Tag Archives: Autumn Intensive

Autumn Kessei 2019

Intensive training sessions known as sesshin continue for periods of eighty, ninety, and one hundred twenty days. Since the goal of all those who take part is to clarify the great matter, while the sesshin is in progress no one leaves the temple gates, and no one speaks unnecessarily. Practice is carried on with a spirit of dauntless, indomitable courage.
-Hakuin Zenji

Autum Kessei 2019
The autumnal equinox opens the Autumn Kessei, a three month training period that runs through Rohatsu sesshin. While we don’t do sesshin every month here and Roshi is only here to lead us at the beginning of the autumn kessei, intensity is much more a decision we make, an orientation toward practice, than anything else.  In this spirit those of us at Tahoma will rededicate ourselves to the practice and offer a greater opportunity for practice during this period.  We will switch to the Autumn/Winter schedule for our Practice Day’s in October, November and December which offers more zazen as well as officially beginning earlier on the previous Friday to encourage and deepen a three day weekend retreat. Periodically will offer other days more devoted to zazen, keep an eye on this site for details as they are announced.  We will again observe Rohatsu Sesshin (dates and details forthcoming) and will conclude the year with our annual New Years potluck and all evening zazen concluding with a midnight bell ringing.  Details for all of these events will be post here as we work out the details as well as in forthcoming issues of our newsletter.  But let me reiterate that intensity is a state of mind and all of us can begin right now. Dedicate yourself to deeply investigating your true nature this autumn and do so with great sincerity and determination.

Autumn Kessei 2019: October Day of Practice

October 2019 Practice Intensive at Tahoma 

Due to a scheduling conflict we will not hold the October Day of Practice on the usual third Saturday but on the second Saturday, October 12th. This full day of zazen will run from 4:20a.m. until approximately 9:00p.m. with formal Breakfast and Lunch. As we are now in the Autumn Kessei (intensive period) we will be extending the hours of this one day sesshin as well as shifting to the winter samu schedule. Additionally we will formally begin at 4:50pm on Friday October 11th and conclude at 10am after Zazenkai on Sunday. This allows for a full 36 hour weekend Practice Intensive.

We would welcome any donations of prepared meals for the  Practice Intensive (soups, salads or casseroles, or other easy to ready dishes) and would also welcome any assistance with the monastery posts especially mokugyo and tenzo but also temple bells and han. Please contact us at tahoma@whidbey.com with any offers of assistance.

We will continue our study of the Diamond Sutra during the autumn intensive as well as its companion text in the Maha Prajnaparamita The Empty Bowl. We are utilizing the Red Pine translation and commentary for  both the Diamond Sutra and The Empty Bowl if you’d like to engage in this with your own copies of the texts. Additionally we are exploring the commentary by the Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng, in The Sutra of Hui-neng translated by Thomas Cleary.

Further details on practice at Tahoma over this weekend can be found at the end of this post.

The Schedule for this 36 hour weekend intensive will be:

Friday October 11th

5:20pm Seated in Zendo; Gosei
5:30 Zazen; Zazen; Kinhin;
6:30 Zazen; Zazen; Kinhin;
7:30 Zazen; Zazen;
8:30 Kaichin in kitchen

Saturday October 12th

4:20 Seated in Zendo; Gosei
4:30 Choka (Sutras); Han; Zazen
5:30 Kinhin; Zazen; Zazen
6:30 Kinhin; Zazen
6:55 Breakfast
Breakfast Cleanup
8:30 Samu (Clappers; meet at deck)
10:00 *Samu ends (Clappers)
10:20  *Seated in Zendo; Gosei
10:30 *Zazen; Zazen; Kinhin;  Zazen
12:00 Lunch
Kitchen Cleanup
1:50 Seated in Zendo; Gosei
2:00 Reading; Zazen; Zazen; Kinhin; Zazen; Zazen
4:00 Supper (optional, informal)
5:20 Seated in Zendo; Gosei
5:30 Uninterrupted Zazen; Han; Kinhin;
6:30 Zazen; Zazen; Kinhin;
7:30 Zazen; Zazen; Kinhin;
8:30 Zazen
9:00 Han; Closing Sutra;
9:15 Kaichin in kitchen

Sunday October 13th

4:50am Seated in Zendo; Gosei
5:00 Choka (Sutras); Han; Zazen
5:55 Kinhin; Zazen; Zazen
6:30 Breakfast
Breakfast Cleanup
8:00 Zazenkai
Zazenkai tea

* Note
For Zazenkai prep there is a minimum amount of work that needs to be done. In the case of it not being completed during the scheduled samu time, samu will continue for another half an hour and everything will be shifted accordingly.

Anyone can drop in for any of these zazen periods and stay for as long as they are able. If you plan to stay for any meals, we ask that you email beforehand.  Those here for choka will be assumed to be here for breakfast, those here for morning samu will be assumed to be here for lunch. We will assume anyone who arrives without prior notification is just dropping in for a period or two. Do notify staff during the samu period or breaks about your plans if they differ from these assumptions.

We encourage people to arrive on Friday evening before the Practice Day and/or stay though Zazenkai on Sunday, if you’d like to extend your practice. In all cases it is expected that the monasteries schedule will be followed. On Sunday there are no monastery activities after Zazenkai and attendees should plan to depart shortly thereafter. Arrangements need to be made in advance for any further residency.

Please email us If you’d like to attend, especially if you will be coming early, staying later, going to be here for a meal, or for any questions: