Tuesday Night Class The Lotus Sutra 6:30 - 8:00 pm at Sakuraji
The Lotus Sutra is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential sutras, or sacred scriptures, of Buddhism. In it, Shakyamuni expounds the ultimate truth of life to which he was enlightened. The sutra’s key message is that Buddhahood, the supreme state of life characterized by boundless compassion, wisdom and courage, is inherent within every person without distinction of gender, ethnicity, social standing or intellectual ability.
The Lotus Sutra is a teaching that encourages an active engagement with mundane life and all its challenges. Zen practice is not an escape from these challenges but an inexhaustible source of positive energy to grapple with and transform the sufferings and contradictions of life and create happiness. The Lotus Sutra is ultimately a teaching of empowerment. It “teaches us that the inner determination of an individual can transform everything; it gives ultimate expression to the infinite potential and dignity inherent in each human life.”
6:30 pm zazen 7:00 Sutra Study 8:15 Tissarana
Cost: A PDF of the Sutra will be provided. Course fee is by donation.
Retreats October 13 - 15 Practice Period Opening Retreat Week-end Retreat Retreats begin at 7:00 pm on the first day of the retreat and end at noon on the last day of the retreat. The practice period opening retreat gives students an opportunity to settle into the training term. There is one full days of practice. The schedule includes a work practice period. One-on-one interviews with the teacher are also included. November 10 - 12 Practice Period Midterm Retreat Week-end Retreat The structure of this retreat is similar to the Practice Period Opening Retreat with a somewhat more rigorous sitting schedule. This retreat gives students an opportunity to deepen sitting practice and to evaluate how the training term is going and how the vows or practice are blending with daily life, and to make changes, if desirable. December 6 - 10 Practice Period Closing Retreat Five-day Retreat This retreat includes an intense sitting practice, one yoga class, time for walking practice and work meditation. The primary focus of this retreat is sitting zazen. This will deepen your sitting and strengthen your ability to design and maintain your won practice.
These retreats, except for meals, are by donation. Residental Retreats Serious Zen students are welcome to come to Sakuraji for residential training. We have two residence rooms. Sakuraji is a simple rural temple in a small town in British Columbia. Residential training includes daily sitting practice, study of Zen texts and work practice opportunities both in the zendo garden and in the community. For more information contact Kuya.
Kuya Minogue Kuya is resident priest at Sakuraji. She is a member of the Silent Thunder Order and Sakuraji is an affiliate of that order. She has been studying Soto Zen since 1986 and has recently completed a practice period at Green Gulch Farm with Tenshin Reb Anderson as the guiding teacher.
Mission Mountain Zen Group Retreats Led by Zenku, Jerry Smyers
Zenku Jerry Smyers is Kuya's teacher and Vice Abbot of the Silent Thunder Order. He is a Soto Zen Priest in the Lineages of Soyu Matsuoka Roshi and Shohaku Okumura Roshi. Zenku began his training as a disciple of Kongo Langlois Roshi, Abbot of the Zen Buddhist Temple of Chicago and a dharma heir of Matsuoka Roshi, in 1976. Zenku trained at the Zen Buddhist Temple of Chicago and was ordained a Zen Priest in 1982. Zenku was a Priest in Chicago until 2005, assisting Kongo Roshi until his passing in 1999, and then providing Temple leadership.In 2005, Zenku moved to Montana and established the Mission Mountain Zen Group in Dayton Montana. In 2010 Zenku became a disciple of Taiun Elliston Roshi, Abbot of the Atlanta Soto Zen Center, and a dharma heir of Matsuoka Roshi and Okumura Roshi from the Uchiyama Lineage. In 2012, Zenku received dharma transmission from Taiun Roshi. Zenku is a member of Soto Zen Buddhist Association.