+ Add a minimum of 5 minutes per sitting to however long one's current sitting time, and commit to sit that time - at least daily - without missing a single day. As well, for those who can and whose schedule will realistically allow ... consider adding an additional full sitting period per day to however many times per day one is now sitting Zazen.
Whatever your commitment, be realistic about what you can maintain ... and then (absent sheer impossibility) stick with it
, without missing a single day
+ Join in each and every 90 minute Saturday Treeleaf Zazenkai, and 4-hour monthly Treeleaf Zazenkai netcast without fail. However, as always, each will be available in recorded form (so may be joined at a time to fit your schedule).
+ Add, if you can, Metta Verse Practice ( viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1199 ) and Nurturing Seeds Practice ( viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1730 ) to your routine each day.
+ Listen, as possible, to each 'Sit-a-Long' Talk (to be presented by Jundo and Taigu) during the practice period, also all available in recorded form to meet your schedule. A special series of talks will be presented during the Ango and Jukai period.
Join in our weekly Practice Partner Exercises
, a series of short assignments to be led by our novice-priests at Treeleaf, and to be undertaken in pairs with another Ango participant (details later).
Join frequently in online discussions in our Jukai/Ango Forum
of the content and Ango experiences, sharing the ups and downs and middles.
+ If technically possible, commit to meet with Jundo or Taigu by Skype video at least once per month during the Ango.
+ If simultaneously studying for Jukai, complete and participate in each of the readings and discussions each week regarding the individual Precepts, as well as complete Rakusu sewing.
Make formal study on the meaning and philosophy of Samu
(work practice, the central theme of Dogen's "Instructions for the Cook"), and apply such perspectives and attitudes in your family and work duties each day
+ Commit to give up one or two items or passions one truly loves during the Practice period, for example, sweets after meals, luxurious meals, cigarettes, television, consumer purchases of luxury items.
+ Commit to mindful eating, and silently or orally recite one short meal chant before all meals (here is one I suggest).
(Hands in Gassho) This food comes from the efforts
of all sentient beings past and present,
and is medicine for nourishment of our Practice.
We offer this meal of many virtues and tastes
to the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha,
and to all life in every realm of existence.
May all sentient beings in the universe
be sufficiently nourished.
+ Commit a portion of your weekly income during the period to extra charitable donations (assuming you have the financial ability). We do not accept any "Dana" financial contributions for Treeleaf, as we now have sufficient resources for what we are doing. However, we do encourage people to make financial donations to charities that help folks, e.g., feeding the poor, finding a cure for a disease. Both donations and Samu work should be a bit beyond the point where it starts to hurt.
If you have the time, consider extra volunteer activities in your community as well.
Commit to sit our SPECIAL NETCAST ROHATSU RETREAT
(to be held online, currently scheduled for netcast the weekend of December 3rd & 4th and/or Taigu's Kannon Retreat in Europe in late December) at the culmination of the Ango. Again, it would be good to participate "live", but the Rohatsu Netcast will be available in recorded form to fit schedules. The retreat will likely be similar to last year's schedule and content:
http://www.treeleaf.org/sit-a-long/with ... 10---.html