June 2021 Zazenkai

6/11/2021, 7:00pm - 6/13/2021, 8:00am at Online

June Zazenkai takes place online from 7 PM on June 11 through 8 AM June 13. This is likely among the last of our zazenkai that will be entirely online. If you have not yet had the opportunity to participate in an online zazenkai over the last 14 months, you are encouraged to give this unique experience a try. You can participate as little or as much as you are able so there is no pressure to be present for every activity. This flexibility allows for those who have children at home or medical conditions or any other circumstances that make it challenging to participate full time and/or in person.

The stringent precautions necessitated by the pandemic have begun to ease and we see ourselves entering a different phase. This feels logically like a relief, but is at the same time unsettling in its sudden ambiguity. So much has happened in the last year that has brought centuries-old injustices of all kinds to our attention and brought new awareness to so many. At the same time, these events have simply underscored and acknowledged the decades of lived experience of those directly impacted. Much has emerged in our consciousness and much remains yet unknown. Perhaps we are also facing changes in our own personal circumstances and feel the weight of uncertainty in those uncharted waters. For all these reasons, it seems wise to give our bodies and minds the spacious ground of zazen and a silent retreat to allow the processing to take place. June Zazenkai is offered as an opportunity to be nourished by a few days of intense practice as we move through these times.

During this zazenkai, we will honor those who lost their lives to violence, injustice or a coronavirus-related death by saying their names during service dedications. Please send any names you'd like included to Myoyu Roshi (hyperlink to email) by Monday, June 7. Since there are so many people to name, we ask that you submit up to 15 names of people whom you most want to include because their story especially resonates for you – for example, people in your community, anyone you knew, someone you had something in common with, etc. (Any names you contributed last year for the Bearing Witness Zazenkai June 2020 will be included and do not need to be resent). The list will include brief information about each person so that we get a sense of who they were. However, only their names will be chanted during the service dedications.

After registering, you will receive instructions on how to participate in the retreat from home. You are welcome to participate in as much or as little of the retreat as is desirable/feasible for you. Below is a summary of the basic schedule:

Friday evening, we will begin with three periods of sitting, which will include opening remarks and precautions. The evening will end with the Four Bodhisattva Vows and three bows. On Saturday morning, we begin at 6 AM with the chanting of the Verse of Atonement and Three Refuges and two sitting periods. Morning service will be followed by a breakfast break. There will be two late morning sitting periods starting at 9:30 AM. At 10:50, there will be Teisho (a Dharma talk) by Myoyu Roshi followed by lunch service (online) and lunch on your own. There is a self care period at 2 PM during which you can do a body work practice (such as yoga, tai chi or qigong), take a walk, attend to family needs or another activity. This will be followed by a work period, during which you can do a work task of your choice at home, followed by a period of zazen and then evening service. After dinner break will be three more periods of sitting (online) beginning at 7:00 and ending with the Four Bodhisattva Vows and 3 bows. On Sunday morning, we will have two periods of zazen starting at 6 AM, followed by the Gate of Sweet Nectar. Since the Gate of Sweet Nectar is not in person, you are encouraged to make a donation to the food pantry in one of the ways described here. (hyperlink to Hungry Hearts Food Drive section)

You are welcome to participate in this retreat full time or part time. During the sitting periods, please turn off your video and mute yourself.  During the chants before or after sittings, you can leave your video on. There will not be a formal charge for the June 2021 Zazenkai .  Instead, we invite you to make a free will donation of any amount you would like on our Dana page. Please indicate in the comments that your donation is for the June 2021 Zazenkai and register by Wednesday, June 9.   For more information or questions about the zazenkai, email John Genshin Knewitz at birdsfan53@yahoo.com