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Thread: ATTENTION! Our 2022 "AT HOME" 2-DAY ROHATSU RETREAT - PREPARATORY LESSONS

  1. #1

    ATTENTION! Our 2022 "AT HOME" 2-DAY ROHATSU RETREAT - PREPARATORY LESSONS


     

    Dear All,

    Our ...


    Treeleaf Annual
    'ALWAYS AT HOME' Two Day 'ALL ONLINE' ROHATSU

    (Buddha's Enlightenment Day)
    RETREAT



    ... is to be LIVE NETCAST on the weekend of Saturday & Sunday, December 3 and 4th, 2022. However, the retreat is designed to be sat in any time zone around the world through a combination of 'live-live' and 'live though recorded' segments, and one may still join the Retreat and sit-a-long at ANY AND ALL TIMES after, (no different from the original!). Please have a look at the schedule on the "official" page (although the page will remain locked until near the Retreat start time) ...




    We hope that all of our Ango-ers and others will find a way to sit with us. Through a combination of live and "any time" recorded segments, the retreat is designed to be sat any where, in any time zone, even days or weeks later, when you can arrange your schedule. The method is that you can do some of the portions "live" in your time zone, others in recorded form, and thus it fits everyone's time zone even if slightly out of order (no need to stay up all night to stay on "Japan Time"). In other words, sometimes we do some sections in Japan or other countries while you are asleep, but then you can do them later (while we are asleep), and some sections we are all awake to do "live" ... and it all gets done in the end. Everyone has to do their own math to figure out which portions they can do live, which they will do as a recording (and in what order).

    The two days will include Zazen sitting, Kinhin, Chanting, Zazen sitting, Oryoki, Zazen sitting, Bowing, Talks, Zazen Sitting, 'Samu' Work Practice, and More Zazen Sitting, as in any Soto Zen Retreat, all in celebration of the Buddha's days of Zazen and Enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree. We also mark the Endless-End of our 90 Day Ango with this Retreat.

    If you are concerned about the length of sitting, please take to heart that such retreats ... of 2 or 3 days, a week or two weeks ... are basic and highly recommended in the Zen world, undertaken by just about every Zen Sangha I know. It is a practice not to be missed if at all possible for you.

    Information on the meaning of Rohatsu Retreat, and easy to follow instructions on arranging a quiet space in your home for sitting, are found at the following link. Also included are instructions on combining the Retreat with parenting and other responsibilities one may have. For further information on these and other topics, I ask all who are participating to DOWNLOAD AND REVIEW THIS GUIDE TO SITTING OUR ONLINE RETREAT LINK HERE (PDF)

    The accompanying CHANT BOOK IS HERE (PDF)

    * * *

    RETREAT PREPARATION LESSON I -

    Below in this thread, we will provide various short lessons and tips to help you participate. Please review them between now and the days of the Retreat.

    First, the following video will explain a bit about how to make and dance with [SIZE=3a simple, home Oryoki kit[/SIZE]. All you need is:

    • 1 - Clean Pillow Case
    • 2 - Bowls and 1 Tea Cup (that fit into each other)
    • 1 - Cloth Napkin
    • 1 - Small Wiping Cloth
    • 1 - Table Spoon
    • 1 - Tea Spoon or Chop Sticks
    • 1 - Small Cut Piece of a New Sponge
    • 1 - Letter Envelope
    • 1 - A small dish on the side for the "Hungry Ghosts"





    One important note on Oryoki meals ...

    Please note that it is not meant to be a leisurely, slow lunch, savoring every bite while chewing 100 times ...

    Rather, Zen monks actually treat food as medicine to support the body in practice, and do not think "good or bad" (although the food should be healthy and nutritious) or savor the meal. You might be surprised how fast they go, getting it down bite by bite, but without lingering.

    Thus, do not rush and choke, but neither linger. Be sure to serve yourself a small portion, so that one is able to open one's bowls, eat and finish, then wrap the bowls with everyone within the given time. Small portions are thus suggested, even with the traditional offer of "seconds" midway. No food should remain at the end, when it is time to clean and rewrap. Take enough to sustain you, not fill you.

    If there is need for health reasons, it is fine to take additional healthy food or snacks during break times informally (no ritual required than perhaps a grateful Gassho), to sustain you.

    I remember one of my first Oryoki where I was left with half a dish of rice still uneaten when others were already wrapping their bowls ... which I nearly choked on trying to then get down ... a mistake I never made again.
    Let's Get Ready to Rohatsu!




    Gassho, Jundo
    SatTodayLAH
    Last edited by Jundo; 12-02-2022 at 08:18 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    RETREAT PREPARATION LESSON II -


    Let's look at Work Practice, Samu … which will be featured various periods during our Rohatsu Retreat.


    While Zazen is at the heart of our Way, other aspects of traditional Zen Practice are also "Zazen Off The Cushion" ... the vital and energetic non-doing of ‘Samu‘ traditional work practice is so.

    Samu is well described in this excerpt …

    Samu is manual work done with the same concentration as zazen. All masters of transmission, especially Master Hyakujo (720-814), have insisted on this. Even in his old age, Master Hyakujo worked every day in the field with his students. One day, they hid his tools, thinking that their master should spare himself. Hyakujo declared: "A day without working, a day without eating." And he stopped eating until his disciples gave him back his tools. 

    In zen, work has great value, because it allows us to practise the Way in action. In the dojo and during retreats (sesshins), zazen is followed by samu, which is when we do the chores to ensure the smooth functioning of communal life. Samu also means putting our efforts at the service of the community, without expecting anything in return. from Zen, by Bovay, Kaltenbach and De Smedt, Albin Michel Publishing, 1993
    Yes, Samu is just Zazen in action. It may not look like seated meditation, but it is to be done from the same state of mental balance. Couple this with an attitude of goalless, non-striving, ‘just doing’, also a hallmark of Zazen. As well, work is to be performed mindfully, as the only action in and of the whole universe : One engaged in Samu should devote to it all care and attention, never wishing for or thinking of anything else in that moment of action.

    The result is a job performed diligently and patiently and with certain goals, but with no thought of anything to achieve (of course, not a contradiction in Zen). It may be a continuing job that just needs to be done without end, but we do it with all care moment by moment by moment for the time we have.

    I usually describe Samu in a nutshell as working diligently and carefully at one's task trying to get 'er done all while, simultaneously, dropping all thought of any goal to attain or anywhere to get! (Yes, seems contradictory, like seeing things two ways at once, as one)

    For example, we clean the dishes trying to get them clean (because nobody wants filthy dishes!) ... all the while dropping all thought of "clean" vs. "dirty" and anything to achieve, thereby achieving a certain Purity that sweeps in and through both clean and dirty. Thus, we achieve a Clean that cleans up as both clean and dirty!

    Those parents and workers with heavy family or employment duties even during Retreat can make that part of that their ‘Samu’, approaching it with the mindset described above. Treat every changed diaper, cooked meal and bedtime story read during the Retreat as 'Samu'. Treat every staple stapled, copy made on the copy machine, customer greeted as 'Samu' if needing to work during part of the 'Retreat'.

    In years past, I have gathered fall leaves and cleaned the bathtub (an activity, frankly, I usually do not enjoy!) ... Now, if you can, and the weather permits, it is lovely to do some outdoor work for Samu. Or one can clean (beyond "clean vs. dirty") around the house.


    However, if someone has physical or other limitations, even small tasks are fine. We have had folks fold socks in bed, but with a sincere and dedicated heart. Here is our Shokai to demonstrate a simple task while seated ...




    If someone has a health condition or disability, they can just do what they can and the body allows. No problem. Design your own work project that you feel comfortable with.

    All Good Samu, All Good Practice!


    Gassho, Jundo
    SatTodayLAH
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3
    RETREAT PREPARATION LESSON III -


    In preparation for our upcoming Treeleaf Annual 'AT HOME' Two Day 'ALL ONLINE' ROHATSU (Buddha's Enlightenment Day) RETREAT ... DETAILS ABOVE ...

    Going to the toilet is nature, is life, is Practice, is Zazen. All the Buddhas and Ancestors had to pee and poo, and so do you. But how we do our duty makes all the difference!

    Master Dogen devoted an entire chapter of Shobogenzo to latrine procedures (two chapters, actually!) ... and during our Retreat we should see going to the toilet as a sacred ritual. First, drop all thought of "clean" and "dirty" ... flush such discriminatory ideas away! However, even as we drop all idea of "clean" and "dirty", we try to stay clean (we are always working on several levels in Zen) ... so, if wearing a Rakusu, remove it and hang it outside the toilet room before entering. Then Gassho 3x (or, if you wish, do full prostrations 3x as monks do in traditional monasteries) toward the door of the toilet room and recite a 'Gatha' such as the following (by Ven. Thich Naht Hanh):

    Defiled or immaculate,
    increasing or decreasing--
    these concepts exist only in our mind.
    The reality of interbeing is unsurpassed.


    Of course, maintain silence in the bog. No reading material and, while one need not assume the Full Lotus Posture on the commode, one should do one's business with the sense of stillness-in-motion and non-attaining that is Zazen. Go with with Flow!

    Truly, peeing is only action in that moment, a perfect act complete unto itself ... it is not you peeing, or even the whole universe peeing in that instant (although it is that too) ... for 'tis Just Peeing. On exiting, bow again 3x to the toilet door and recite a Gatha such as ...

    Using the toilet I vow with all beings
    to eliminate defilement,
    removing greed, anger and ignorance.

    Then be sure to wash your hands (there is something to recite for that as well) ... By the way, a similar ritual should be performed prior to entering the bath or shower. In that case, please recite a Gatha such as ...

    Bathing the body,
    may all living beings
    be clean in body and mind,
    pure and shining within and without.


    We will have similar recitals of "Gatha" for use when brushing the teeth, washing the face and hands. They are printed in our "Chant Book" HERE (PDF), available for download for use during the Retreat.


    For our upcoming Rohatsu Retreat, PLEASE PRINT OUT THE GATHAS IN OUR CHANT BOOK AND POST THEM AROUND YOUR BATHROOM!! IT IS ALL SACRED!

    Gassho, Jundo
    SatTodayLAH

    PS - Here is an image of a traditional Tosu (Eastern Hall Toilet) in a Zen Monastery in Japan. As you can see, it has an Altar too.


    The image there is the Buddha Ususama-myoo (seen here at the entrance to another Tosu), also called Katokongoo, who symbolizes the virtue of purification, and is said to transform impurities.

    Last edited by Jundo; 11-20-2022 at 05:52 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  4. #4
    RETREAT PREPARATION LESSON IV -

    We have some Bowing and Prostrations during our annual retreat ... especially times of prostrating (Raihai), done in a series or three (Sanpai) ...

    Many Westerners don't care for it, because it is not part of our culture generally. We see it as humiliating, embarrassing, somehow "idol worshipping" or undemocratic. I am often asked to whom or what we are bowing ... Is it to some thing, god, place like Mecca, person or effigy?


    I answer by saying that there is nothing that's true that is omitted from our bow. We might consider that we're simply bowing to the whole universe, and to ourself and the other people around us … after all, 'All is One'! The hands, palms upwards, are raised in a gesture traditionally symbolic of lifting the Buddha's feet over one's head, but that truly means lifting all things of the universe over one's head. It's appropriate to cultivate an attitude of emptying, letting go, receptivity and gratitude in our bows.

    I do not necessarily think anything when bowing ... although I usually feel in my heart that "Great Gratitude" I sometimes mention.

    If there is some physical or personal reason not to prostrate, a simple deep standing Gassho can be substituted. For those who must be in bed, a sincere hand gesture or wink can hold all the sincere heart of a full bow if the heart means it so. All that matters is that there is present the sincerity and the humility of the prostration.

    No less, are we raising something up or ... seen another way ... is the whole world raising us up at the same time?


    It is a powerful physical Practice. These days, I usually practice a deep Gassho during our Zazenkai and such. However, I engage in Prostrations also, during our more formal monthly Zazenkai, Rohatsu Retreat and like times.



    Many Tibetans (many Christians pilgrims too) will travel for hundreds of miles, prostrating with each step ...


    Gassho, Jundo

    SatTodayLAH
    Last edited by Jundo; 11-19-2022 at 02:46 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5
    If you would like to watch a brief video of formal Sesshin atmosphere (not much different on ordinary days there in fact) at Eiheiji Monastery, including such customs as Samu Work and Oryoki ...

    ... in our Treeleaf Retreat we try to bring a taste of such into our own homes and daily life ...

    Our way is certainly not as rigorous as the life of these young monks in training. However, do not think that such a place is more and our way is less ... for we can Sit and Work and Eat beyond and right through all measures and distinctions. Our way is not quite the same, but neither is it different in the least. It is my belief that one can encounter the same lessons, the same freedom, the same opening of the mind even in our little Retreat if one knows how to look within and without free of border. Our own life can be a place of good Practice, and a source of Wisdom and Compassion, as much as any monastery. Your life too, right where you sit and work at a job and take care of your family and social responsibilities is Relentless Practice.

    As I always tell our priests-in-training here at Treeleaf, the seriousness of the Practice depends on one's own diligence, care, persistence, sincerity and attention to the Practice before one in this moment.

    Zazen is not a matter of long or short. One must sit dropping all measure, tasting in one's bones that every single instant of Zazen is all time (and all timeless too)! One must sit throwing the clock away! And yet ... and yet ... (Zen folks often speak out of both sides of their no sided mouth) ... and yet ... sometimes, we need to practice a bit long and hard, morning to night ... sitting and wrestling with 'me, my self and I' ... all to attain 'Nothing More to Attain', and to taste 'Just This'. It is also not a matter of place ... and we should "sit Zazen" too in the hospital bed, death bed, nursery room, grocery line, city bus. Nonetheless, we go to the Retreat sometimes to sit in a room on a Zafu, precisely because it is not a matter of "where" or "place."

    Our Retreat may be short by the clock and held from home, but can be a Serious Endeavor nonetheless.

    And, no, I will not be hitting anyone with the Keisaku stick.




    Gassho, J

    SatTodayLAH
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  6. #6
    Good morning, good day, good evening.

    In the Retreat Pointers document there is a link to the Guide To Basic Sitting. That link is no longer functional.

    I am very much looking forward to sitting together to honor the Buddha's days of Zazen and Enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree.

    Gassho,

    Aimee
    sat

  7. #7
    Hi Aimee,

    Thanks for pointing that out. I believe this is the document.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bfy...YaU9k86FY/view

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    空道 心志 Kudo Shinshi
    I am just a priest-in-training, any resemblance between what I post and actual teachings is purely coincidental.
    E84I - JAJ

  8. #8
    Hi Jundo,

    Can you re-upload the Retreat Pointers PDF? I try to download it and it says "file is in owners trash". I was hoping to have the Rohatsu materials printed out because analog is just easier in some respects. (EDIT I see that it's in the chant book, so I think I have what I need.)

    I'm really looking forward to Rohatsu!

    Thanks!
    Gassho,
    SatLah
    Kelly
    Last edited by KellyLM; 11-27-2022 at 04:36 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by KellyLM View Post
    Hi Jundo,

    Can you re-upload the Retreat Pointers PDF? I try to download it and it says "file is in owners trash". I was hoping to have the Rohatsu materials printed out because analog is just easier in some respects. (EDIT I see that it's in the chant book, so I think I have what I need.)

    I'm really looking forward to Rohatsu!

    Thanks!
    Gassho,
    SatLah
    Kelly
    Hi Kelly,

    I am pretty sure this is the same document as before. Let me know if it looks different.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Rul...8o9UoagLU/view

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    空道 心志 Kudo Shinshi
    I am just a priest-in-training, any resemblance between what I post and actual teachings is purely coincidental.
    E84I - JAJ

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Shinshi View Post
    Hi Kelly,

    I am pretty sure this is the same document as before. Let me know if it looks different.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Rul...8o9UoagLU/view

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    I think that's it. Thank you!

    Gassho,
    SatLah
    Kelly

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Shinshi View Post
    Hi Kelly,

    I am pretty sure this is the same document as before. Let me know if it looks different.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Rul...8o9UoagLU/view

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    That's it! I will try to repair the link. Hmmm.

    Gassho, J

    stlah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  12. #12
    I will be away on my first trip out of Canada since covid, so I will miss the weekend dates, but I hope to participate in some of this afterwards.

    Sat today, lah
    Veronica

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Shinshi View Post
    Thanks for pointing that out. I believe this is the document.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bfy...YaU9k86FY/view

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    Thank you Shinshi!

    Gassho,

    Aimee
    sat
    Aimee B.

  14. #14
    Thank you for this wonderful information in preparing for Rohatsu. I have cleaned my oryoki bowls and am preparing meals tomorrow. For work practice, I will be cleaning the altar fittings, sewing, cleaning my sitting room, cleaning windows and preparing my Bonsai for winter in their cold frame outside.

    Gassho,

    Bill (Daiman)

    Sat Today

  15. #15
    Thank you so much for posting this. I am ready for Rohatsu. Thank you to the Sangha.
    I will be sewing for work practice and mopping the floor. Potentially cleaning the toilet as well!
    Also, there are workers repairing our electricity and I may lose internet on Saturday. I will return as soon as I am able to.

    Gassho,

    Finn

    Sat today

  16. #16
    I have a question regarding Oryoki: when does one prepare/bring in the meal? I plan to cook tomorrow morning, and was thinking that I would heat up the premade meals during the rest time immediately before Oryoki, but I don't know if this is correct.

    Gassho,
    SatLah
    Kelly

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by KellyLM View Post
    I have a question regarding Oryoki: when does one prepare/bring in the meal? I plan to cook tomorrow morning, and was thinking that I would heat up the premade meals during the rest time immediately before Oryoki, but I don't know if this is correct.

    Gassho,
    SatLah
    Kelly
    There is a break before that unit. It’s usually when I prepare the food and set up the “table” .

    Sat today lah
    Bion
    美音

    -------------------------
    Please consider whatever I might say as my own ideas, experiences and understanding, and not zen doctrine.

  18. #18
    I came to ask about the meal prep as well: at what point or how long it sat in the room, but this has just been answered already, so thank you KellyLM and Bion!

    I will be doing sewing for the first sets of Samu practice (as it will be very early morning at my location with the family and kids in the house), but then will likely go outside for some yard work later in the day. I assume a watch will be ok for this part of the practice while we are away, as it could be easy to 'forget all time' and actually forget the time!

    I look forward to seeing everyone's faces soon

    Gassho

    Steve
    Sat

  19. #19
    One important note on Oryoki meals ...

    Please note that it is not meant to be a leisurely, slow lunch, savoring every bite while chewing 100 times ...

    Rather, Zen monks actually treat food as medicine to support the body in practice, and do not think "good or bad" (although the food should be healthy and nutritious) or savor the meal. You might be surprised how fast they go, getting it down bite by bite, but without lingering.

    Thus, do not rush and choke, but neither linger. Be sure to serve yourself a small portion, so that one is able to open one's bowls, eat and finish, then wrap the bowls with everyone within the given time. Small portions are thus suggested, even with the traditional offer of "seconds" midway. No food should remain at the end, when it is time to clean and rewrap. Take enough to sustain you, not fill you.

    If there is need for health reasons, it is fine to take additional healthy food or snacks during break times informally (no ritual required than perhaps a grateful Gassho), to sustain you.

    I remember one of my first Oryoki where I was left with half a dish of rice still uneaten when others were already wrapping their bowls ... which I nearly choked on trying to then get down ... a mistake I never made again.

    Gassho, Jundo

    stlah
    Last edited by Jundo; 12-02-2022 at 07:58 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  20. #20
    Thank you all for asking questions that I also came to ask. And thank you Jundo and Bion for guidance.

    I have a couple more questions. (Well, I have a lot more but most of them I have decided to figure out as we go.)

    ...

    What do we do during rest periods and at the end of the day before we go to sleep?

    I know that light snacks are allowed at this time. I also know that the rest period before ōryōki is used to set out our meal. I know that reading, even of approved Zen materials, is not encouraged. But the rest of our rest periods still remain a mystery to me.

    ...

    Also, what do we do if we find ourselves falling asleep while sitting? (Not that this has ever happened to me before. )

    ...

    For my Samu work practice I will be walking my dog, sweeping up leaves and sewing. If time permits, I will clean the bathroom because that feels like an appropriately sacred mundane task.

    I feel like I could study and practice ōryōki so much more before we begin, but other than that I am ready and very much looking forward to joining you all in celebration of the Buddha's enlightenment (while not striving for anything).

    Gassho,

    Aimee
    sttdylah

    Apologies for running long
    Aimee B.

  21. #21
    Hello Aimee,

    during the rest periods, I usually stretch my body and lie down and relax.
    If I feel sleepy, I move around a bit outside.
    That's also what I do after the last unit of the day. Walk a bit around outside, offering the knees and back a different position.

    Fresh air and not too much heat helps this body against sleepiness. Moving during the rest periods, too.
    If you get too sleepy, dosing off, you might want to think about doing a bit Kinhin.

    Imho it is a good idea to do Samu that moves the body. Works against sleepiness and tense limbs.

    Looking forward to sitting together.
    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.

    義道 冴庭 / Gidō Kotei.
    Being a novice priest doesn't mean that my writing about the Dharma is more substantial than yours. Actually, it might well be the other way round.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Kotei View Post
    Hello Aimee,

    during the rest periods, I usually stretch my body and lie down and relax.
    If I feel sleepy, I move around a bit outside.
    That's also what I do after the last unit of the day. Walk a bit around outside, offering the knees and back a different position.

    Fresh air and not too much heat helps this body against sleepiness. Moving during the rest periods, too.
    If you get too sleepy, dosing off, you might want to think about doing a bit Kinhin.

    Imho it is a good idea to do Samu that moves the body. Works against sleepiness and tense limbs.

    Looking forward to sitting together.
    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.
    Kotei's advice is excellent.

    It is fine to eat during breaks, without the formality of Oyoki (except, please do Gasso to any food). However, do not overeat and indulge, keep it light, just what the body truly needs for health and sustenance.

    Also, tea is fine (even some coffee) in moderation. Zen folks in Retreat have a long and friend relationship with such hot beverages and a little caffeine, especially Tea, going back centuries. So long as one does not overdo, they are also fine to drink for a bit of energy. Slightly stretching the spine or adjusting one's sitting posture, and breathing a bit more deeply, can also help wake one a bit more during a sitting. However, as Kotei says, in our Rohatsu it is fine to bend the rules a bit, and walk some Kinhin even during a sitting period, if you need.

    I am going to bend the rules and say that some VERY light reading ... such as some poems, the upcoming passages for our Dharma Talks during Retreat, or very short Zen readings are fine during break. Just don't overdo there too, and keep it to a minimum.

    Be sure to bow to your bed before turning in for the night too, maybe offering a few words of gratitude to your safe sleeping place (we usually just hop in be without giving it much thought, don't we? Take a moment to feel some gratitude for your bed and the wonder of sleep.)

    Gassho, Jundo

    stlah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  23. #23
    I just finished the Rohatsu retreat and WOW I can't believe I made it. I did spend my break periods reading a Zen book I had been working on, which was apparently overdoing it (sorry I did not read the updates to this thread until now!) however I didn't feel I had as much "break time" as I expected I would and was not bored!

    I may owe Jundo an apology - I promise I was not making faces at you intentionally during the Dogen reading at the end! My face was getting very twitchy - a nervous tick that I have when I am overwhelmed or tired which I very much WAS at that point, and I'm embarrassed that I looked at the camera as you were reading. So if you happen to notice, that is what that was.

    I learned a lot, and really had a sort of epiphany after Kokuu's Dharma talk - I had frequently heard that "all Zazen is good Zazen" etc but I never really grokked it (just took it on faith) until now. I really felt that all of the aches and pains (my back made it, my knees didn't!), thoughts running wild, etc ARE practice and sitting with them is the goal (goalless goal). I had never felt that before.

    I also learned that chanting is a distinct skill, as someone who has had vocal instruction and considers themself to be a pretty good vocalist I was surprised that I completely failed to chant effectively and I'm glad no one was there to hear me because I swear a frog would have sounded better than I did. Please if anyone has "how to chant" resources or lessons send them my way!

    I really hope the Dharma talks will be available separately because I am sure I missed some things - they were all FANTASTIC, every one and I'm grateful for them but I am sure I missed some good things because my brain was FRIED by the time some of them came around.

    It was indescribably wonderful to sit live with you all (I usually do recordings - recordings aren't lacking, this was EXTRA) and I'm still processing it all.

    Also, I'd love to have Kokuu's marinated Tofu recipe.

    Gassho,
    Sat(for a very LONG time!)
    Kelly

  24. #24
    I may owe Jundo an apology - I promise I was not making faces at you intentionally during the Dogen reading at the end! My face was getting very twitchy - a nervous tick that I have when I am overwhelmed or tired which I very much WAS at that point, and I'm embarrassed that I looked at the camera as you were reading. So if you happen to notice, that is what that was.
    No, I did not notice. But, now that you mention it, I will make a point of going to look at the recording.

    Here is to all our little ticks and things, for we all have something.

    Gassho, J

    stlah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    No, I did not notice. But, now that you mention it, I will make a point of going to look at the recording.

    Here is to all our little ticks and things, for we all have something.

    Gassho, J

    stlah
    You will also notice that my dog had NO IDEA about Rohatsu. I tried to keep her occupied and from being disruptive; however she stole my seat during last night's Kinhin and I'm pretty sure she tried to steal my zafu during today's Kinhin. She also licked my chant book and head butted me during prostrations. Gotta love the furry family members.

    Gassho,
    Sat
    Kelly

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by KellyLM View Post
    You will also notice that my dog had NO IDEA about Rohatsu. I tried to keep her occupied and from being disruptive; however she stole my seat during last night's Kinhin and I'm pretty sure she tried to steal my zafu during today's Kinhin. She also licked my chant book and head butted me during prostrations. Gotta love the furry family members.

    Gassho,
    Sat
    Kelly
    Dogs are like that. They are just trying to teach us the path to non-attachment. If you find a good chanting resource let us know. I know I could use one.

    Glad your Rohatsu was a good experience for you. Thank you for your efforts.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    空道 心志 Kudo Shinshi
    I am just a priest-in-training, any resemblance between what I post and actual teachings is purely coincidental.
    E84I - JAJ

  27. #27
    Oh, joyous Ango!! What a pleasure it was to all gather together for these last two days! I start the day today a little confused to not be gathering together and seeing your beautiful faces.

    I wonder, would anyone be interested in getting together for tea to celebrate the culmination of our celebration? I would love to share insights and experiences, and to just generally bask in the glow of Ango together.



    I started last night to write about my experiences. I was so energized that I stayed up later than I normally do and had to make myself set the writing down and go to sleep.

    So, here is my post-Ango celebration essay…



    Goodness abounds! That was a wonderful retreat! It was quite literally filled with wonder on so many levels.

    I was amazed by how often patience and quiet presence came with ease, much of the time anyhow! Far more than I ever would have expected.

    Going into Ango, I was curious if there would be enough thoughts to fill the entire weekend or if I would finally find their limit. The answer is yes, yes there is an endless font of thoughts. And yet... And yet now there is somehow more quiet between and beneath the thoughts. Oh! Wonder indeed!

    I also expected that there would be some waves of upwelling emotion. I had my drying cloth for oryoki and a crying cloth for just in case. And I vowed from the start to let that flow naturally. But the only deep waves of emotion were love for a friend who is going through a very difficult time (as if feeling some of her pain could lift some of her burden) and gratitude beyond measure to have found this Sangha, this non-striving middle way, this community, to have found YOU. Such good fortune for my path to have led me here.



    Through the Dharma talks I felt that I was being reminded of things I have always known but forgot how how to remember. Truly, this sitting with no desire to arrive on some exotic shore feels like the most natural thing in the world - it feels simultaneously mundane and wondrous and and like the best possible waste of time ( Kodo Sawaki).

    I am someone who exists without goals or ambitions but with the great aspiration to help bring some ease and peace to the world so that others can bring a bit of extra ease and peace to the world. (Just being nice to someone instead of irritated changes the course of their day, which changes the course of so many others. And, of course, it changes the course of one's own day as well!)

    So, to have found you all, well I have said it before… I am simply filled with joy and "how did I get here? This is not my beautiful wife. This is not my beautiful home." But this IS my beautiful home!

    (That was a David Byrne song reference. If you do not know the song, the humor probably did not come through. Apologies for leaving anyone out of that little joke!)



    In all seriousness, it was an honor to be surrounded by such beautiful souls and to be graced by those who have uncovered so much wisdom and who possess the ability to articulate and pass that wisdom on so naturally, as though the knowledge already dwells within us. (Because it does!)



    Thank you to everyone who brought this together, all the way back to and including Shakyamuni Buddha himself!!



    Gassho times infinity,

    Aimee
    sattoday
    Aimee B.

  28. #28
    Member Seishin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    La Croix-Avranchin, Basse Normandie, France
    Thank you everyone.

    Deep bows.

    Sat


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart

  29. #29
    Hello dear Sangha,
    I was very excited for this Rohatsu Retreat and had prepared myself for it, except, I haven't told my wife about it and all its implications for our weekend routine in the end of the semester (lot of university work for my wife and I, end of school year for our daughters, and an unexpected for me, pijama party of the girls and their girl friends at my own home that lasted for the whole weekend and is still going right now ). To sum it, I wasn't able to sit the Retreat with you all. I talked to Jundo just before the Retreat so I will not enter in details here. I didn't sit nor participated in the ceremonies this weekend, but did a lot of kids watching and house cleaning samu with you all. As I talked with Jundo, I will sit the Retreat on the go after the end of the academic semester here. I felt a lot of guilty for not sitting with you all but it would disrupt my family and married life to a great level if I did not support my wife this weekend . I'm really looking forward to sit with you all this Rohatsu Retreat in two weeks from now. I'm very very grateful for this Sangha, this Ango, Jundo and all and everyone of you .

    Mateus
    Satlah
    怠努 (Tai Do) - Lazy Effort
    (also known as Mateus )

    禅戒一如 (Zen Kai Ichi Nyo) - Zazen and the Precepts are One!

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimeebeing View Post
    Oh, joyous Ango!! What a pleasure it was to all gather together for these last two days! I start the day today a little confused to not be gathering together and seeing your beautiful faces.

    I wonder, would anyone be interested in getting together for tea to celebrate the culmination of our celebration? I would love to share insights and experiences, and to just generally bask in the glow of Ango together.



    I started last night to write about my experiences. I was so energized that I stayed up later than I normally do and had to make myself set the writing down and go to sleep.

    So, here is my post-Ango celebration essay…



    Goodness abounds! That was a wonderful retreat! It was quite literally filled with wonder on so many levels.

    I was amazed by how often patience and quiet presence came with ease, much of the time anyhow! Far more than I ever would have expected.

    Going into Ango, I was curious if there would be enough thoughts to fill the entire weekend or if I would finally find their limit. The answer is yes, yes there is an endless font of thoughts. And yet... And yet now there is somehow more quiet between and beneath the thoughts. Oh! Wonder indeed!

    I also expected that there would be some waves of upwelling emotion. I had my drying cloth for oryoki and a crying cloth for just in case. And I vowed from the start to let that flow naturally. But the only deep waves of emotion were love for a friend who is going through a very difficult time (as if feeling some of her pain could lift some of her burden) and gratitude beyond measure to have found this Sangha, this non-striving middle way, this community, to have found YOU. Such good fortune for my path to have led me here.



    Through the Dharma talks I felt that I was being reminded of things I have always known but forgot how how to remember. Truly, this sitting with no desire to arrive on some exotic shore feels like the most natural thing in the world - it feels simultaneously mundane and wondrous and and like the best possible waste of time ( Kodo Sawaki).

    I am someone who exists without goals or ambitions but with the great aspiration to help bring some ease and peace to the world so that others can bring a bit of extra ease and peace to the world. (Just being nice to someone instead of irritated changes the course of their day, which changes the course of so many others. And, of course, it changes the course of one's own day as well!)

    So, to have found you all, well I have said it before… I am simply filled with joy and "how did I get here? This is not my beautiful wife. This is not my beautiful home." But this IS my beautiful home!

    (That was a David Byrne song reference. If you do not know the song, the humor probably did not come through. Apologies for leaving anyone out of that little joke!)



    In all seriousness, it was an honor to be surrounded by such beautiful souls and to be graced by those who have uncovered so much wisdom and who possess the ability to articulate and pass that wisdom on so naturally, as though the knowledge already dwells within us. (Because it does!)



    Thank you to everyone who brought this together, all the way back to and including Shakyamuni Buddha himself!!



    Gassho times infinity,

    Aimee
    sattoday
    I quite your essay Aimee. Thank you for sharing both your thoughts and for being part of this years amazing Rohatsu. Remember that it doesn't just happen Once in Lifetime, but we do it every year. I hope you can Remain in the Light of your experience and that the light continuous to shine.

    Me, I am off into the blue.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    Last edited by Shinshi; 12-05-2022 at 10:23 PM.
    空道 心志 Kudo Shinshi
    I am just a priest-in-training, any resemblance between what I post and actual teachings is purely coincidental.
    E84I - JAJ

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by mateus.baldin View Post
    Hello dear Sangha,
    I was very excited for this Rohatsu Retreat and had prepared myself for it, except, I haven't told my wife about it and all its implications for our weekend routine in the end of the semester (lot of university work for my wife and I, end of school year for our daughters, and an unexpected for me, pijama party of the girls and their girl friends at my own home that lasted for the whole weekend and is still going right now ). To sum it, I wasn't able to sit the Retreat with you all. I talked to Jundo just before the Retreat so I will not enter in details here. I didn't sit nor participated in the ceremonies this weekend, but did a lot of kids watching and house cleaning samu with you all. As I talked with Jundo, I will sit the Retreat on the go after the end of the academic semester here. I felt a lot of guilty for not sitting with you all but it would disrupt my family and married life to a great level if I did not support my wife this weekend . I'm really looking forward to sit with you all this Rohatsu Retreat in two weeks from now. I'm very very grateful for this Sangha, this Ango, Jundo and all and everyone of you .

    Mateus
    Satlah
    Guilt almost always suggests attachment. No need for guilt as you were there with us, just as we will soon be there with you.

    (For some reason I have this little movie that plays in my head at the moment. It is Buzz Lightyear, but instead of saying: "To infinity and beyond". He says: "Across Space and Time!!!!!!!" Yea I'm weird like that.)

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    空道 心志 Kudo Shinshi
    I am just a priest-in-training, any resemblance between what I post and actual teachings is purely coincidental.
    E84I - JAJ

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Shinshi View Post
    Guilt almost always suggests attachment. No need for guilt as you were there with us, just as we will soon be there with you.

    (For some reason I have this little movie that plays in my head at the moment. It is Buzz Lightyear, but instead of saying: "To infinity and beyond". He says: "Across Space and Time!!!!!!!" Yea I'm weird like that.)

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH

    Mateus
    Satlah
    怠努 (Tai Do) - Lazy Effort
    (also known as Mateus )

    禅戒一如 (Zen Kai Ichi Nyo) - Zazen and the Precepts are One!

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by mateus.baldin View Post
    I felt a lot of guilty for not sitting with you all
    Dear Mateus,
    Nothing to feel guilty about. You took care of your family and (hopefully) survived a marathon pajama party!

    As Shinshi said, we will sit with you when you sit, and you will sit with us when we sit. And I'll let you in on a little secret… Jundo also had family obligations and sat across space and time as well!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shinshi View Post
    I hope you can Remain in the Light of your experience and that the light continuous to shine.
    Thank you, Shinshi!

    And when it doesn't shine, to remember that it still shines above the clouds, because those clouds will always come and go, and come and go again.

    With gratitude,
    Aimee
    satlahtoday
    Aimee B.

  34. #34
    Thank you, Aimee.

    Mateus
    Satlah

  35. #35
    What I do "adult coloring" is samu. I am using 24 different colored gel pens to color a picture frame. Finished will insert a 5"7" picture of my father taken 20 years ago, in my One Drive, with my first DSL camera. I have printed more than 40 beautiful phone images to 4"6" pictures and sent them off to friends including a friend in Treeleaf. I sat a portion of the earlier sessions, and sat through and participated in the Zazenkai of a dear "old" friend. Next year I'll sit the whole thing. This year a wound vac machine dangling from my neck 24/ 7 prohibited full participation, and this 3 to 4 lb. device grows tiresome day after day for weeks in the past, and weeks into the future.
    Gassho
    Tai Shi
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 12-11-2022 at 10:15 PM. Reason: concision
    Kind Ubasoku, calm, I seek to support; not supportive. 或者嘘

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