Practice Period 2019 – October 5 through November 17
What Is Practice Period?
Practice period is a time to deepen one’s commitment to practice by taking on a some more formal practice. It can also be characterized by an intention to practice with a precept such as not harboring ill will or a paramita such as generosity or patience. Practice Period is deeply nourishing.
In the Buddha’s time, during the rainy season the monks would gather together to practice and study as a group. This time of reflection continued in monastic practice in China and Japan. It has traditionally been 90 days long. This is the length of a practice period at Tassajara. At urban Centers practice periods often last 6-8 weeks and end with a sesshin. Often, a “shuso” or head student helps the person leading the practice period and deepens their own training.
Accompanying this explanation is a calendar with the practice events for the practice period. Please review it and then fill out the statement of intention if you would like to participate in some way. Before filling out the intention statement, please think about what is realistic for you. It is useful for practice period to be a stretch but not if it is unrealistic. So, do not to commit to more than you can do. Better to commit to a bit less and do extra than to commit to too much and then feel bad.
Practice Period is a good time for you to commit to more zazen for yourself, mornings. On Saturday mornings, there is a longer early zazen period, an hour, with a short interval in the middle. That means you can sit through or stand or change position during the interval. We will have oryoki breakfast on Saturday mornings.