“Sesshin”, literally “to collect the mind”, is the Zen Buddhist seclusion or intensive period, consisting of 1-14 days of silent meditative practice. Included in these periods are daily Zazen, Dharma Talks/Teisho (sermons), Samu (work) periods, and private interview/meeting (Dokusan) twice daily with Ryuun Joriki Baker, Osho. During Sesshin, the Zen Student concentrates on nothing but, collecting the scattered energy of mind, so that they may realize their rightful place within the universe, as the universe. This “boundless mind”, many times, feels hidden from us in our daily lives, and as a result, we seek outwardly for that which we perceive we are lacking. Deep insights into our core nature occurs when we stop grasping outwardly for insight and wisdom. Many times these experiences occur when we least expect them. They reveal themselves in our daily activities, in times of heartache and despair, love and joy, death and birth, or simply “being”. These seemingly random, and powerful experiences, stir within us something systemic to our very being, something which consumes the ego self without a trace. This nature, our core nature, is the essence of universe itself. It is always present, and we unknowingly swim in it at all times, however, we are blinded by the strong currents of the habitual ego and we are tricked into limiting our perception of reality and our subjective grounding. When we awaken to the truth, and experience the lightning strike of insight, these flashes and sparks, stoke the flames of our true nature, and burn away the ignorance and darkness which imprisons us. As our Zen Practice matures, our inner light burns brighter and brighter. Without continued practice via zazen (meditation), these flames will grow cold once again, and we will slowly be swept away by the habitual currents once again. However, there will be those few men and women who will tend to this burning ember, their hearts and minds will glow brighter and brighter, and in the most subtle and ordinary way, they will realize their rightful seat among the countless Buddhas. The awakened mind of the Buddha is beyond word and letter, it is beyond even the Buddhas themselves. This one true dynamic mind is simple, loving, and selfless, yet unattainable and inexhaustible.
Our journey to realize this mind begins with the readiness to let go of our preconceived ideas and desires; sesshin is a container of tools that are designed to help us identify and breakthrough the briars which entangle us. Our efforts during sesshin fan the internal fire which temper our insights, and reveals the truth of who and what all “this” is. Sesshin is the catalyst from which this process begins, and true healing and liberation are realized. We hope you will come and explore with this great matter with us!
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Email – Jisha@BlueMountainZendo.org