October 15, 2013

Internal Cultivation retreat in Chicago: Dec. 7 - 8

Meido Roshi will lead a short overnight retreat at Daiyuzenji in Chicago on Saturday and Sunday Dec. 7-8, focused on the Internal Cultivation practices passed down within our lineage. Instruction will be tailored to the individuals attending, but in general will cover aspects of the following practices:

1. Progressive instruction of Tanden Kokyuho (the breathing used in zazen). This includes foundational instruction in diaphragmatic ("belly") breathing as well as the pelvic floor lock used within zazen posture to "set" the hara, causing energy to gather at the tanden and increasing clarity dramatically. Within this training, various methods used to deepen the intensity and refinement of energetic vibration (kiai) in unity with samadhi, and to cut through obstructions to recognizing one's nature, will be examined and practiced: A-Un breathing, chanting of mantric sound, energetic vocalization (kiai/katsu), physical exercises and so on.

2. Hakuin's Naikan no ho and Nanso no ho practices: to balance and learn to direct energy, to dissolve physical and energetic blockages, and to improve/preserve one's health.

3. Do-in Ho: a series of exercises to circulate energy throughout the body, to increase suppleness and to improve circulation. This includes a routine for daily self-massage.

The schedule is 6:30pm Saturday evening through 8:00am Sunday morning. Participants should bring a sleeping bag. Suggested donation is $55 for Rinzai Zen Community members, $65 others...however any donation is fine, and no one will be turned away if unable to donate (proceeds benefit Korinji). Breakfast will be served on Sunday morning. Participants are invited to stay for our usual Sunday morning practice afterwards (8:30-11am).

Prerequisite: participants must have received prior foundational instruction in zazen and be able to sit with stability for average-length periods (30-45 min). Persons attending who are not RZC members are requested to obtain permission from their teachers beforehand.

All are welcome! Please contact RZC with any questions: info@rinzaizen.org

October 14, 2013

Gate teaser...

A detail of the sanmon ("mountain gate", the traditional entrance to a Zen monastery) under construction at Korinji.  The gate is being constructed largely from timbers harvested on our land. When completed it will stand above the stone steps which lead up to our buildings. 

Large, illustrious monasteries often have large, illustrious gates.  In former centuries these could serve to display a temple's status and position: the larger the gate, the more important the place. 

This gate, however, is small, rustic, hidden and poor...as befits a monastery of those qualities.  Our primary concern, after all, is with a different "gate"...  

October 7, 2013

Fall-a-thon fundraiser results...Thank you!

The results of the 2013 Fall-a-thon - an annual fundraiser sponsored by Shinjinkai, the Japanese Martial Arts Society - are in!

It's with tremendous gratitude that we acknowledge our donors and everyone who came together on the day of the Fall-a-thon last week.  This year, Aikido students threw and Iaijutsu students performed kata.  Zen students supported the effort also by undertaking a practice of chanting and prostrations for an hour and a half.

Donations are still arriving and being tallied, but so far nearly $10,000.00 has been raised during the Fall-a-thon period.

These donations make possible the current work at Korinji. As of today the interior walls are being completed and prepped for painting (photos soon).

Thank you again to everyone for your kind support, and especially to the Fall-a-thon participants whose effort has been so crucial!