Just a reminder that our Annual 'AT HOME' Two Day 'ALL ONLINE' ROHATSU (Buddha's Enlightenment Day) RETREAT IS COMING UP ... on the weekend of December 4 and 5, 2010.

This Retreat celebrates the 'official' closure of our ANGO (100 day Special Practice Season), is a part of our current preparations for our JUKAI (Undertaking the Precepts) Ceremony in January, and marks ROHATSU ... the traditional holiday in Japan celebrating the time of the Buddha's Enlightenment.

The week between December 1st and 8th is called Rohatsu Sesshin, which is a whole week of intensive zazen. The custom has its roots in the Buddha’s own attainment of enlightenment after a week of Zazen. Following the example of the Buddha, Zen monks meditate for a whole week, amid the cold weather of winter. The word R?hatsu (??) in Japanese literally means 8th Day of the 12th Month. It is the time we Buddhists celebrate the enlightenment of Buddha and rejoice in the path of peace and liberation from suffering.
Zen Sangha all around the world will be holding week long Sesshin and shorter Retreats of a few days during this time. This year marks our 3rd Annual "All Online" 2-Day Retreat.

The schedule and content will be (with small changes) nearly the same as last year's, which you can see here (you can also watch video of each part from last year) ...

http://www.treeleaf.org/sit-a-long/with ... 09---.html

This year, Jundo will be leading the first day, and Taigu will be leading the final day.

Because Treeleafers will be sitting in many time zones, let me explain how it works ... and I believe it will be surprisingly clear and easy to follow:

We will be sitting in Japan from 6AM to evening both Saturday and Sunday (Japan time) . That means that the live netcast will actually run FRIDAY evening to SUNDAY morning/afternoon in most of North America and Europe (equivalent times in New York and London are shown on last year's schedule linked above). Please calculate your equivalent local times.

So, here is how you can do the Retreat:

I - One way is to just sit from your morning to late night, in your time zone Saturday and Sunday, using the recorded versions only (recordings of each segment, e.g., Zazen, Samu Work Practice, Oryoki, will be posted by us on the Treeleaf Blog as soon as we finish live sitting). You will follow us in "real time", but just a few hours after us in Japan. (You do not need to begin at 6am as we do, but we ask that you begin your day in your local time zone no earlier than 4am, and no later than 7am, adjusting the schedule accordingly)

II- The other way is to sit, as much as you can, with live segments, and then sit with any missed segments via their recorded version by simply adding the missed segments (segments, for example, that happened during your sleeping time) right on the end of each day. You will need to figure out the schedule to see which activities you can join live, which you will need to join later as a replay recording.


We have designed the schedule, as much as possible, so that you can do this. So, for example, the activities you miss while you are asleep (like Samu Work Practice) can be easily moved to the end. Other activities (such as meals) were positioned by me to be in about the right time so people in many time zones can join us 'live' (at least most of the time).

OF COURSE, IF YOU CANNOT SIT THAT WEEKEND ... IT IS AVAILABLE ANY OTHER DAY YOU CAN SIT. We do expect Jukai participants to make the efforts to complete the Retreat at the first opportunity.

NOTE TO PARENTS: Please feel free to devote Samu work periods to family/child care, extend or move Samu work periods as necessary to do so, or convert some "Zazen" periods to additional Samu. If you miss any Zazen, it would be nice if you do "make-up" Zazen by adding it at a convenient time. REMEMBER: All parental activities should be done with an attitude of Samu, and as much as possible, in Silence. All will be part of the Retreat!

OF COURSE, EVERYTHING IN MODERATION ... if the sitting ever feels too much, be sure to walk lots and lots of Kinhin (even if during a sitting period). And if the whole retreat becomes too much, or you feel ill, you may slow down ... , spread things out, shorten the sittings ... or STOP! Be sure that you have someone close by whom you can call, or who can check on you from time to time. If there is any question about health, do not take any chances.
I will be speaking about the Retreat in some 'Sit-a-Longs' in the coming days. TOMORROW I WILL POST A SERIES OF VIDEOS, AND WILL ASK THOSE WHO WILL BE PARTICIPATING IN OUR RETREAT TO WATCH AND REVIEW EACH IN PREPARATION BETWEEN NOW AND THE START. They will cover such hot topics as "How to Oryoki" "How to Bow" "How to Go To The Bathroom during a Retreat" (Really) and many others.

Also, follow this link to download our Chant Book for the Retreat (some changes from last year). It is 30(!!) pages long (PDF), and I ask you to print it out and place it in a nice binder.

https://sites.google.com/site/jundotree ... ects=0&d=1

REMEMBER: When we drop from mind all thought of 'now' 'then' 'here' and 'there' ... we will all be sitting together right when and where you are!

Gassho, Jundo (and Taigu too)