March 26 – April 30 • Registration Open
Suggested Donation: $10.00 – $100.00
Please do not let cost be an obstacle to your participation – email the office for other arrangements.
Practice Period Overview:
Practice period is an opportunity to more fully integrate your practice into daily life by making a commitment to daily practice for a period of time. With the support of the sangha (community), it is possible to honor that inner voice that may be urging you to deeper practice.
The core elements of this spring’s 5-week practice period are morning and evening verses, bowing, zazen, mindfulness tasks, reflection, listening to Sunday talks, participating in the precepts reflection ceremonies, meetings with a practice leader, volunteer service, and optional 2-week intensive and April sesshin. There are also alternatives for remote participation (see below to download pdf for more information).
Our theme is Seeing the Entire Universe as One Bright Jewel. Seeing in this way is not closing ourselves off from suffering, but rather opening to a big view that sees the whole universe as embracing and sustaining each and every thing. In this time of political unrest, it can be helpful to reflect on Dogen’s words” “Neither you or I know what the bright jewel is or what the bright jewel is not.” As a community, we will help each other to be present to the realization that beyond our understanding and yet right before our eyes.
About Buddhist Practice Periods:
The tradition of intensive or focused periods of practice is common to virtually all schools of Buddhism. In the Japanese Zen tradition these practice periods are known as ango (peaceful dwelling). This time tested training is an opportunity for practitioners to clarify their spiritual intentions, to deepen their realization and to more fully integrate their practice life by dedicating themselves to a specific and focused time and tenor of Buddhist practice. Returning in this way to the three treasures of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha the entire community is upheld and revitalized.
It is important to be realistic about our responsibilities and maintain balance in home, work and spiritual life. From that understanding, participants in the practice period are asked to design a practice intention that will push them beyond their current level of commitment, is doable given their circumstances and preserves and respects family, health and work.