Shohaku Okumura on Shobogenzo Baika
November 4 - 8, 2021
Morning: zazen 9:10, lecture 10:00
Afternoon: zazen 3:10, lecture 4:00
Times are Eastern Daylight Time in the US
Sanshin has not resumed holding guest events as we did before the pandemic. Instead we are offering a few elements of the former in-person genzo-e in a virtual form so that participants can create a daily schedule at home for themselves for as many days as they like during this time. Most activities will be carried out by practitioners on their own; twice a day Sanshin will offer a period of zazen and Okumura Roshi's lecture. While this not the formal and concentrated genzo-e retreat Okumura Roshi has been known for leading since Sanshin's beginning, it does accommodate those who are unable to engage in our usual intensive practice.
Deep study of Dogen Zenji’s teachings as a means of truly understanding the practice of regular intensive shikantaza is one of the three elements of Sanshin's mission. It's an antidote to the "Zen sickness" described in the "Zazenshin" fascicle of his Shobogenzo. That danger can come with doing a lot of sitting with gaining mind—searching for a peak experience or some personal benefit. Thus dharma study is not an end in itself but assists our sitting practice. As our ancestor Kodo Sawaki Roshi often said, "All Buddhist scriptures are only footnotes to zazen."
When I began genzo-e, I thought it is dangerous to sit so much as we do at Sanshinji without understanding the deep meaning of zazen practice taught by Dogen Zenji. For me, zazen is the main thing; studying Dogen Zenji's teachings is a support for intensive zazen practice. Only intellectual understanding without sitting is not so meaningful.
-- Okumura Roshi
How virtual genzo-e works
While there will be a few practitioners in the zendo during online activities who are working to manage the event, most participants will be practicing from their homes. Two lectures will be offered each day, with a communal zazen period before each one.
Once you complete your registration, you will receive a link to the resource page for this event. This is not a public page on our website; you'll need to bookmark it so that you can return to it each day for updates and event information. The materials needed for this event, including Okumura Roshi's translation of the text and the opening and closing chants, will be available for download from that page. You will also find example schedules from previous events which you can use to create your own plan for your practice activities during this time, joining the online sessions when they occur.
There will be basic help available by email if you have technical issues related to participating in the online segments, but we can't teach you how to use your computer. Please make sure you have the basic computer skills listed below before the event begins.
Computer Skills Checklist
In order to participate successfully, you will need to be able to do the following:
Registration for virtual genzo-e