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Thread: Spotlight #5 - Sit Leaders - Celebrating Treeleaf's 15th

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    Spotlight #5 - Sit Leaders - Celebrating Treeleaf's 15th

    Did you know almost everyday of the week there are opportunities to sit with members?

    If you havenít checked out the calendar, take a look here

    We have members from all over the world, who volunteer their time to lead scheduled sits so members can come together throughout the week and do what we do best, sit.

    Deep Bows to our sit-leaders.

    Sit leaders: Onkai, Washin, Sekishi, Seikan, Shujin and Kyousui.

    Sunday Zazenkai with Shugen and Washin, also thanks to Onkai who leaders when they are away.

    If you sit often at the same time, consider becoming a sit leader!

    We reached out to the Sit Leaders of Treeleaf, as we wished to highlight and acknowledge all the great volunteer work they do, including their dedication and practice. Here are their gracious responses. Nine Deep Bows to all of our Sit Leaders!

    1. What do you get from leading the sits, how do you benefit from it?

    (Sekishi) It is good to support people with their practice! And as is often the case, supporting others also means supporting ourselves. For example: last night I was super tired after a gardening and yardwork. It would have been so easy to skip sitting... But our 9:30 eastern group sits TOGETHER. So I sat. Positive peer pressure!

    (Kyousui) A sense of sangha, consistancy of practice, opportunity for responsibility

    (Onkai) It gives me regular time to practice and allows me to practice with others, reinforcing my sense of community.

    (Washin) Hosting the sits helps me stay more connected with the Sangha, encourages and enriches my practice as well as, I believe, the practice of others in our community.

    (Seikan) I feel that leading our evening zazen sessions is a way to support our sangha and show my gratitude for all that Treeleaf has done for me in the past year. Additionally, I find that when I am leading practice, it brings a different level of energy to my own zazen due to the added layer of responsibility. In particular, I find that chanting the robe verse for the whole group at the beginning of each session is a wonderful way to set the tone and transition into a period of formal sitting.

    Do you have people join your sits often?

    (Sekishi) I would say we range from 5 to 10 most nights.

    (Kyousui) Right now the numbers are between 6 and 8

    (Onkai) I almost always have at least two people join me, often more than four. The people joining me changes over time.

    (Washin) I lead the sitting 5 days a week and each time there are 5-7 regulars who join in.

    (Seikan) Yes. We generally average around 6-8 people at a time on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.

    How did you decide to host a sit?

    (Sekishi) There has been a weeknight sitting for as long as I can remember at Treeleaf. For a while it was Dosho. Then Shingen. I sometimes filled in for both of them. Making sure it continued was a no-brainer. Since then Doyu and Seikan have both hosted in this timeslot too.

    (Kyousui) Had a need for an evening practice time on Saturday

    (Onkai) I joined Kyousui's sit one time, and I enjoyed sitting with others so much I wanted to do it every weekday.

    (Washin) This corresponds with the one since once I felt having daily live contact with the Sangha would benefit all around.

    (Seikan) Doyu Shonin had been leading the Tuesday and Wednesday sits for some time, and she reached out and asked if I would be willing to take over her practice periods once I completed Jukai this past January. As mentioned above, I saw this as a wonderful opportunity to donate my time in service to the sangha, so I immediately accepted her offer (with Jundo's blessing, of course... )

    Do you have a particular structure or routine you follow in your sits? What do you like to do?

    (Sekishi) Rob verse (EN, JP, EN again). Three bells. 30 minute sit. One bell. Bows and smiles.

    (Kyousui) Start with the Robe Verse and then go right into Zazen for the rest of the 30 minutes.

    (Onkai) I start with the verse of the robe, announce zazen, ring a bell to start and end the session, bow to everyone as they bow to me, thank everyone for joining me, and then we wave to each other and smile as we leave the meeting.

    (Washin) The routine and structure is pretty simple- bowing in, 3 bells, 30 minutes of zazen, ending bell, saying thanks and a few words of appreciation and encouragement, bowing out. I'm thinking of adding some chants once in a while too.

    (Seikan) We keep it simple and start by chanting the robe verse three times (English-Japanese-English) and then just sit for 30 minutes (ringing the bell at the beginning and end of each period). I've also coordinated with Sekishi, who leads three other evening sits at the same time, so that we can provide a fairly consistent experience for the folks that prefer to sit at that time of day.

    Anything else you'd like to share about your sits?

    (Kyousui) I can usually make it but other sangha members pick up the slack if I can't.

    (Onkai) I'm just glad to be practicing in community. Thank you for checking in on our practice experience.

    (Seikan) Just that I am honored to be able to serve the sangha by providing a structured practice period a couple of days per week that all are welcome to join. It is wonderful to have so many "regulars" that join us most nights, and it is equally special when new folks join us for a sit or two.

    If you sit often at the same time, consider becoming a sit leader!

    written by Meian

    PS - Remember to check out our Doctor's Without Borders Fundraiser

    香道 笑花
    Kodo Shoka

    Please don't take anything I say as anything more than just a normal person's thoughts on the topic. I'm just stumbling through life trying to be helpful, but really don't know much.

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    Well done, all! Thank you for your service.

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    Thank you for your service to the Sangha

    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

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    Thank you all for faciliating various sittings.


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    "Sit Leaders you're just AWESOME!"

    Thanks for your dedication and friendship, keeping the Treeleaf heart alive and kicking...

    Deep bows, affection and respect to you all.


    Yokai sat/lah

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    I was able to sit one 2 hrs session. Finding support from Priests in Training very helpful. Celebrate the Best, one of the Best Sangha. As is a good ďhome ď group for me.
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    ...Thought and action/ your life would never experience, (even before you were born), But he also being the Devine Cannot, He etched every moment of your existence, With His own hand... Haifiz

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