Our next one day sit
Date: Sunday 20 March
Time: Arrive 11am for 11.30am start – finishing 4:30pm

What is it to make a vow?

In Zen we commit ourselves to the four Great Vows, which expand and deepen as we embrace them more fully. But what does it really mean to make a vow? And what are we really committing ourselves to?

To explore these questions, Roshi Susan Murphy will offer a Teisho and small group discussion on the Great Vows, prompted by a new translation offered by the Honolulu Diamond Sangha.

But before we launch into these tantalising questions, there will be delightful baby-naming ceremony. Many of you will remember Joanna McCormick (formerly Blachowska), who has been unable to sit with us for some time. However, together with her new husband Brett and ridiculously cute baby Henry, she will join us for a short, sweet ritual right before our shared lunch at 12pm. To offer your blessings and welcome the new baby (and new family) into the world, please bring a small offering of flowers from the garden.

Please note: we will be starting half an hour later than usual this month, as Susan will be travelling back from Canberra the night before. This means arriving at 11.00am for a 11:30pm start, and finishing at 4:30pm. Zazen and dokusan will commence after lunch at 1.00pm, and there will be short break at 2:30pm for an essential cup of tea.

This promises to be a heart-warming day of celebration, study and renewed commitment.

A few things to remember:

  • small flowers from a garden for the baby-naming,
  • lunch to share
  • dana for the teaching

And don’t forget our upcoming sesshin (April 16-20) Places are filling fast, and this looks to be the greatest sesshin ever! Click here for the details…

On the theme of this zazenkai: The Great Vows – how do they translate us?

Susan Murphy’s afternoon teisho will concentrate on the inner life of the Great Vows and the endless variety of ways they call on our deepest self. She will examine these questions through the lens of a new translation circulated by the Honolulu Diamond Sangha. For a copy of this new translation, click here.

In our subsequent small group discussion we will explore the choices they have made, as well as some of the many other versions that are chanted around the world.

Our inquiry may well lead to a few small shifts in the translation of our own vows, scheduled to be published in a new sutra book later this year. This will also be an opportunity to consider how deeply these verses can be realised in our own lives, through an ongoing practice of writing personal versions.

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