August 17, 2022
Each fall, BZC creates a container to help support our community in taking time to clarify our intentions, deepen insight, embody our commitments and more fully integrate our practice as life. Returning to silence in this way strengthens mindfulness and opens the heart.
We call this container a “practice period”. Our Buddhist ancestors created this ritual of bringing wandering monks In India together during the rainy season in order to cultivate sangha. This tradition has continued for the last 2,500 years. Zen practice emphasizes the importance of vow in order to align and support our deepest yearnings. The practice period supports us to return to our deepest vow, especially amidst a lay life that can distract us from this subtle, inner calling.
Find more information on the Fall Practice Period here.
In the Fukazazengi Dogen-zenji, founder of Soto Zen in Japan, says that zen meditation practice is “the Dharma gate of repose and bliss, the practice realization of totally culminated enlightenment.” In this 90-day fall practice intensive, we will look together at the relationship between cultivating rest, joy, ease and spaciousness- and commitment to responding with care and skill to suffering, in the world, in our communities, and in ourselves. We will inquire into our karmic and cultural conditionings around “repose and bliss,” engagement and action; and consider what these qualities have to do with Bodhisattva practice. How do we uprightly cultivate them to support commitment to reducing harm and increasing liberation in our communities, our society and in ourselves?
Participation in this fall practice period will include: making a practice commitment; attending opening and closing ceremonies; opportunities for daily zazen, as well as one, three and five day retreats; regular meetings with practice leaders; being paired with a Dharma buddy; and an offering of texts and writings, both from the Zen tradition and contemporary thinkers about what role rest and joy have in our life of Bodhisattva practice-engagement.
We invite you to join the BZC 2022 Fall Practice Period and be part of this precious time when we together devote our efforts to cultivating the Bodhisattva way of life. The practice period form outlines the many optional offerings that will support our practice period. Please fill out and submit the 2022 Fall Practice Period Form by September 10th.