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  • Sept 6th/7th, 2013 - OUR MONTHLY 4-hour ZAZENKAI! - ANGO BEGINS!

    Today's Zazenkai marks the COMMENCEMENT of our ANGO (90 Day Tranquil Dwelling)!

    ALL SYSTEMS GO FOR ANGO!!!!!


    The Talk today will reflect on "Ango Now and Then" ...
    (text below in this thread) ...

    Please 'sit-a-long' with our MONTHLY 4-hour ZAZENKAI, netcast LIVE 8am to noon Japan time Saturday morning (that is New York 7pm to 11pm, Los Angeles 4pm to 8pm (Friday night), London midnight to 4am and Paris 1am to 5am (early Saturday morning)) ... and visible at the following link during those times ...

    ... to be visible at the following link during those times and any time thereafter ...

    LIVE ZAZENKAI NETCAST at GOOGLE+ IS HERE:
    CLICK ON THE TAB ON LOWER RIGHT FOR 'FULL SCREEN


    http://youtu.be/qwnbGETd810

    FOR THOSE NOT ALREADY MEMBERS OF THE CIRCLE WHO WISH TO JOIN TO SIT LIVE WITH A CAMERA, INSTRUCTIONS are posted AT THIS LINK. WE ARE NOW LIMITED TO 10 INDIVIDUALS WITH CAMERAS, BUT ANY NUMBER CAN WATCH LIVE 'ONE WAY' AND SIT-A-LONG VIA THE ABOVE SCREEN. IF JOINING WITH CAMERA, PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR MICROPHONE IS MUTED:

    The Sitting Schedule is as follows;

    00:00 - 00:50 CEREMONY (HEART SUTRA / SANDOKAI IN ENGLISH) & ZAZEN
    00:50 - 01:00 KINHIN
    01:00 - 01:30 ZAZEN
    01:30 - 01:50 KINHIN

    01:50 - 02:30 DHARMA TALK & ZAZEN
    02:30 - 02:40 KINHIN

    02:40 - 03:15 ZAZEN
    03:15 - 03:30 KINHIN
    03:30 - 04:00 METTA CHANT & ZAZEN, VERSE OF ATONEMENT, FOUR VOWS, & CLOSING


    Our Zazenkai consists of our chanting the 'Heart Sutra' and the 'Identity of Relative and Absolute (Sandokai)' in English (please download our Chant Book at the link below), some full floor prostrations (please follow along with me ... or a simple Gassho can be substituted if you wish), a little talk by me ... and we close with the 'Metta Chant', followed at the end with the 'Verse of Atonement' and 'The Four Vows'. Oh, and lots and lots of Zazen and walkin' Kinhin in between!

    Please download and print out the Chants we will recite at the following link (PDF):

    Chant Book (PDF)

    or

    Chant Book (SHORT VERSION HTML)

    I STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT YOU POSITION YOUR ZAFU ON THE FLOOR IN A PLACE WHERE YOU ARE NOT STARING DIRECTLY AT THE COMPUTER SCREEN, BUT CAN GLANCE OVER AND SEE THE SCREEN WHEN NECESSARY. YOUR ZAFU SHOULD ALSO BE IN A POSITION WHERE YOU CAN SEE THE COMPUTER SCREEN WHILE STANDING IN FRONT OF THE ZAFU FOR THE CEREMONIES, AND HAVE ROOM FOR BOWING AND KINHIN.

    ALSO, REMEMBER TO SET YOUR COMPUTER (& SCREEN SAVER) SO THAT IT DOES NOT SHUT OFF DURING THE 4 HOURS.


    I hope you will join us ... an open Zafu is waiting. When we drop all thought of 'here' 'there' 'now' 'then' ... we are sitting all together!
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Sept 6th/7th, 2013 - OUR MONTHLY 4-hour ZAZENKAI! - ANGO BEGINS! started by Jundo View original post
    Comments 62 Comments
    1. Jundo's Avatar
      Jundo -
      Please read the following in preparation for our Zazenkai ... These Passages will be the center of today's talk ...

      Ango Then and Now ...

      What is Ango in our day and time, for householders in the modern West? Is it Ango as the Buddha, Dogen and all the Ancestors Practiced?

      The meaning of the Japanese word Ango [安居] (Skt : varsha or varshika; Pali: vassa ) is “tranquil dwelling”. The origin is the “rainy-season retreat” , the period when Buddhist monks in India stopped their travels and outdoor activities for the duration of the rainy season and gathered at some sheltered location to devote themselves to Practice, study and discipline. One practical reason was because the heavy rainfall made traveling and outdoor activities impractical. But it was also a time when the individual monks in Buddha’s time, spending most of the year scattered here and there in small groups or individually, could gather and unite as a community and Practice together. During the rainy season in India, monks traditionally dwelt in a cave or a monastery for three months—from the sixteenth day of the fourth month to the fifteenth day of the seventh month. During this period the monks learned the Buddha's teachings, engaged in meditation and other practices, and repented their harmful behavior and weaknesses. The tradition is said to have begun during the time of Shakyamuni, was brought to China, and in Japan the three-month retreat was first observed in 683. Now it comes to us.

      In the time of Master Dogen, Ango was a period of intense Practice mostly (but not exclusively) for monks living in a monastery. In his early years, Dogen’s Teachings emphasized that Zazen and Enlightenment are open to all, monks or householders, male or female, everyone. Later in life however, Dogen found himself chased out of the cosmopolitan capital city by other religious groups, turning to live in a remote and isolated monastery in the snowy mountains of Japan. Although in other writings to his lay students, Dogen continued to emphasize how this Way is open to all, his writings like Shobogenzo were meant to be talks heard primarily by his monks, meant to encourage monks in their monastic life and “keep up morale”, and thus, quite naturally, centered on the importance of Practice in a monastic setting.

      But does that mean that Ango is not for householders as well? How has the Practice of Ango evolved as Zen has come to the West, to modern times, and again become open to all, monks or householders, male or female, everyone without distinction?

      We will look at a few passages from Master Dogen’s “Shobogenzo-Ango”, written in his jazzy wild way:

      http://www.bdkamerica.org/digital/dB...enzo4_2008.pdf

      ----------

      To meet a summer retreat is to meet the buddhas and the patriarchs. To meet a summer retreat is to realize buddha and to realize the state of a patriarch. .... In this “Ninety days makes a summer,” though the measurement of time is a cerebral measurement, it is beyond only one kalpa or ten kalpas, and beyond only a hundred thousand countless kalpas. ... [The summer retreat] has not come here from another place and another time, and it does not originate from just this place and just this time. When we grasp their origins the ninety days come at once. When we grope for their basis the ninety days come at once. The common and the sacred have seen these [ninety days] as their caves and as their very lives, but [the ninety days] have far transcended the states of the common and the sacred.

      ** a "kalpa" is a vast eon of time measuring billions of years.


      The World-honored One addresses Bodhisattva Round Realization, the great assemblies of monks, and all living beings:

      If you practice the retreat for three months from the beginning of summer, you will abide in the pure state of a bodhisattva, your mind will leave the state of a śrāvaka, and you will be beyond dependence on others. When the day of the retreat arrives, say before the Buddha the following words: “In order that I, bhikṣu/bhikṣuṇī/upāsaka/upāsikā So-and-So, who rides upon the bodhisattva vehicle may perform tranquil practice; that I may harmoniously enter, dwell in, and maintain the pure real form; that I may make the great round realization into my temple; that body and mind may practice the retreat; and that the wisdom whose nature is balance and the peaceful natural state of self may be without hindrances; I now respectfully ask, without relying on the state of a śrāvaka, to practice the three-month retreat together with the Tathāgatas of the ten directions and the great bodhisattvas. By virtue of enacting the great causes of the supreme and fine truth of the bodhisattva, I will not be involved with others.” Good sons! This is called a bodhisattva’s manifestation of the retreat.

      ** a "śrāvaka" might be called a self-absorbed "armchair Buddhist"

      ** upāsaka/upāsikā = laymen and laywomen

      ...

      The World-honored One practices a ninety-day retreat at one place. On the day of indulgence, Ma˝juśrī suddenly appears in the order. Mahākāśyapa asks Ma˝juśrī, “This summer where have you practiced the retreat?” Ma˝juśrī says, “This summer I have practiced the retreat at three places.” At this, Mahākāśyapa assembles the monks. He is about to expel Ma˝juśrī by striking the block, but just as he lifts the clapper he sees countless buddha lands appear. At the place of every buddha there is a Ma˝juśrī, and there is a Mahākāśyapa lifting the clapper to expel Ma˝juśrī. The World-honored One thereupon addresses Mahākāśyapa, “Which Ma˝juśrī are you now going to expel?” Then Mahākāśyapa is dumbfounded.

      ...

      Zen Master Engo, in a eulogy to [these ancient ancestors], says:

      A big elephant does not play on a rabbit’s path.
      What do swallows and sparrows know of swans and storks?
      Obeying the rules is just like creating a style.
      Breaking the standard is just like biting a [flying] arrow.
      The whole world is Ma˝juśrī.
      The whole world is Mahākāśyapa.
      Facing one another, each is in the solemn state.
      What is there to punish by lifting the clapper?
      It is a nice instance of needlework.
      The golden dhūtas [who engage in hard ascetic practice] have gotten rid of [all] obstacles.

      [Dogen says] So the World-honored One practices the retreat at one place and Ma˝juśrī practices the retreat at three places, but neither ever fails to practice the retreat.



      A GOOD ANGO TO ALL!!!!
    1. Shingen's Avatar
      Shingen -
      Wonderful, wonderful ... I am very excited. I will be at the Zazenkai and the start of Ango live.

      Gassho
      Shingen
    1. MyoHo's Avatar
      MyoHo -
      A festive mood is growing in our sangha and that is so very precious and so very beautiful. We/us not two. All those people all over the world, from so very different cultures and beliefs, from all walks of life, of moods and characters, drop everything and sit. Even if some of us don't yet wear a visible Okesa or Rakusu, we already do, we really do, because we are the Okesa.

      If only the rest of the world could experience what we do here even for a short while. So small an event yet so infinitely big! I dream that Putin and Obama and all other big world leaders could be persuaded to join us. Partnering Putin with Obama to sit and do the exercises, would have such a profound effect on the world we live in and even the future of this world. Just imagine that! Every one of us is in fact a world leader of its own and thinking of that, this dream may not be so ridiculous. In that way the period we are embarking in is set to change the world already and for sure. Your world, my world ( not two).

      Have a good Ango everyone!

      Many deep bows

      Enkyo
    1. Kyonin's Avatar
      Kyonin -
      As the years go by, Ango has become my favorite part of the year.

      It's a period to practice, think, learn and to sit.

      I will be sitting live. Count me in!

      Good luck to all.

      Gassho,

      Kyonin
    1. Clark's Avatar
      Clark -
      Participating but cannot live.
      Glad to be Ango bound.
      Gassho
      C
    1. Juki's Avatar
      Juki -
      I will be sitting live, as well. Although, if the group is large and I cannot get in on G+, I will be sitting live/unlive on the live stream. Looking forward to this in an unattached way.

      Gassho,
      William
    1. Marcelo de Valnisio's Avatar
      Marcelo de Valnisio -
      I will be joining you all on monday morning.

      Gassho.
    1. Myozan Kodo's Avatar
      Myozan Kodo -
      I'll be there, but early tomorrow GMT. Let the Ango begin!
      Gassho
      Myozan
    1. Shohei's Avatar
      Shohei -
      I will do my best to get on tonight!

      Gassho
      Shohei
    1. Myosha's Avatar
      Myosha -
      Live YT, not-live G+.


      Gassho,
      Edward
    1. Genshin's Avatar
      Genshin -
      I will be there first thing Saturday morning (GMT).

      Looking forward to sitting and learning with you all.

      Gassho
      Matt
    1. YuimaSLC's Avatar
      YuimaSLC -
      Best wishes to everyone on this eve of Ango.

      A question: If I am not able to enter in the "live" zazenkai (5pm MDT, 7pm EDT) is it possible to begin the recorded sitting an hour or so later while the "live" is still active?

      Gassho

      Richard
    1. Jundo's Avatar
      Jundo -
      Hi Richard,

      I do not think the system allows so. Thus, just drop in from the middle, then catch the start at the end! Sounds very Zen.

      Gassho, J
    1. Dosho's Avatar
      Dosho -
      Hi all,

      I'll be there with bells on.

      Gassho,
      Dosho
    1. Risho's Avatar
      Risho -
      I love Ango, as many of us do! I will make this one up; we will be spending the weekend in Orlando. I will be sitting and doing the other Ango practices, just not the zazenkai.

      Gassho,

      Risho
    1. odiedoodie's Avatar
      odiedoodie -
      I will be "there".

      Gassho

      Jon
    1. zdlee's Avatar
      zdlee -
      I will be unable to sit until Sunday, but I look forward to it.

      Gassho,

      Zac
    1. rculver's Avatar
      rculver -
      I will be starting the Ango festivities on Sunday as well. Have a Good Sit!


      Shugen
    1. Yugen's Avatar
      Yugen -
      Hi all,
      I regret that I will not be joining you live tonight. I am at my parents' house (there is no internet - I'm at the town library) helping my Mother out following a surgical procedure. Everything is fine, my folks are in their mid-80s and need my presence right now. I will be sitting quietly tonight.

      Here's to Ango and my gratitude to you all.
      Deep bows
      Yugen
    1. Juki's Avatar
      Juki -
      Best wishes and metta to your family, Yugen.

      Gassho,
      William
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