Introduction to Zen: Weekend 7/18 – 7/20

Residential Zen training and formal Zen practice in a dedicated practice environment is a unique and intense experience. Charles River Zen invites you to join in such an experience when we visit the Rinzai Zen monastery International Zendo Dai Bosatsu, Kongo-ji in the Catskill mountains. We had originally planned for this visit earlier in the year, but excessive snow drifts made the center practically inaccessible.

Over the course of the two days, participants have the opportunity to experience basic elements of Rinzai Zen practice including zazen (sitting meditation), chanting, formal jihatsu style meals, and work practice. There will be ample opportunity for more seasoned practitioners to continue Zazen practice after closing time. The weekend begins with an orientation in sitting posture, zendo form, and eating form. After this orientation Intro to Zen participants will join in the regular daily schedule of the monastery’s residents. The daily schedule for Intro to Zen can be quite full, and participants will have much to absorb and much to do. If you immerse yourself fully in every activity, however, you
will have a true taste of Rinzai Zen practice.

Friday, July 18

9:30 Leave Boston for Dai Bosatsu
3:00 – 5:00 Arrival: check-in, select robe, settle in room
5:15 Informal Dinner
6:20 Intro participants meet in Zendo wearing robes for Orientation
6:50 Shinrei (warning bell), residents go to Zendo
7:00 Chanting, Zazen (sitting meditation), Kinhin (walking meditation)
8:00 Intro students join during kinhin
9:00 Kaichin (closing)

Saturday, July 19

4:30 Kaijo (wake-up, be in the Zendo before 4:45)
4:50 Fast Kinhin
5:00 Choka (morning service), Zazen
6:45 Shukuza (formal, silent breakfast with jihatsu bowls)
7:15 Morning Meeting
8:00 – 10:20 Samu (work practice)
10:30 Sarei (tea break)
11:00 – 12:10 resume Samu
12:10 return from Samu, clean up, and change into robes
12:20 Shinrei (warning bell – Intro students go to Zendo)
12:30 Zazen
1:00 Saiza (formal, silent lunch)
2:30 – 4:30 resume Samu
4:30 – 4:50 Showers
5:00 Yakuseki (formal, silent supper)
6:20 Shinrei (warning bell; go to Zendo)
6:30 Zazen, Kinhin
7:30 Dharma Talk by Shinge Roshi
8:30 Return to Zendo, Zazen
9:00 Kaichin (closing)

Sunday, July 20

4:30 Kaijo (wake-up, be in the Zendo before 4:45)
4:50 Fast Kinhin
5:00 Choka (morning service), Zazen
6:45 Shukuza (breakfast)
7:15 Morning Meeting (in dining room)
8:00 – 8:45 Room Cleaning
8:45 – 10:30 Samu (work practice)
10:30 – 11:00 Sarei (tea break)
11:00 – 12:00 Question & Answer Session for Intro Students
12:20 Shinrei
12:30 Zazen
1:15 Informal Lunch
2:00 Departure to Boston

Reserving a seat and price

In order to secure a spot please send a non-refundable deposit of $100 or bring it to one of the sittings. The total cost for the weekend is $175 and reflects a group discount that Dai Bosatsu Zendo and Shinge Roshi is generously extending to the Charles River Zen sangha. Beginners as well as long time practitioners are welcome to join. According to the number of participants we will most likely have several vehicles making the trip. If you wish to offer others a ride in your vehicle, please let us know and CRZ will pick up the fuel cost.

Don’t let this exceptional opportunity go by! We look forward to have you join us for this excursion into the world of residential Zen training.