Cold lake, for thousands of yards, soaks up sky colour.
Evening quiet: a fish of brocade scales reaches bottom, then goes
first this way, then that way; arrow notch splits.
Endless water surface moonlight brilliant.
– Dogen, trans. Kaz Tanahashi
We invite you to join us for this day of Zen practice in Sydney. All are welcome and no prior experience is required.
At our recent practice weekend at Cloud Mountain (our Zendo south of Sydney) we made a special study of Dogen Kigen (1200-1253) and his marvellous Genjo Koan. This sparked a strong interest in this magisterial 13th century Zen master and the subtle and rewarding practice of Just Sitting (Shikantaza) for which he is very well known.
For this Zazenkai (day of Zen practice) we will focus on further exploring the rich mind of Dogen and the simple engrossing practice of Shikantaza. This connects with the is the so-called ‘other’ stream of our lineage/tradition which seamlessly draws together koan meditation (Rinzai/Linji Zen) with the ‘silent illumination’ of ‘just sitting’ (Soto/Caodong Zen).
10.00 — Gather and set-up
10.30 — Detailed guided meditation on Shikantaza, with q&a to follow
11.15-1pm — Zazen and opportunity to attend dokusan (private interview with the teacher).
1pm-1.45 — Lunch (please bring a plate to share) 1.45 — Sutras/Chanting, Zazen, final dokusan opportunity
2.30 — Dharma talk: The Vast Mind of Dogen 3.15 — Zazen, Great Vows
3.30 — Pack up, clean up
4pm — Home
The flow of the day:
Doors open at 10am when we set up the space and offer basic guidance to any newcomers. Please arrive in time for a 10.30 start of the day of practice.
If you come late, kindly wait quietly outside the sitting space until the next round of walking meditation is signled, and then move quickly to stand in front of any vacant seat.
Also offered through the morning are face to face interviews about practice (dokusan) with the teacher for existing committed members.
However if you are just beginning practice with us, you’re entitled to come to dokusan 2-3 times as a way to decide more formally committing to a student-teacher relationship, and membership.
What to bring:
Your heart-body-mind and a deep sense of curiosity!
This full day of practice is offered to all in the traditional Buddhist spirit of Dana (Sanskrit). Dana is the practice of willing generosity on which all life, as well as the gift of the teaching, must depend. Your donation placed in the Dana Bowl at the top of the stairs sustains our teacher and completes the circle of the gift.
So bring just yourself (minus your expectations), some food to share for lunch, and dana for the teaching.