Kannon Do will host a one-day meditation retreat, or Sesshin on Saturday, December 14th. This day of mindfulness offers a rare opportunity to turn our awareness to the simple activities that sustain our lives, and that we normally take for granted: breathing, walking, eating, being attentive to the workings of our mind. The distractions and pressures of daily responsibilities diminish, giving a wider world view a chance to appear, along with a sense of gratitude and calmness. We encourage you to organize your schedule so that you can attend this short retreat.
Note to first timers: No meditation or Oryoki (eating meals in meditation hall in monastic style) instruction will be given on sesshin day, as this day is spent in silent mindfulness, interrupted only by functional talk (what needs to be done etc). If you are a first timer we highly recommend you attend a first timer instruction, and attend Oryoki training; before attending Walking and Sitting sessions, oryoki, bowing ceremonies and cleaning of the temple on Sesshin Day.
1. Sign-up sheets for attendance, Doan and Kokyo Sign-up, food /meals sign up, and the Sesshin schedule is be available in printed form outside the Zendo.
2. There is a $20 suggested donation for the upkeep of Kannon Do and running of Sesshin.
3. If you plan to stay for meals during Sesshin i.e Breakfast, Lunch or Tea, please write your name down on the attendee sheet so we have a head count of how many people to feed.
4. To help additionally volunteer to bring food (Vegetarian Protein and Vegetables for Breakfast and Lunch/ Fruit and Cookies for Tea) for 18-20 attendees. Write your name and food you are providing on the Sesshin food sign up sheet. And if you are preparing a meal for Sesshin Attendees please make sure to bring it to the Kannon Do Kitchen, 1.5 hours before Breakfast and Lunch.
5. Oryoki (eating meals in Monastic Style) Training will be offered prior to the Sesshin and information is also available at https://kannondo.org/getting-started/oryoki/
6. Sesshin Schedule, Guidelines, and Other Details:
5:30 AM Zazen
6:10 AM Kinhin/Tenzo prepares Breakfast
6:20 AM Zazen
7:00 AM Silent Bowing/Servers Report to Kitchen
7:10 AM Breakfast
8:00 AM Clean-up/Personal Time
8:40 AM Zazen
9:20 AM Kinhin
9:30 AM Zazen
10:00 AM Kinhin
10:10 AM Zazen
10:40 AM Kinhin/Tenzo prepares Lunch
10:50 AM Zazen
11:30 AM Silent Bowing/Servers Report to Kitchen
11:40 AM Lunch
12:40 PM Clean-up & Personal Time
1:10 PM Begin Work Period
2:10 PM Tea Preparation + Servers Prepare Tea
2:20 PM End Work Period + Clean-up
2:30 PM Tea
3:00 PM Kinhin
3:10 PM Zazen
3:50 PM Kinhin
4:00 PM Zazen
4:40 PM Kinhin
4:50 PM Zazen
5:30 PM Service
6:00 PM Clean-up
A meditation retreat provides an opportunity to practice for an extended period in a quiet, supportive atmosphere, free from the usual distractions of everyday life. To help you, and others maintain mindfulness during Sesshin, we suggest the following:
Please help us maintain silence during Sesshin only speaking to someone if necessary, for instance about meal preparation. If you find it necessary to have a conversation, please do so outside Kannon Do so you not to disturb others.
Please refrain from reading and writing.
Each activity (meditation, meals, work period) is closed with a group bow. If you need to leave after an activity, please do so after bowing with the group.
Be aware that the telephone can be a great distraction. If you find it necessary to use the phone, please do so outside Kannon Do.
During the breaks following meals, you can use the Zendo to rest or stretch, or you can walk outside. During breaks, you can also help to wash and dry dishes and put away food in silence.
In addition to break times, you can use Kinhin (walking meditation) periods to visit the restrooms.
If you will be staying for one or more meals, please indicate which ones on the signup sheet by the Zendo door.
When you arrive at Sesshin, take an Oryoki bowl Set from the table, identifying it by writing your name on the wooden stick provided.
Keep the Oryoki at your seat while you are at Sesshin, and when you leave, return the Oryoki to Kitchen.
If you are unfamiliar with the use of Oryoki, don’t be concerned about getting it “right.” Try to follow along with someone who understands the practice.
You can understand much of the schedule by listening to the bells, as follows-