UPDATE: IN CONSIDERATION OF THE ECOLOGY AND MANY FACTORS, THE ORIGINAL CAR TRIP PLAN BECAME A LARGELY RAIL TRIP ... A DHARMA WHISTLE STOP & SIT!
July and August of this year (2014) will be very eventful for our community! Of course, August 9th through 14th, Taigu will be guiding a SESSHIN in WASHINGTON D.C.. That Retreat will be attended by many in our Sangha, and is a nearly week long residential retreat that is not to be missed if at all possible. DETAILS HERE. Please do all you can to attend this special event and opportunity.
And for those of our members in primarily the Eastern United States, if you cannot come to the Washington Retreat due to economic, health, work or family need, we will do our best to bring a little Retreat to you! I am pleased to announce our first "DHARMA TRACKS Across AMERICA 2014". From mid-July to late August, Jundo (and his 11 year old son) will be following the Amtrak far and wide from Maine to New York to Washington D.C. to the Deep South then Chicago and points between ... getting to know and bringing a little Retreat to our members unable to be in Washington. (Here are the general Amtrak route maps to give an idea of where we might head. Maybe rent a car here and there, or ask a ride, for places in between.)
(sorry that it unlikely that I will get too much west of the Mississippi River ... maybe a bit ... this time, but I will do my best to hold a similar "Dharma Tracks Across Europe" in 2015 and another "Dharma Tracks" for the Western U.S. and parts of Canada in 2016)
This time, the voyage (though the Buddha Road is truly beginningless and endless!) will begin in Maine on July 16th, 2014 and end in Chicago on August 26th, with a visit to the Sesshin with Taigu in Washington D.C. on the day of August 14th. Other than that, the schedule and itinerary are pretty wide open!
Anyone in driving distance of the Amtrak stations able and willing to room and board my son and I for a day or maybe two? No donations are asked, although my son and I would welcome if you could provide a simple bed and plate of food for us if we come, if not a hardship. I would like to visit with as many of our community members as possible. We would also like to hold small Zazenkai (just like the ones we netcast here at Treeleaf each week) with all the people we meet ... right in your living room! (or any place in your town you set up for us. I would be happy to help lead a Zazenkai if you wish to help arrange a larger public event in your area or with a local Zen group). WE WILL TRY TO NETCAST AS MANY OF THESE SITTINGS AS POSSIBLE. Then, after a day or so being with you ... my son and I will get back on the road!
The Buddha walked barefoot hundreds of miles across northern India. In the old days, Zen folks wandered from temple to temple looking pretty much like this ...
My boy and I will pretty much look like a t-shirt clad father and son with a couple of backpacks, National Lampoon's Zen Vacation.
(One other reason I am making this trip with my son is that Leon does not know America very much, so this is a chance to show him some of that part of his culture at the same time. I am hoping to show him some American history, life and nature along the way ... especially as he is going to have to be stuck tagging along with his dad for 6 weeks! I am hoping that, on the way to visit our Treeleaf members, I can show him some of that. )
To repeat: We wish to visit folks who cannot possibly attend the Sesshin in Washington in mid-August due to economic, health or family restrictions (or maybe people who will be attending the Washington Sesshin but wish to host an extra visit-&-sit by me before or after Washington). IF YOU THINK YOU CAN LIKELY COMMIT TO HOSTING the "JUNDO & SON TRAVELLING ZEN CIRCUS" for a day or two, please write Jundo privately (at firstname.lastname@example.org) or post in this thread your willingness, exact location and ANY & ALL POSSIBLE DATES BETWEEN MID JULY TO LATE AUGUST when you would be available. PLEASE POST A WHOLE BUNCH OR RANGE OF POSSIBLE DATES! I will take all the information, and then play CONNECT THE DOTS ON THE MAP to try to schedule and visit as many folks as I can.
This is also another great experiment for this "Sangha beyond here or there" of people who due to health concerns, living in remote areas, or work, childcare and family needs, cannot attend a Sitting easily, as we see if the Sangha & Sittings can come to them!
My son and I would very much like to meet so many of you, share some time and sit Zazen together! PLEASE WRITE AND LET US KNOW!
"WHISTLE STOP & SIT" Gassho, Jundo
PS - If you wonder how I can get away from work for such a period, well, my work as a translator of Japanese is pretty portable. And my patient wife and her mom will be tending to our 3-year old back home.