2023 FALL PRACTICE PERIOD
September 23 to December 31
The Theme for the Practice Period is Taking Refuge in the Three Treasures.
Welcome to the 2023 Fall Practice Period!
The participating Sanghas are: Zen Center of Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo Zen Circle, Wild River Zen Circle (Nevada City, CA), Monday Night Meditation Group (Pasadena, CA), Empty Hands Circle (Campinas, SP, Brazil), Zen-Center Bambushain (Zhulinci, Aachen, Germany).
The teachers, pictured on this page, are ready to support your practice throughout the ninety days. The teachers offering Face-to-Face are Senseis Senshin, Myoho, Mukei, Dharma-Joy, and Shogen, Dharma-Holder Jitsujo, Roshi Ryodo and Roshi Egyoku.
This fall, we will focus on taking refuge in the Three Treasures of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. This is the very state of reality itself, and when we are one with them, we are expressing the true nature of Life. By taking refuge, we are confirming our resolve to live by the Bodhisattva Precepts and to live a socially engaged awakened life.
- Buddha is the aspect of oneness and equality; the unconditioned or unhindered state;
- Dharma is the aspect of diversity, differences and multiplicity as seen from oneness;
- Sangha is the aspect of natural harmonious relationship of oneness and differences.
Below are some suggested ways to practice with The Three Treasures. It can be as simple as chanting daily one of the versions of taking refuge in the Three Treasures suggested below and then being open to how it plays out in your daily life.
How will you reveal yourself as the Three Treasures this Fall? How will you view the whole world as none other than the manifestation of these Jewels?
How will you stretch yourself in Practice this Fall? No intention is too small to shift awareness.
Our Fall Practice Period is a beautiful container in which we support each other in our various commitments and deepen in the Dharma.
As Roshi Bernie Glassman put it:
“…the Three Treasures is nothing but ourselves. One of the first things we say is, “Be one with Buddha, be one with Dharma, be one with Sangha.” That is us. Be one. We could even start there. Commitment is to be one. If not, right there we cause suffering. In a sense, we should first look at that important vow and see what kind of suffering we’re causing.”
For this Fall Practice Period, we encourage everyone to:
- Make a morning commitment by reciting one (or more) of the following:
- I, _____________, take refuge in the Buddha. I vow to embody Oneness, the awakened nature of all beings. I take refuge in the Dharma. I vow to embody Diversity, the ocean of wisdom and compassion. I take refuge in the Sangha. I vow to embody Harmony, the interdependence of all creations. (Recite 3x)
- I take refuge in the Buddha – I take refuge in the Dharma – I take refuge in the Sangha (3x)
- The Three Refuges in Pali:Buddham saranam gacchami
Dhammam saranam gacchami
Sangham saranam gacchami
Dutiyampi buddham saranam gacchami
Dutiyampi dhammam saranam gacchami
Dutiyampi sangham saranam gacchami
Tatiyampi buddham saranam gacchami
Tatiyampi dhammam saranam gacchami
Tatiyampi sangham saranam gacchami
- Being one with the Buddha, with all beings, raise the Bodhi Mind. Let the supreme Way be realized.
Being one with the Dharma, with all beings, penetrate all sutras. Let wisdom be like the ocean.
Being one with the Sangha, with all beings, lead the people. Let harmony pervade everywhere.
2. Recite in the evening one (or both) of the following:
- I have taken refuge in the Buddha. I have taken refuge in the Dharma. I have taken refuge in the Sangha. (3x)
- The Buddha has been revealed. The Dharma has been revealed. The Sangha has been revealed. (3x)
Because our regular practice forms are peppered with invocations of The Three Treasure, we encourage everyone to participate in person with the Sangha (the Third Treasure) in our:
A. Gate of Sweet Nectar Service (held on most Sundays)
B. Day of Reflection on Saturday: September 30, October 28, November 18, December 16
C. Ceremony of Atonement on: Thursday, November 16 & Sunday, December 31
We will also be offering Dharma Talks and discussions on The Three Treasures on:
1. Sunday, September 24 – Public F2F on the Three Treasures
2. Sunday, October 1 – The Buddha Treasure
3. Sunday, October 8 – The Dharma Treasure
4. Sunday, October 29 – The Sangha Treasure – commitment check in
5. Sunday, November 12 – The Buddha Treasure Deepened
6. Sunday, November 19 — The Dharma Treasure Deepened
7. Sunday, December 17 – The Sangha Treasure – Sangha sharing
This fall, we have also substantially expanded our weekday schedule for those who want to come to the Zen Center and practice, as well as for those who want to join us online via Zoom. For that schedule, click here.
PRACTICE PERIOD ENTERING
You are invited and encouraged to attend the opening ceremonies for the Fall Practice Period. On Saturday morning, September 23 at 9:00 AM, please attend the Entering Ceremony for all participants and the Head Trainee Leave-taking and new Head Trainee Entering Ceremonies. The Sangha is invited to attend in person. Those who are unable to, may Zoom in. Details will be sent by the Program Steward. The Practice Period Closing Ceremony will be held on December 31.
ENTERING HEAD TRAINEES
ZCLA Head Trainee John Kyogen Rosania
John Kyogen Rosania is the 2023-2024 Head Trainee under the guidance of Sensei Katherine Daiki Senshin Griffith. He has been a resident at ZCLA since 2015. He began Zen practice at 19, experienced sitting with various Zen communities throughout his twenties, and began steadier formal practice with Sensei Daishin Buksbazen at Ocean Moon Sangha in Santa Monica. He is currently ZCLA’s Board Secretary and works as a psychotherapist in community mental health and in private practice.
SLO Head Trainee Deborah Chikuin Fukuan West
Deborah will enter as the San Luis Obispo Zen Circle’s fourth Head Trainee on Thursday, September 28 under the guidance of Sensei Mark Shogen Bloodgood. Deborah began practicing with the San Francisco Zen Center in 1972, where she spent 12 years living and working at both the San Francisco City Center and at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. She received jukai from Zentatsu Baker-roshi in 1978. During her time at SFZC, she held positions such as fukuten, shika, and anja, and spent five years at Tassajara. She has been practicing with the San Luis Obispo group since 2017 and currently serves on the SLOZC Board. Deborah is a single mother of one grown son and is now retired, after having worked as a professor of art for 27 years. Painting and art continue to be an important and enduring part of her life.
EXITING HEAD TRAINEES
Head Trainee Tim Taikan Zamora
Taikan, the Head Trainee for 2022-2023 will formally exit his position on Saturday, September 23. His Hossen-shiki (Dharma Combat Ceremony) will take place on Sunday, October 22, at the end of the October sesshin. Thank you for your steadfast practice throughout your Practice year, Head Trainee Taikan. The Sangha has been supported and inspired by your practice!
Head Trainee Gary Koshin West
Head Trainee Gary Koshin West, Head Trainee 2022-2023 under the guidance of Sensei Shogen at San Luis Obispo Zen Circle (SLOZC), will formally exit his position on September 28. He has served as the third Head Trainee of the SLOZC Sangha. Deep gratitude, Head Trainee Koshin, for your practice and dedication to our Sangha. You have been an inspiration to us all. His Hossen-shiki (Dharma Combat Ceremony) will take place on Sunday, January 21, 2024 at SLOZC.