Practice Terms at Buddha Eye Temple are a powerful opportunity to direct our intention toward the Way both as individuals and as a community. We apply ourselves to the endeavor of the Way together through zazen, study, and temple stewardship as we wholeheartedly engage Zen practice, the tradition, the temple and each other.
The form of Practice Term comes to us from the Zen monastic tradition of “Ango.” Ango are biannual 90-day periods of intensive practice wherein monks generally wouldn’t leave the monastery except for alms rounds and for services at members’ homes and other temples. After the close of this period, monks were traditionally free to travel on pilgrimage until the opening of the next Ango. In Buddhist practice, as in life, there are differing seasons, some periods which call for us to hone our endeavor and engage in a discipline and others which call for us to relax into whatever we encounter. If we don’t thoroughly explore one of these sides, we may find that it is actually quite difficult to explore the other.
Our ongoing “Term Student” program is designed to facilitate concentrated practice and investigation through a framework of concrete practice commitments. Apart from signing on formally as a Term Student, we invite everyone to participate in the numerous dharma programs which are available at Buddha Eye Temple through the Fall. In the coming year we will focus on offering ongoing programs for people with varying levels of experience and interest. The attached “Fall 2016 Practice Offerings” details many of these offerings, which are open to everyone.
The Fall Practice Term opens officially on Sunday, October 2 with a brief ceremony during our Sunday morning program. It will conclude Sunday, December 11, when we will close the Term with shosan, a ceremony of public question and response between Ejo and Term Students.