December Event Schedule

Fri Dec 6 – Sat Dec 7: Rohatsu: All-night sit to commemorate the Buddha’s awakening. All are welcome! Arrive between 8:10-8:20 PM when the building doors are open. We will conclude on Saturday morning at 7 AM.

Thu Dec 12: Fusatsu: Evening ceremony of atonement, awakening, and renewal. Starts at 5:30 PM, ends around 7:00 PM. Please arrive a few minutes early to set up the space, and settle in.

Sun Dec 15: Study at Magna House from 10AM – 11:30 AM, after the regular morning sit. Read the chapter on Linji/Rinzai in the study text “Making Zen Your Own” and share your reflections when we meet.

Year-end Retreat, Dec 26-Jan 1: Enter deep silence and stillness with this Zen retreat hosted by the Village Zendo at the Garrison Institute. Learn more and register!

Rohatsu

We’re excited to announce a very special event, namely an all night sit to celebrate the Buddha’s Enlightenment, called “Rohatsu” in our Japanese Zen tradition.  It will take place in our new home at the Friends Meeting House!   All are welcome!!  
On Rohatsu we commemorate the Budda’s enlightenment by doing as he did — sitting Zazen all night.
Start: Friday December 6 evening (~ 8:15 PM)
Ends: Saturday December 7 in the morning (~7 AM)

There will be a Dharma Talk by Soshin Hoshi.
Short breaks for rest are included and a light meal will be served around the halfway point.  Please join us!  Help us celebrate this most important date on the Buddhist calendar.   Please note that you may leave the building at any time, but there is no entry or re-entry after 8:15 PM

Fusatsu

Fusatsu is an ancient ceremony of atonement, awakening, and new beginnings — recognizing and celebrating the circle of the year nearing its completion, and a new circle beginning.  Making all fresh and new!

All are invited to throw themselves fully into it 😉 

Change in Date: Study on Dec 15

Today, we enjoyed a wonderful sit with seven people in our new Zendo at the Friends Meeting House, including an opportunity for private interview with Soshin Hoshi. Settling in…  

Note the change in date for the next Study: It will take place on December 15, for about 1.5 hours after the boring sit.   We will focus on the great teacher Linji/Rinzai (Chapter 6 of the book “Making Zen Your Own” by Janet Abels).  

You are warmly invited to participate.  You don’t have to have participated in any of the prior study meetings. Just read and reflect on the chapter before the meeting, exploring its relationship to your own Zen Life today.

Painting of Linji / Rinzai
Source: Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linji_Yixuan#/media/File:RinzaiGigen.jpg

New Home: Friends Meeting House

Starting on November 17 2019, the Oxbow Zen Sangha will be meeting at the Northampton Friends Meeting House on Center Street (directions). We are excited to find this new home with a spiritual community that also values deep silence and social action.

Image for Friends Meeting House
The Friends Meeting House in Northampton where the Oxbow Zen Sangha meets for weekly meditation.

Three bows! October Zazenkai

Many thanks to all the many hands that made this past Saturday’s Zazenkai with Ryotan Sensei such a deep shared experience!   It was a brilliant, sunny, and colorful fall day!  Delicious food!  Deep practice!  
Special thanks to Ryotan Sensei: for making the trip once again; for an inspiring Dharma talk; and for his teachings in private interview and in just being Ryo.  And for reminding us that, with Soshin Hoshi, we now have a teacher right here!
And heartfelt gratitude to Shokai and Mark for transforming their beautiful home into a Zen temple!
Three bows to all!
Kenko.

Group photo at the end of the Zazenkai

Zazenkai Registration

[Online registration is now closed and the button has been removed from this post.]

If you haven’t had a chance to sign up for the Oct 26 Zazenkai with Ryotan Sensei, you can do so now at the “SIGN UP!” button below. You will be connected to an online form at signupgenius.com where you can indicate what food you plan to bring, and which service positions–if any–you’re interested in taking on (in the comment section).

Mark your Calendars: Zazenkai on October 26

Mark your calendars! We are excited that Ryotan Sensei will be available for our Fall Zazenkai on Saturday October 26 2019. It will be a full day of practice, including Zazen, chanting service, shared oryoki meals, and an opportunity for private interview with a teacher.

As we are looking toward October, who is planning on participating in the October Zazenkai on Saturday Oct 26 2019? Contact us soon via email if you’re interested in participating.

If there is a particular service position you would like to practice at the Zazenkai, please indicate your wish. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to be in touch with me at oxbowzensangha@gmail.com

Looking forward to practicing with you,
Kenko.

Zazenkai with Ryotan Sensei Sep 30 2017

Study Resumes (in person)

Starting in September, we resume our shared study of Janet Jiryu Abels’ book “Making Zen Your Own.” We will meet at Magna House on the third Sunday of the month after the morning sit, around 9:45 AM. Our guiding question for the shared study and discussion is this: “Having read the section, how do I see it come up in my life?”

  • Sept 22: Chapter 4: Shitou
  • Oct 20: Chapter 5: Guishan
  • Nov 17: Linji
  • Dec 15: Zhaozhou
  • Jan 19: Dongshan
  • Feb 16: Deshan
  • Mar 15: Xuefeng
  • Apr 19: Yunmen
  • May 17: Fayan (last chapter)

Book: Making Zen your Own
“Giving Life to Twelve Key Golden Age Ancestors”

You are invited! Sangha Gathering (Sept 29)

Sunny days Cool nights Hint of fall

Hello everybody:
We had a wonderful deep and quiet morning sit with six people today.  And then an intimate study circle, checking in; exploring Shitou’s life and our own.

Next Sunday, Sept 29, you are warmly invited to share your voice in our fall Sangha Gathering.  We meet right after the morning sit, starting around 9:45 / 10 AM, usually around 11:30 AM or noon.  Snacks are welcome!

It’s a time when we connect with our voices and hearts to explore how we’d like to shape our Zen practice together throughout the next season or two.  If you’d like to join remotely via video let me know.

Some opportunities for discussion might include: weekday sits, Zazenkai (day-long sits), private interviews, monthly study, shared road trips to the Village Zendo or retreats, Dharma hikes, locations for sits, connections to other groups, etc.


Please bring your ideas and suggestions!

Hydrangeas in the fall
Flowers with a blush of fall …

Soshin empowered as Dharma Holder

Roshi Enkyo writes:

On Thursday, August 1st, Soshin was given the role of Dharma Holder (Hōshi). A Dharma Holder is an Assistant Teacher, empowered to give informal interview. Soshin will now be available to help in the teaching here and with her sangha in the Pioneer Valley, Massachusetts. 

Hōshi translates as “teacher of dharma.” In our line, Maezumi Roshi began to use this term for a person who had completed koan study. Here at the Village Zendo, the title is given to one who is well-versed in the teachings, embodies them, and can share them. Hoshis continue their training while also offering interview to others. 

Soshin began her studies at the Village Zendo in the early 2000s; she took Jukai in 2005 with the Dharma name 瑞Zuisho (Auspicious Happiness). In 2009 she ordained and received the Dharma name 窓真 SOSHIN (window of truth)

Soshin has studied with Roshi and the Village Zendo teachers, with Anraku Sensei in Northampton, and most recently with Ryotan Sensei both online and on his visits to the Pioneer Valley sangha. Thus, Ryotan joined Roshi in the empowerment.

Congratulations to Soshin Hoshi!

圓教 / Enkyo