Dogen Zenji, the founder of Soto Zen School as well as of Daihonzan Eiheiji, was born on January 26, 1200 CE. This was during the Kamakura Period of Japanese history, the year following the death of Minamoto Yoritomo. It is said that his father was Koga Michichika, a government minister, and that his mother was Ishi, the daughter of Fujiwara Motofusa. Presumably, young Dogen Zenji lived in comfort. However, at the age of thirteen, he climbed Mt. Hiei, and the next year he shaved his head and became a monk. It is said that he became a monk because he felt the impermanence of the world on his mother’s death when he was eight years old. (more here)
As the founder of our school of Zen Buddhism, we would like to offer a bit of a celebration after the Dharma talk of his life and contributions to Zen & Buddhism in Japan and study and practice in China. Every Saturday we offer early morning zazen (seated meditation) at 6:30am, morning service, a brief drop-in meditation instruction at 8:30 am. And again zazen at 9:25 am. We wrap up with a Dharma talk at 10:15 am (followed by ceremony if applicable) and then socializing, tea and cookies.
After several weeks off, Thursdays @7:30pm, we are back on schedule to study the Vimalakīrti Sūtra, also called Vimalakīrtinirdeśa Sūtra. There are multiple translations, we focus on the Dr Robert Thurman version, but welcome any version to compare the translations.
We can share books for anyone who wants to join in, or feel free to purchase a copy and join us (many are very low cost online).
Check our twitter page for any changes in schedule.
Join us Saturday for the Full Moon Ceremony!
The Full Moon Ceremony is at around 11:00am — The ceremony takes about a half-hour and involves some thirty full prostrations, but simple standing bows are also all right if prostrations are too strenuous. All are welcome to join in this ceremony/celebration. This month according to the Farmer’s Almanac it’s the Full wolf, old, snow, or after yule Moon. Amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Indian villages. Thus, the name for January’s full Moon. Sometimes it was also referred to as the Old Moon, or the Moon After Yule. Some called it the Full Snow Moon, but most tribes applied that name to the next Moon.
The ceremony will begin around 11am roughly after the Dharma Talk. Every Saturday we offer early morning zazen (seated meditation), a brief drop-in meditation instruction at 8:30 am. And again zazen at 9:25 am. We wrap up with a dharma talk at 10:15 am followed by a ceremony if applicable, then tea and cookies with socializing. Please know you are welcome and invited!
Join us for an evening event kicking off at 7:30pm and taking us into 12am Jan 1 2015!
There’ll be some soji or traditional New Year’s temple cleaning, a light snack , zazen (seated meditation), striking our large bell 108 times, a burning ceremony of things to leave behind in 2014, and finally a toast to the new year.
Please note: There won’t be the regularly scheduled zendo events on the 31st…. (We will additionally observe Chinese new year and goals set with a new Daruma, as we have been the past few years along with joss offerings to those beyond our visible realm for the year of the Sheep/Goat in mid-February).
Please rejoin us for Study hour then! Thursday January 8th @ 7:30pm
And we hope to see you at Zazen and Saturday Dharma talks in the meantime!
Here is general info
*Here is the schedule for tonight and of the next 4 days
*There will be some adjustments to fit in a Full Moon Ceremony on Saturday, the Founders Memorial, the Bodhi Day Celebration, end of the retreat and Study period closing ceremonies and ends at noon on Sunday with the Shuso ceremony!
We are now wrapping up week 5 of our Fall into Winter Study period. We are also just 4 days away from the Winter Light (Rohatsu timing), Sesshin which will be our last week of the 2014 Fall Study Period.
AND this weekend we welcome into our more robust period of practice Zachary Smith, Anshi Daigi, for a Saturday Dharma talk at 10:15am.
Zachary Smith, Anshi Daigi has been practicing since 1993, took jukai in 1995, and was shuso under Abbot Paul Haller in Fall of 2007. He currently directs North Mountain Zendo, a zazenkai group in North Beach. In addition to his involvement with Zen, Zachary is a husband and father (of 4), an engineer, a musician, a bike fanatic, and an avid but mediocre poet. He may be the only person in the history of Zen in the West to have interrupted a residential practice period to tour with a rock band and he has visited us earlier in 2014 to deliver a talk and we look forward to welcoming him back!
Please feel free to join any of these times to help maintain the energy and effort of this period! Schedule for the Study Period is here; the schedule for Winter Light Retreat and sign up details are here!
We will be closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday Nov 27th, and we will next meet for Study Hour on Dec 11th due to Thanksgiving followed by Winter Light Retreat.
Please join us for the Winter Light retreat (click here for more details on schedule) and rejoin us for Study Hour on December 11th.
For more details on pricing for the retreat and contact information to sign up, please see our most recent Newsletter on our twitter page (here)!
We hope to see you soon and often!
We are nearing 2/3 of our Ango – Study Period and want to encourage and invite you once again to our current heavier schedule carrying and into the Winter Light Retreat (schedule here).
Please feel free to join any of these times to help maintain the energy and effort of this period. Keep also in mind we still have our normal Saturday talks, Thursday night Study Hour of Text along with the added activities for the Study Period.