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Practice Intensive: Five Buddha Families

September 1 - September 28

Practice Intensive
The Five Buddha Families

Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community
September 1
st – 28th 2021

‘When we live our life fully, our life becomes….’the supreme meal’
‘The supreme meal – your own life – is the greatest gift you can receive and the greatest offering you can make.’
Bernie Glassman

During our home and community-based practice intensive this September, we will spend time with The Five Buddha Families, which we use in the Zen Peacemaker Tradition as a core practice and model. Together, we can look at the supreme meal of our lives.

We will attend classes and have sangha discussions around these different ‘courses,’ or aspects, of our lives: Spirituality, Learning, Livelihood, Social Action and Relationship.

We will explore how these five streams, these energies, pervade our lives – personally, in our families, and in society. As we spend time together, we can see how these different aspects can work together as a whole.

‘All these courses are an essential part of the supreme meal.

Just as we all need certain kinds of foods to make a complete meal that will sustain and nourish us, we need all five of these courses to live a full life’

Bernie Glassman

Registration by sending an email to info@breadloafmountainzen.org

What is a Practice Intensive? 

A practice intensive draws on the tradition of a practice period, or ango. Historically, it is a time set aside for intentional together-practice, community building and deepening spiritual friendships. Its roots lie in the mendicant lifestyle of the first Buddhists. During the monsoon season, when traveling by foot was not safe or possible, the monks and nuns stopped to “shelter-in-place” at a temporary camping site for three months until the rains passed. During this period of sheltering, the sangha enjoyed shared teachings and storytelling, meals and chores, and spiritual practices. In stopping and paying attention to their lives, they deepened as individuals and as a community, and came to a better understanding of themselves in society. Having woven together their connection to one another in the Dharma, they left the ango when the rains passed better equipped to continue their wandering life in the community more intimately and skillfully. Practice period continues today as a central feature of Zen practice, and is required for priests and lay teachers who are affiliated with the Soto Zen Buddhist Association.

Structure of the Practice Intensive

The program (offered in-person for local sangha and online) will last one month, beginning September 1st and ending September 28th. You may join for all or part of it to accommodate work and family responsibilities. Making a commitment to the practice is an important part of Zen training, so we ask that you fulfill the commitment you make to the community at the beginning of the intensive.

Each week there will be meditation, Zen liturgy, dharma talks, discussion groups, and classes with teachers. In the spirit of Zen Peacemakers, we will integrate Peacemaker practices and forms. There will be bearing witness practices, time for discussion, art, and informal tea time chats with the shuso. Most activities will require that you join the community via zoom for real-time events; a few activities will be undertaken on your own schedule. We hope to create a structure that allows you to participate in ways that make sense for you.

Joshin Byrnes, sensei will lead the practice period supported by Peg, Petra, and Eisho. In addition, we’re delighted to announce that Eve Myonen Marko Roshi will teach a 3-hour Five Buddha Families workshop on Saturday September 11.

Eisho will be the shuso or “head monk,” managing the logistics, hosting teas, and offering teachings. Petra, Eisho, Peg and Joshin will be offering individual practice discussions available to all participants.

Those seeking ordination as a Community Engaged Buddhist Minister as part of the Infinite Circle group are required to participate in the practice period.

Schedule

Date Program Eastern Time
Daily Daily morning meditation at Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community 7:00-7:40am
Daily (except Sundays) Daily afternoon meditation at Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community 5:30-6:30pm
September 1 Practice Intensive Opening Ceremony and Orientation 4:00-5:00pm
September 1 Dharma Talk and Shuso Entering Ceremony 5:30-6:30pm
September 2 Class
3:30-5:00pm
September 3 Tea with the Shuso (informal Dharma discussion) 4:00-5:00pm
signup
September 4 Half-Day Practice Intensive:
Sitting Meditation (Optional Meditation Instruction) 10:00-10:25am
Walking Meditation 10:25-10:35am
Sitting Meditation 10:35-11:00am
Walking Meditation 11:00-11:10am
Sitting Meditation 11:10-11:30am
Silent lunch/break/rest 11:30am-12:30pm
Dharma Talk 12:30-12:50pm
Walking Meditation 12:50-1:00pm
Sitting meditation 1:00-1:25pm
Walking Meditation 1:25-1:35pm
Sitting Meditation and End 1:35-2:00pm
September 5 Bearing Witness/Connection Day – Council Circle Start 10:00am
Council 3:30-5:00pm
September 6 Gate of Sweet Nectar 5:30-6:30pm
September 8 Dharma Talk
5:30-6:30pm
September 9 Class
3:30-5:00pm
September 10 Tea with the Shuso (informal Dharma discussion) 12:00-1:00pm
signup
September 11 Five-Buddha Families workshop: Eve Marko 10:00am-1:00pm
September 15 Dharma Talk
5:30-6:30pm
September 16 Class
3:30-5:00pm
September 17 Tea with the Shuso (informal Dharma discussion) 2:00-3:00pm
signup
September 18 Half-Day Practice Intensive:
Sitting Meditation (Optional Meditation Instruction) 10:00-10:25am
Walking Meditation 10:25-10:35am
Sitting Meditation 10:35-11:00am
Walking Meditation 11:00-11:10am
Sitting Meditation 11:10-11:30am
Silent lunch/break/rest 11:30am-12:30pm
Dharma Talk 12:30-12:50pm
Walking Meditation 12:50-1:00pm
Sitting meditation 1:00-1:25pm
Walking Meditation 1:25-1:35pm
Sitting Meditation and End 1:35-2:00pm
September 19 Bearing Witness/Connection Day – Council Circle Start 10:00am
Council 3:30-5:00pm
September 20 Recommitment to the Peacemaker Precepts
5:30-6:30pm
September 22 Dharma Talk
5:30-6:30pm
September 23 Class
3:30-5:00pm
September 24 Tea with the Shuso (informal Dharma discussion) 2:00-3:00pm
signup
September 26 Shuso Tea Ceremony
10:00-11:00am
September 27 Shusohossenshiki Ceremony 5:30-6:30pm
September 28 Closing Council
10:00-11:30am

Bearing Witness Days

Bearing Witness Days will begin at 10:00 a.m. with a group recitation of the Verse of Atonement and the Peacemaker Precepts and instructions for the day. It will end with a Council at 3:30 pm and the dedication of merit.

Practice Period Commitment

Flexibility: The Practice Period is here to meet your needs. You are encouraged to participate as much as would benefit you.

Practice Interviews: We will be offering brief practice interviews via Zoom with Joshin, Peg, Eisho or Petra. Generally, the times for practice interviews will be between 9:30 a.m.—11:30 a.m. eastern time. You will sign up for practice interview via a weblink and you will be given a zoom link prior to the interview time.

If you are entering year two of the Infinite Circle, you are asked to participate in both Bearing Witness Days, the workshop with Eve Marko and all Dharma Talks.
You are also requested to participate in, at minimum: one Practice Intensive Day, one Class on the readings, one Shuso Tea Discussion, the Precepts Recommitment Ceremony and the Gate of Sweet Nectar Liturgy. 

Generosity

The practice period is offered freely. However, we hope that you will be able to make a generous contribution to support Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community, its teachers, and the social action work of our community. Please give what you can afford, but as a general guideline, $350 for the entire practice period or $100 per week. Again, please do not hesitate to participate in the practice period if you cannot afford a financial contribution. You can give online or mail a check to: Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community, PO Box 818, Middlebury VT 05753

Details

Start:
September 1
End:
September 28
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