Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Zazen to the end of the year

Last night we sat for 4 hours to celebrate the end of the year. This was part of a joint effort of different members of the Mokurai - Silent Thunder Order - founded by Michael Elliston Roshi, Abbott of the Atlanta Soto Zen Center.

Wherever they were, members of the Sangha sat in Zazen til the end of the year, then celebrated. As there are different time zones, it lasted a while I suppose. 

Our program was simple : we sat 3 for sessions of 25 minutes each, with 5 minutes kinhin (walking meditation) in between from 8:20 til 9:45 pm. Then we took a short break for tea and cookies. 

After that, we sat back, facing the center of the dojo, and read the   

108 Gates of Dharma - Illumination of Master Dogen. Actually, I read part of the introduction to it, and then every minute, each one of the other participants read part of the 108 stanza. As there were 3 of them, each read 36 stanza - well actually, the last one read 37, because there are 109 stanza to the 108 gates... Every minute I would ring the bell, and the stanza would be read, living us one minute to consider its meaning. 

Finally I read the conclusion of Master Dogen's text. 

It was Midnight ! The locals having burnt all of their fireworks between 9:00 and 10:30 pm, it was rather quiet, and we enjoyed Cookies Bubbly and Company !

Picture by Carl Rippe

Happy New Year in Buddha ! 


Frederic Lecut said...

You forgot your bench at the Dojo !

Frederic Lecut said...

Sensei - I think it is a good idea to try to organize this again next year, possibly with all other affiliate members - if they would like to do so - it is not easy to meet in person, but we still could try to sit together in such occasions.