Sangha News for March, 2023
Sparrows and Crows in the Vast Universe
Ango (April 3 - July 9): Ango, or practice period, is an opportunity to focus a bit more intensively on our practice and perhaps to make a commitment to ourselves to stretch a little -- to sit a little more, attend a little more frequently, learn something new or take on a particular activity. We invite you to consider how you might deepen your practice during this time.
Ango at Sanshin is designed to include the three activities of our practice: zazen, work and study. This three-month period includes sesshin, genzo-e, the precepts retreat and several work days in addition to our regular daily and weekly practice.
During ango we have the additional leadership of a shuso, or head novice, who takes on various responsibilities in the sangha as an opportunity to develop clergy skills. Our shuso for this ango is Shinko Hagn from Vienna, who was ordained by Hoko in 2019. His theme for the ango is Four Embracing Actions. He will be supporting our practice and we will be supporting his growth as a leader. Shinko will be giving a series of nine Sunday talks, serving as doshi for monthly World Peace ceremonies, serving as ino for monthly ryaku fusatsu ceremonies, assisting with sesshin and retreats, and working with the sangha in myriad other ways while he's in residence here. In June, we will recognize the coming completion of his term as shuso with two ceremonies in which he will demonstrate his dharma mastery to the sangha and his readiness to teach and serve independently.
Work afternoon (April 9): There's a lot to do to get ready for the Platinum Celebration and other spring and summer activities. Participants generally engage in groundskeeping, building maintenance, and cleaning and sorting items like tools and supplies. Everyone is welcome for work practice, which generally happens on the second Sunday of the month.
Virtual genzo-e on Shobogenzo Bussho (Buddha Nature), Part 3 (May 3 - 8): Okumura Roshi taught about the first and second parts of this text in the May and November 2022 Genzo-e. However, no prior knowledge of the text is required, so if you missed the previous genzo-e you will have no problem following along. This retreat is Okumura Roshi's final offering of genzo-e before he steps back from day to day leadership at Sanshin. All zazen periods and lectures will be shared on Zoom, and we encourage participants to participate in the full schedule if possible. Visit the virtual genzo-e page to learn more and to register.
June sesshin (May 30 - June 4): 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 9 pm daily schedule that consists simply of fourteen 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 Antaiji in Kyoto, Japan. We carry on and offer this tradition of our lineage here at Sanshin. Learn more here.
Virtual visit to Grove City Zen: Hoko gave a virtual talk for Grove City (OH) Zen's February practice day, held in partnership with the Central Ohio Center for Pragmatic Buddhism. The theme of the day was taking practice off the cushion, and she talked about practicing peace.
Upcoming events in Minnesota: Shodo notes that Mountains and Waters Zen Community has one event and two residential practice opportunities coming up:
April 14-16 is a land care retreat in our traditional style, about half meditation, half work, plus open time for exploring the land or for visiting. Registration is required, and there is a fee. The first residential practice opportunity is to join us for weeks or months beginning any time, on a work exchange basis. We have a resident who is a permaculturist and will be actively working with the land, and your work would be mostly with him. Zen practice includes morning zazen, weekly online class, occasional discussion groups,and Antaiji-style retreats at least quarterly. The second residential practice opportunity would be longer-term residence. Unfortunately, we're not able to offer work exchange, but can help you find leads for part-time jobs. By fall there will be two spaces open with private rooms. Email Shodo for more information or check the website.
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