Blue Mountain Zendo Winter Sesshin December 14-21 2012

“Sesshin”, literally “to collect the mind”, is the Zen Buddhist seclusion or intensive, consisting of seven days of silent meditative practice, Dharma talks (sermons) and a private interview twice a day with Rev. Joriki Baker, a Zen monk. During Sesshin, the student concentrates on nothing but collecting the scattered shards of the mind so that they can realize/remember their original unity with the universe from which they ordinarily feel separated from. This experience of unity is just the beginning of true Zen Practice, however, many settle for just this experience. The Zen rabbit hole is infinitely deeper and ever more amazing than any concept or philosophy we could ever manifest or filter through. For centuries, philosophy and religion have tried to evoke this awakened state but, with with transitory results at best. This awakening is beyond word and letter and requires an honest and inward investigation which helps to uncover and manifest our inner nature which is the focal catalyst that initiates the restorative process required to take our rightful place as Buddhas.
Sesshin is the core of all Zen Buddhist Practice. While other traditions tend to be distracted by the playful words left by the Buddhas of the past, Zen concerns itself with the engagement, validation, and embodiment of such wisdom. In other words, some traditions study the path of Ancient Buddhas while others walk their own path using the advice of Ancient Buddhas as encouragement. Sesshin is the time for the inward exploration of our essential self and ultimately the relinquishment of even that. Sesshin is a time for women and men to come together and support each other in this most noble of quests. As a sangha, in sesshin, we experience together our struggles, our wonders, our tears, and our joy which arise during our practice time together. Sesshin at Blue Mountain Zendo includes lodging, meditation instruction, koan practice, samu practice, chanting practice, vegetarian meals, daily woodland walking meditations and daily private interviews.

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* In memory of Taipo Joe McIntyre, Zenji