May 25, 2011

New Zen practice groups: update

18 participants turned out for the Chicago Zen Community's introductory session at North Shore Yoga in Northfield, IL on May 21st. Strong interest has led to confirmation of our new practice group there, meeting monthly on Saturdays 11:15am-12:30pm. Sitting and a dharma talk will be offered. Please mark your calendar with the upcoming monthly dates: June 11th, July 30th and September 24th.

Here's another reminder also for the first monthly meeting of our new group in Roscoe, Illinois at Lazy Dog Yoga: June 6th, 7:15-9pm.

For more detailed location information and to RSVP to visit either group, please go to http://www.chicagozencommunity.org/. And please help us spread the word!

May 10, 2011

New Zen practice groups

The Chicago Zen Community, an association of Chicago-area practice groups which is part of the larger Rinzai Zen Community supported by Korinji, has announced the formation of a new practice group in Roscoe, Illinois (near Rockford), meeting at Lazy Dog Yoga. The group will meet monthly on Monday evenings at 7:45pm, with the first meeting scheduled for June 6. Meditation instruction and a dharma talk will be given. See the CZC site for more information.

Meanwhile in Northfield, Illinois an introduction to meditation class will be held on Saturday, May 21 at North Shore Yoga, 11:15am-12:30pm. This class is being held as a kick-off event for a possible ongoing practice group there. Please see North Shore Yoga's site here for location information.

Several additional practice groups are in the process of forming, and we'll keep you posted!

Trails and drives

Though rain was forecast this past weekend at Korinji our work crew was met with unexpected sunshine. They report that the last of the snow is finally gone, and flowers are blooming in the forest despite the slow start that the trees seem to have had this year

With dense foliage yet to arrive and the forest floor still clear, it was therefore a good time for work on the grounds. We're happy to announce that after a bit of hard labor the trail from our main parking area to the monastery now has steps in two locations: on the steep slope just below the lot, and on the slippery area below the second switchback (just before the footbridge location). Our steps, five in each spot, are made of railroad tie halves and stone. We expect to put another 9 in just below the zendo, above the future gate.

Most of the rest of the work this weekend involved the disposal of a huge brush pile, the construction of a bin for burnable wood scraps (with our future woodstove in mind), and a general continued cleaning up of the construction site. On Monday, however, a dramatic change came to the grounds: the final graveling of our main parking area, as well as the secondary drive and parking leading down to the monastery area. Gusty thunderstorms hit before noon, but by that time our skidsteer had done most of the difficult work. By 3pm it was done, and we now have a permanent and accessible large parking area for guests as well as construction and emergency access to the building site. And yes, we can finally announce that never again will any of our work crews need to carry building materials down to the monastery by hand. Veterans of the now-infamous groundbreaking weekend, in which more than 300 bags of concrete were hand carried through the woods, may justly now brag that "in the old days, we did things differently...".

With this completed, we're now poised to dive into more work on the building, depending on our fundraising situation. We've calculated that $60,000.00 is needed to finish the zendo completely, inside and out. Though our incoming donation stream has been wonderfully steady, it hasn't been large enough to allow for the several large purchases we now need to make quickly, like windows. Please see the Korinji site for ways in which you can donate or volunteer including supporting events like our annual Fall-a-thon on June 25th!

Many thanks as usual to our volunteer work crew this past weekend. The next work weekend is May 27-30...Memorial Day weekend here in the States. If you can come up to help for any or all of those days, you are indeed very welcome to contribute to Korinji's founding.

May 4, 2011

Internal training workbook available

A limited number of copies of the Internal Training Reference and Study Workbook are available. This is the same workbook distributed to participants in the recent internal training seminar. Contents include:

- Preface (by Meido Roshi)
- A Brief Background of Internal Training
- Points to be Observed in Practice
- The Posture of Internal Training
- The Practices (with blank pages for student notes):Tanden Kokyu-ho, Naikan no Ho, Nanso no Ho, Do-in Ho (24 self-massage forms, 15 small forms and 15 primary forms), and Hara Tanren.

Please note that this is a workbook for students actually studying the internal training curriculum; it does not instruct the curriculum, but rather serves as a convenient notebook and reference during actual class sessions. In other words: you can not learn the curriculum from this book, but the book is important if you are learning the curriculum.

Copies are $15.00, made payable to the Korinji foundation. Please email to info@korinji.org to inquire.