2018 Spring Practice Term Offerings
Feb. 18 Sunday Program Parinirvana/ Term Opening/ Ordination: Reiko Zeccolo
Feb. 25 - March 25 Sunday Program “Instructions to the Cook” Dharma talk series
March 1 Thursday 7 – 9 PM FUSATSU (monthly atonement ceremony)
March 1-4 Thursdays Seven Week Class: Foundational Teachings of Buddhism
March 30 Friday FUSATSU (monthly atonement ceremony)
April 1 Sunday Program Buddha’s Birthday Dharma Talk
April 8 Sunday Program Celebration of Buddha’s Birthday
April 15, 22, 29 Sunday Program “Precepts as Gateway” Dharma talk series
April 29 Sunday 7 – 9 PM FUSATSU (monthly atonement ceremony)
May 1-6 Tuesday – Sunday Sesshin (Meditation Intensive)
May 6 Sunday Program Precept Ceremony
May 20 Sunday Program Term Closing and Shosan
Feb. 18 – May 20 Term-Students will have various scheduled activities throughout the term. Please see the Term-Student explanation and registration for details.
Parinirvana/ Term Opening
Sunday, Feb. 18
February 15th is recognized as the death and final passing into Nirvana of the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni. “Parinirvana” means “perfect tranquility” or more literaly “complete extinguishment”. What remains in the world after a Buddha passes into Parinirvana is the footprints of their life, the Dharma, and the lineage of practitioners that has walked down the same path. This is a solemn yet tranquil celebration. This year, our commemoration of Parinirvana will include the opening of the spring practice term and Reiko Rain Zeccolo’s ordination (see below).
Ordination Reiko Rain Zeccolo
Sunday, Feb. 18
Following the Parinirvana Ceremony, there will be an ordination in which Reiko Zeccolo will become a formal student of our abbot, Ejo McMullen. Ordinations are centrally about the practice path of the ordained and their teacher, but are a celebration of the vibrancy of the whole assembly. Each of our practice flowers as this important step of Reiko’s.
Instructions to the Cook Dharma Talk Series
Sundays Feb. 25 - March 25
No one lives out this life alone. We are supported by, and support, countless living beings, animate and inanimate. It is easy to get lost in abstraction and feelings and not notice that the unfolding of my life is happening together with the world. Zen practice takes aim at this tendency by inviting us to pay attention to what and how we do. Doing straightforward things straightforwardly, that is the path! This series of five Sunday teachings will explore this practice using Dogen Zenji’s “Instructions for the Cook”, a practical and mystical guide to the zen path.
FUSATSU Thursday March 1, Friday March 30
Sunday April 29 7 – 9 PM
Fusatsu is a monthly ceremony of atonement and vow renewal. We hold zazen at 7:00 PM, followed by an individual atonement ceremony (participation is optional – may be done silently). After this there is the Fusatsu ceremony which concludes at roughly 9:00 PM.
Sesshin (Meditation Intensive)
March 1-4, May 1-6
Sesshin, meaning “to gather the mind”, is a traditional silent zen meditation intensive. It is an opportunity to come together in support of our practice where we create a space to settle deeply into sitting and embodying the teachings of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Setting aside grasping and rejecting, picking and choosing, together we simply meet what is most directly present with attention and openness. Registration forms will be available at the start of the term.
Foundational Teachings of Buddhism
Thursdays 7 wks March 15 - April 26
The core teachings of Buddhism are a powerful technology for reorienting how we live. They ask us to take seriously the implications of impermanence and our shared existence. This series of seven classes will cover the most foundational teachings of Buddhism, common to all schools, and help students connect those teachings with meditation, daily life and liberation from suffering.
Buddha’s Birthday Dharma Talk
Sunday April 1, Celebration, April 8
Every year on the Sunday closest to April 8th we celebrate the birth of Shakyamuni Buddha some 2,500 years ago. Known as the “Flower Festival” this celebration is perhaps the most bright and festive of the year. On Sunday April 1st, Ejo will give a teaching on the Buddha’s Birth. On Sunday April 8th, we hold a ceremony in which we bathe the baby buddha with pure water steeped with spring blossoms. After the ceremony, we enjoy temple-made rice pudding and enjoy the return of spring.
Precepts Dharma Talk Series
Sundays, April 15 – 29, Jukai May 6
How shall I live? This is the most fundamental of spiritual questions. One aspect of our response to this question is ethics. What should and should not be done? The Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts represent our aspiration to live an ethical life and our commitment to the continual inquiry that such a life demands. The precepts are the wisdom of the Buddhas and Ancestors that already lives within our own heart. This widom must be lived out moment to moment from a sincere heart rather than become rigid measures of right and wrong. This is the invitation of the precepts! This four part teaching will include three Sunday dharma talks on ethics and the Bodhisattva Precepts culminating in a precept ceremony the final Sunday. If you are interested in receiving the precepts in this ceremony, please discuss your aspiration with Ejo.
Term Student Program
The teachings and practices of Buddha Dharma are about the whole of life. They apply to all the activities of daily living just as they are. No special arrangements are necessary. And yet, it is our tendency to not fully embrace what is directly ours to do. During the 2018 Spring Practice Term we will focus on the practice of simple doing. Zen teachings direct us to “just”. Just wash the dishes. Just sweep the floor. Just sit. Just love. Just illuminate. Throughout the term we will delve, with heart, mind and body, into the conundrum of doing without breaking the whole. Term-Students will question what is “just doing” through regular zazen, study, and concrete activities that support our shared practice at Buddha Eye.
Term Closing and Shosan
Sunday, May 20
The spring practice term will close with the practice of Shosan, “small inquiry”. This is a public question and response presentation in which members of the assembly are invited to stand and ask a question of the Abbot, who stands as the holder of the lineage for the assembly. These are usually lively, challenging and inspiring sessions!