddhist, secular, and multifaith groups.