From the 9th to the 14 of august, many of us will just sit and practice in Washington.
This retreat is designed with priests in training in mind as well as to provide our lay community with some intensive yet not too strict group practice. Don't expect sticks or shouts or anything drastic but a rather calm, paced and deep experience in our gentle Soto way. The retreat will end with Tokudo for three guys, Dokan, Daido and Taikyo, with a meeting with Jundo and a celebration. Sewing will be a big part of the journey so bring along material needles and thread to join or start a sewing project ( as I am doing these days with 10 hours of sewing every day ...well not as many hours during the retreat...). The whole of the retreat will be in silence apart from sharing and instruction on rituals and ceremonies, teisho and mondo ( questions and answers), dokusan ( private meeting with the teacher, only if you wish) and free time ( always available at the end of the day for a bit of socializing). We will basically refrain from talking our daily nonsense. Food will be cooked by our talented chefs 90) and it will be vegetarian. I will ask people to make as little use as possible of mobile phones and computers. No alcohol during the retreat. We ll have a smoking corner if needed.
I suggest you bring:
A zafu ( as none will be provided).
Three bowls with a napkin or an oryoki set
Your robes, rakusu or kesa ( please take them with you in the plane cabin)
Everything else needed
and your joy, a big smile and great enthusiasm
Please read before the retreat the following chapters of Shobogenzo :
Valley sounds, Mountain colors, Keisei Sanshiki
Mountains and Waters sutra, Sansuigyo
Awesome presence of Active Buddhas, Gyobutsu yuigi
Undivided activity, Zenki
The Teisho will explore aspects of these chapters.
The whole retreat will be available online but not dokusan of course.
If you haven't registered, if you are willing to come even for a couple of days, please get in touch with Yugen.
take great care of yourself