Zen student Unyo Priscilla Brown puts the finishing touches on her hand-sewn okesa, or monk’s robe. With each stitch, the student recites the three refuges: “I take refuge in the Buddha, I take refuge in the Dharma, I take refuge in the Sangha.”
Brown will receive ordination in a ceremony at SokukoJi Saturday May 31, at 3:00 p.m
A new book on shikantaza meditation written by Sokuzan is now available at The Temple Store.
“This small book of talks arose because there seemed to be a need to express and repeat what shikantaza, or just basically sitting, is all about. It is meant to reinforce, repeat, and help you dig a nice deep groove—in the awareness of how to do this, in the recipe of how to do this, in the protocol of how to do this. Just simply sit and observe.”
Coming from over forty years of study, practice, and teaching, Sokuzan introduces the simple discipline of the sitting practice of meditation. Whether you are new to shikantaza or have meditated for some time, the basic ‘recipe’ at the back of the book, the seventeen short meditation instructions, and the notes from his two talks, “Meditation Doesn’t Work,” Sokuzan’s approach can help inspire you in creating or continuing a daily meditation practice.
The Shambhala Meditation Center in New York City will be hosting Sokuzan in teaching Opening the Eye Mind: A Dharmic Approach to Art March 21 – 23.
This will include awareness practice with the support of art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
From the Shambhala Meditation Center website:
When we come into a museum or gallery space we are often not really open to what is there. When our preconceptions and opinions get in the way of direct perception our world is compromised and we miss the incredible power and delicacy of this visual dimension that is arising in front of us moment by moment.
Through group practice, open interviews with the teacher, and rousing exercises that ask us to investigate our conceptual compartmentalization of our sense-consciousnesses, we can cut through our tendency to pre-judge what is right under our noses and see, even participate in, the creation itself.
This program is ideal for artists who feel stuck, unstuck artists who wonder what’s next, and for “non-artists” who yearn to express themselves creatively. Participants are also heartily encouraged to share their work with the group whatever the medium or discipline.
“The Three Jewels of Buddhism: Buddha, Dharma and Sangha”
Traverse City Mindfulness Meditation Group and SokukoJi Buddhist Community together will host this three day, non-residential meditation retreat with Soto Zen Teacher Sokuzan Bob Brown in Traverse City, April 4 – 6, 2014, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 6726 Center Rd, Traverse City MI 49686.
• Friday, April 4th, 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.:
On this day Sokuzan will offer basic sitting meditation instruction for beginning and experienced meditators. There will be sitting and walking meditation periods and Sokuzan will give a Dharma talk about the Three Jewels of Buddhism as they support awareness practice.
• Saturday, April 5th, 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.:
This day will offer opportunity to participate with forms that we use at SokukoJi Buddhist Community Temple-Monastery including a traditional Soto Zen morning service and other awareness practice forms. Sokuzan will continue instruction in shikantaza, or “nothing but just sitting” meditation and in kinhin, or walking meditation. He will also give a Dharma talk, continuing with the theme of “The Three Jewels of Buddhism.”
• Sunday, April 6th, 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.:
We will continue during our regular sitting time with sitting meditation. Sokuzan will give basic meditation instruction and be available for questions and interviews and will give a Dharma talk at 5:30 p.m. From 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., we will have snacks and visiting. You are welcome to bring something to share.
The cost for each day Friday and Saturday is $30.00, or $60.00 for both days. On Sunday during our usual sitting time there is no charge but donations are appreciated. Sokuzan will be available for private interviews about practice throughout the weekend. Lodging may be available with local sangha for out of town participants.