Fall Practice Term 2014
Our Practice Term developed out of the Zen monastic tradition of biannual practice periods called “ango”. Traditionally, a monastery holds two 90-day periods a year during which the monks don’t leave the monastery except for alms rounds. They use that time, the container of the community and the teachings of the abbot to investigate Dharma wholeheartedly. The Ango tradition has been adapted by many community temples as a way of providing an opportunity for non-monastic students to direct their study of Dharma. Although our Practice Term is not as contained as a traditional ango, it serves the same purpose of bringing together the resources of the community over a specific period of time to help focus practice and investigation. We may not be living a monastic life, but our lives are rigorous and very busy. We may never make the time, even though we intend to, to find out about the questions at the very bottom of our heart. Practice Terms help us take the time and give us the resources to pay attention.
Programs available during Fall Practice Term September 21 – December 14
Term students are asked to make a 90 day commitment to practice and investigation of dharma. Following through with a commitment for 90 days helps to solidify the position Dharma takes in our lives and challenges us to follow our yearning for a more authentic way of life. The goal of the Term Student program is to help construct a platform of practice from which students can investigate Buddha-Dharma in their lives. The basic building blocks of that platform are: daily zazen, engagement with the teacher, practice leaders and sangha, Dharma study, and temple stewardship. Please see the Term Student form for a further explanation of the nature of the program and requirements.
Tuesday Evening Classes:
There will be two introduction to practice classes the last two Tuesdays of September followed by a series on the fundamental teachings of Buddhism. The Introduction to Zazen Meditation and Introduction to Temple Form classes are ideal for beginning practitioners and will cover many aspects of Zen practice as it is undertaken here at Buddha Eye Temple. The Fundamental Teachings of Buddhism series will cover core teachings of Buddhism and how they apply in daily life. Tuesday evening classes and events do not require registration and it is fine to simply drop in. The program runs from 7 – 9 P.M. Please see the calendar for details.
Introduction to Zazen Workshops:
In addition to the Introduction to Meditation and Temple Forms classes held on Tuesday evenings, there will be two Zazen Meditation workshops held Saturday mornings from 10 A.M. to 12 P.M. on October 25 and November 22. These workshops are ideal for people who would like more in depth instruction in Zen meditation and an opportunity to discuss various aspects of meditation practice.
Thursday Evening Dharma Study:
These dharma study classes run on Thursday nights throughout the term. Students are asked to commit to the full series of classes. They are not open for drop-in participation. We will be focusing on the Diamond Sutra during this practice period and will use various translations and commentaries. Please see registration form for more information. If you would like to register please fill out the registration form and return it to the envelope on the sangha board or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Birdhaven Zendo near Cheshire holds monthly one-day silent retreats that will continue throughout the fall on each second Saturday of the month please see there website at birdhavenzendo.org for information and registration. There will be one three day zazen intensive (SESSHIN) in mid-October at Buddha Eye Temple as well as our yearly seven day intensive to celebrate Shakyamuni Buddha's enlightenment (ROHATSU) the first week of December.