Standard morning schedule reinstated: With the start of the ango (practice period) on April 4 we returned to the pre-pandemic morning schedule, which begins at 5 am and includes two periods of zazen, liturgy, a reading from the Shobogenzo Zuimonki and soji (cleanup). We've also retired the Enmei Jukku Kannongyo and pandemic eko from the morning service.
Spring opens with work day: Following a few dharma words from Hosshin, practitioners went to work to cut bamboo, clean up the moss garden, thoroughly clean the zendo and kitchen and modify kitchen shelves.
Pilot residential program underway: Three residential practitioners are now in place and will engage in a full-day schedule for the duration of the ango. The rented building next to Sanshin, formerly used for short term guest accommodations, is now devoted to residential practice. Sawyer from Bloomington and Kikuko and Issan from New York have two areas of activity during this pilot; in addition to participating in all of the practice activities happening at Sanshin and undertaking their own projects, they're helping to create and develop the residential practice program by actually living that life on a trial basis, building systems and making suggestions for the future. Issan is serving as shuso for the ango, Kikuko is training with Yuko as a dharma sewing teacher, and Sawyer is coordinating the residential practice committee of Sanshin's board that's determining policy and procedures for the program. Sanshin is not yet taking applications for future residents and hasn't determined a timeline for establishing an intake process; that information will be posted as it becomes available.
Opportunity for board service: Board president Mark Fraley is interested in talking with those considering becoming directors for the upcoming three-year term. "Sanshin's board of directors continues to collaborate with clergy, staff, and practice leaders to make practice opportunities available to more and more people while doing our best to ensure the health and safety of our sangha. With residents on site and more activity in our zendo, we're making steady progress in meeting our key strategic priorities. However, we do need more people to be part of our efforts! This July, we will be holding our annual board retreat in Bloomington where we welcome new directors. If you have skills in outreach, communication, development, or management and want to offer your abilities in the service of the dharma, please email me."
June sesshin with Shodo Spring: Sesshin at Sanshin is an opportunity to practice without distraction. We set aside the usual activities -- or entertainments -- of temple life, like work periods, meetings with teachers and dharma talks, and focus completely on zazen. We practice in complete silence following a 4 am to 8 pm daily schedule that consists simply of thirteen 50-minute periods of zazen with one-hour periods for meals and a bit of personal time. This sesshin-without-toys style of practice was created by our founder's teacher, Kosho Uchiyama Roshi, and practiced at Antaji in Kyoto, Japan. We carry on and offer this tradition of our lineage here at Sanshin.
Shodo Spring is a dharma heir of Shohaku Okumura and is a member of Sanshin's board of directors. She sits monthly Antaiji-style sesshins in the tradition of her lineage, leads an informal study group, and occasionally gives talks and retreats at other temples. She founded Mountains and Waters Alliance in Minnesota, a part of the Sanshin Network, to work together with all beings for the welfare of the whole earth. She lives on a farm, apprenticing herself to the plants, waters, animals and earth, learning to be human, and she spends time with her children and grandchildren. Read more and register here.
Ordination in Colombia: Densho reports that he's ordained a new novice at Soto Zen Community of Colombia. "We had a short sesshin and tokudo for one of our sangha members. It is always a happy event to have a newborn monk."
For complete information about Sanshin and our style of practice, visit our homepage.
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