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Thread: Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

  1. #1
    Senior Member Shujin's Avatar
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    Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

    Hey y'all, Ron & I returned from the May Genzo-e retreat at Sanshinji on Monday, so I wanted to share some of my impressions. He had the foresight to take some photos while we were there, so pester him to share them. Also, for Ron, please correct me as needed. :twisted: Thank you to those who posted encouragement before I left; I didn't check the forum at all on Tuesday, as I am a consummate procrastinator when it comes to packing.

    The drive from my house to Sanshinji was surprisingly pleasant. I don't expect any interstate highway to be scenic, but I40 through the Smokey Mountains and parts of I75 were quite beautiful. I met Ron in Kentucky, and we drove the last two and half hours together. We know each other rather well, but it was great to be able to meet & converse in person.

    We thought we were going to arrive early, but due to my not paying attention we wound up arriving with only about ten minutes to spare. I volunteered for doan duty, and attended a brief training session which left me feeling quite in over my head. :shock:

    The schedule was, from my point of view, demanding but not impossibly so. Ron & I slept in the zendo, which was a cool feature of Sanshinji. You can pay for a room in their dormitory, of course, but sleeping in the zendo is free. We woke up about 0440 each day, to be on our cushions by 0505. There were a decent number of breaks, and two ninety minute lectures each day. Having said that, I was not at all used to the fifty-minute sitting periods. They got better as the days progressed, however, and by the end of the retreat I found myself sometimes enjoying them.

    The focus of the Genzo-e retreat, as you may have read on the previous thread is study of the Shobogenzo. This session's topic was Raihai Tokuzui, translated as Getting the Marrow By Doing Obeisance. Okamura-sensei is an outstanding lecturer, to say the least. Using Stanley Weinstein's English translation as the base, he delved into the chapter using the original Japanese characters and the breadth of Buddhist lore.

    I could describe in detail what an extraordinary person Okamura-sensei is. It will suffice to say that one rarely finds such a combinations of kindness, intelligence, humility, and dedication in a person.

    There were about twenty people attending the retreat. Some were locals in Bloomington, but quite a few were from out of state or even out of country. There were a couple of folks from Minnesota, a group from Miami, and someone from Scotland.They were all quite dedicated, and unfailingly kind to me & Ron.

    We had the happy coincidence of meeting a priest who sat with Jundo in Florida over a decade ago. She was an exceptional woman, and I was glad to have met her.

    I'm sure there's more I could write, but I have to stop somewhere. There's another Genzo-e coming up in November, and I would recommend it to anyone looking to understand Dogen. The atmosphere at Sanshinji is so motivating that I would also recommend it anyone else. Although/but/however (Okamura-sensei says these are Dogen's favorite words), I am happy to be back with my sangha. Y'all sustain my daily practice, and for that I am grateful beyond words.

    Thanks for reading; this may be my longest forum post to date.

    Gassho,
    Shujin

  2. #2

    Re: Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

    Thank you, Shujin and Ron, and for being good ambassadors from our little Sangha.

    Taigu and I strongly encourage folks ... if you can find the time ... to go for retreats for a weekend, but better a few days or full Sesshin (even a full week or two if you can) at places, and "traditional" (i.e., very Japanese style) retreats and Sesshin are good experiences. There are several good places to experience that in North America and Europe.

    Now, someone might ask too, "if each moment is all time and space, what is the purpose of an intensive Sesshin?" Well, I often say that, sometimes, we need to practice a bit long and hard, morning to night ... sitting and wrestling with 'me, my self and I' ... all to achieve nothing to attain! Going to Retreats, Sesshin and such is a powerful facet of this Practice and not to be missed.

    Of course, we have our Annual "All Online" two-day Retreat too (each December, via live netcast) at Treeleaf Sangha ... traditional (yet "fully online") ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/sit-a-long/w...reeleafat.html

    ... but this is a case where it is actually good to go to a retreat center and practice with folks for a time (if at all possible ... which it ain't for everybody).

    If you write to me with your location and availability, I will try to find you a place.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-09-2012 at 02:38 AM.

  3. #3
    Friends of Treeleaf Dokan's Avatar
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    Re: Re: Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

    Quote Originally Posted by Shujin
    There's another Genzo-e coming up in November, and I would recommend it to anyone looking to understand Dogen. The atmosphere at Sanshinji is so motivating that I would also recommend it anyone else.
    Sounds amazing! Will have to pencil that in the calendar! Thanks for sharing!

    Gassho

    Dokan

  4. #4
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat




    Shugen

  5. #5
    Senior Member Koshin's Avatar
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    Re: Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

    Great Thanks for sharing

    Gassho

  6. #6
    Friend of Treeleaf Daido's Avatar
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    Re: Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

    Way to represent fellas. Thanks for sharing your experience

    Daido

  7. #7
    Senior Member Shawn's Avatar
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    Re: Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

    Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Gassho

    Shawn

  8. #8
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

    Shoaku Okamura is presumably one of the most outstanding teachers in America. Not just a great lecturer, he is also an amazing humble sitter with a depth of understanding hard to match. He is a living Dharma heir of Sawaki Kodo's lineage.

    Yes, if given the opportunity please go for a retreat "live", at least once a year. It is important to study with other teachers too, to meet other students. It used to be so in the past and should still be so nowadays.

    Thank you for the story and pictures.

    gassho


    Taigu

  9. #9

    Re: Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

    Hello,

    thank you soooo much for those wonderful photographs and stories. I'm sure you were great Treeleaf representatives!


    Deep bows and gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen

  10. #10

    Re: Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

    Thank you for sharing your experiences!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

    Awesome stories and pics! Sounds like you guys had an amazing time! Thank you for being great ambassadors for Treeleaf

    Gassho,
    Hoyu

  12. #12

    Re: Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

    Gassho Shugen, Shujin,
    thank your for sharing, and even more thanks for going there,
    Myoku

  13. #13
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    Re: Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

    Here is the link for Sanshinji http://www.sanshinji.org/. The "community retreat" doesn't seem to be as "hardcore" if you are concerned about the length of the sitting.

    It was a great experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone!

    Ron

  14. #14

    Re: Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

    Awesome that you both were able to attend, meet up and share your experience!
    Thank you!

    Gassho
    Shohei

  15. #15
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

    Awesome, aewsome, awesome...thanks so much guys, especially for the pics!

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  16. #16
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

    Quote Originally Posted by rculver
    Here is the link for Sanshinji http://www.sanshinji.org/. The "community retreat" doesn't seem to be as "hardcore" if you are concerned about the length of the sitting.

    It was a great experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone!

    Ron
    Thanks for the link Shugen but.....
    I tried checking it out using my work's Internet. I was blocked from accessing it. This is the message that I got.
    URL: http://www.sanshinji.org/
    Category: Adult/Sexually Explicit
    Ticket ID: {4FAC0091-3-AC1CC9B9-1FFFF}
    Wow :shock: ! Now I know why you guys had such a great time :lol:

    Gassho,
    Hoyu

  17. #17
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    Re: Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoyu
    Quote Originally Posted by rculver
    Here is the link for Sanshinji http://www.sanshinji.org/. The "community retreat" doesn't seem to be as "hardcore" if you are concerned about the length of the sitting.

    It was a great experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone!

    Ron
    Thanks for the link Shugen but.....
    I tried checking it out using my work's Internet. I was blocked from accessing it. This is the message that I got.
    URL: http://www.sanshinji.org/
    Category: Adult/Sexually Explicit
    Ticket ID: {4FAC0091-3-AC1CC9B9-1FFFF}
    Wow :shock: ! Now I know why you guys had such a great time :lol:

    Gassho,
    Hoyu
    Well Crap!!! Our secret is out! :lol:

    Ron

    (You might wanna try checking the link from your home computer :wink: )

  18. #18

    Re: Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

    Ah, so great! I will definitely get down there, sounds like an amazing place. Thanks again for sharing.

    P.S. Did anyone ask you about Treeleaf? I'm always curious the reactions to an online-based sangha.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Shujin's Avatar
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    Re: Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

    Hoyu - :shock:

    Kaishin - People definitely asked about Treeleaf. I'm not really sure some understood our practice, though I hope they will check out the site & see what we do here. Part of the confusion, I think, is generational. I don't know what the demographics of the entire Sanshinji sangha are, but at 32 I seemed to be the youngest person attending the retreat. Although we have all sorts of folks in Treeleaf, we seem to be a young sangha. Which I happen to like.

    While the Google+ sits seemed to throw some folks for a loop, Sanshinji is looking to start releasing podcasts and videos on their website. There were also a couple of people who expressed in an interest in sitting online. So, one never knows.

    gassho,
    Shujin

  20. #20
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

    Shugen wrote:
    Well Crap!!! Our secret is out!
    :lol:

  21. #21
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    Re: Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

    Can anyone identify the buddha statue on the alter? I can't seem to find any references to it.

    Thank You,

    Ron

  22. #22

    Re: Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

    Quote Originally Posted by rculver
    Can anyone identify the buddha statue on the alter? I can't seem to find any references to it.

    Thank You,

    Ron
    Hi,

    That is Manjushri on his Lion, the traditional statue in the monk's Zazen Hall (the Sodo) in Japan.



    Having the Wise Manjushri leading the congregation of monks in Zazen really needs no explaining. Here is a talk on Manjushri and his Lion from our Bodhisattva sit-a-long series ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/sit-a-long/with ... ushri.html

    At the Zendo at Treeleaf, we have an old, pock marked, ugly, scarred Buddha ... probably Amida Buddha if one looks closely. A Buddha is a Buddha in my book, and an empty space, a stone, a flower will do too.

    Manjushri also figures prominently in the first Koan of the Book of Equanimity, to be posted today.

    Gassho, J

  23. #23
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

    Thank you!

    Ron


    Shugen

  24. #24

    Re: Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

    Thanks for sharing - really interesting.

    Willow

  25. #25

    Re: Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

    Great post guys! I really enjoyed it.

  26. #26
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

    Chris and ron;

    What an awesome experience and to hear Okamura-sensei on person. Great pics, thanks for representing Treeleaf and sharing .

  27. #27
    Senior Member Marek's Avatar
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    Re: Sanshinji Genzo-e Retreat

    Thank you Gentlemen for stories and pics. It looks great! :wink:

    _/_

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