Newsletter

Spring Half-day Retreat

Here are the details for our upcoming spring half-day retreat on Saturday, April 20th. Partial attendance is allowed and you may arrive or leave as needed from 8:15am on, but please do so only during kinhin and break times. Pre-registration is not required for the practice periods  from 8:30am on.

8:30 zazen

8:55 kinhin

9:00 zazen

9:25 kinhin

9:30 zazen

9:55 break

10:10 kinhin walk to riverfront

10:40 chi-kung/stretching

11:00 zazen

11:25 kinhin

11:30 zazen

11:55 kinhin

12:00 zazen

12:25 chanting/prostrations

We are also offering an additional early morning practice experience using some of the monastic forms. There is the option of arriving the night before, doing yaza (informal night sitting) and sleeping in the zendo, or arriving from home by 6:20am. Please email (genryojones@gmail.com) to pre-register for the early-morning or for overnight as we’ll need to know the number of attendees to plan for the baito tea and okayu (rice porridge) breakfast.

6:00 kaijo (wake up)

6:20 do-in-ho (movement)/baito sarei (pickled plum tea in zendo)

6:30 choka (long chanting service)

7:00 zazen

7:30 shukuza (formal breakfast)

8:00 clean up & break

The suggested minimum donation for the retreat is $20 per person (Venmo @ironcityrinzai (5532) or use the donate button at ironcityrinzai.org), but, as always, ability to donate is not a requirement for participation. Please, come practice together!

Sila, Samadhi, & Prajna Talks

This set of three talks was given this March. Taken together, sila, samadhi, & prajna are one way of describing the practice of Buddhadharma. Sila is ethical conduct or regulating behavior. Samadhi is meditative absorption, both in seated meditation and in activity. Prajna is our inherent wisdom that manifests with the fruition of practice. Please note, you can now find a page with all of the talk recordings linked under the resources heading in the menu. Thank you to everyone for your continuing participation and support!

Buddhist Modernism and Dharma & Practice Talks

A big thank you to all of you who’ve been coming on Monday nights to practice together! Here are the recordings from our last two meetings on Buddhist Modernism and Rinzai Zen from 2/19 and on the concept of “Dharma” and practice from 2/26. (Please note, we’ve switched to Bandcamp from Soundcloud for audio streaming). Next week we’ll start discussing the path of practice in terms of sila, samadhi, and prajna, beginning with sila, or ethical conduct.

“Embodied Spirituality” talk from Meido Roshi & Last Week’s “Six Paramitas” talk

This past Monday night we listened to part of a recorded dharma talk by Meido Moore Roshi: “Zen: Embodied Spirituality”, which was given at the University of Chicago recently, and had a good discussion about it afterwards. The full talk, including the Q&A, is available on the Korinji Patreon page and is open to non-subscribers. Also, a recording of our previous Monday night talk on the Six Paramitas is now available here. Next Monday, at the request of a member, we will discuss how Rinzai Zen fits into the larger picture of contemporary Buddhism. I’ll be referring in part to this interview with Robert Sharf on his critique of Buddhist modernism, if you’d like to read it ahead of time. See you Monday!

“Shugyo & Bodhicitta” Talk, Six Paramitas Reading

We had another full house this past Monday night–it’s truly wonderful to be able to practice together as a group! Here is the recording of the talk on Shugyo & Bodhicitta. Next Monday we’ll talk more about the Bodhisattva path and introduce the Six Paramitas. Here is a short reading selection for some background background information on these topics.

“Impermanence” Talk & Reading on Shugyo & Bodhicitta

Thank you again to everyone who’s been coming out to practice together on Monday evenings! Here is the recording of last Monday’s talk on Impermanence & Causality. Next Monday we’ll talk about the the word “shugyo“–practice or training–and its meaning in terms of Bodhicitta and the Bodhisattva Vow. Here is a short reading from Torei Enji’s “The Whip” that we’ll be referring to in next Monday’s talk and discussion.

“Dukkha” Talk & Six Realms Reading

Thank you again to everyone who attended last Monday! We filled our little zendo, and the difference it makes practicing together as a group was really quite palpable and amazing. Here is the link to the short talk on “Dukkha”. We will continue next Monday, after zazen and chanting practice, and finish the with Three Marks of Existence, taking a look at the concept of impermanence (“anitta”), and touching on causality and the Six Realms. Please take a look at this short reading on the Six Realms for some useful background information if you like!

“No-Self” Talk & Reading on “Dukkha”

We had a great turn out at our first Monday night practice this past Monday. It was really heartening to see so many faces there–new and old! I have transcribed the talk on “No-Self” and edited and expanded it for clarity and completeness, including some quotations that I only paraphrased in-person, so it will be worth looking at even if you heard the talk. Here’s the talk pdf. We will continue with another of the Three Marks of Existence this coming Monday night with a short talk on the concept of “Dukkha”, followed by a discussion, as we did last week, touching on practical exerience. I’ve also selected a short passage on “dukkha” that you can read before the talk for some useful background, if you like. Find the dukkha pdf here. Hope to see you on Monday night!

New Day in the New Year

Greetings, and Happy New Year Everyone!

I’d like to announce that with the new year, we will be moving our regular meeting time to Monday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00pm, (instead of Saturday mornings), starting Monday, January 8th. The schedule will be the same with two 25 minute periods of zazen with kinhin in between, chanting practice, and a short talk and discussion. We are still meeting at the Stillpoint building in Lawrenceville (137 41st St.).

With the new day, we’ll be able to offer practice consistently every week of the month, (rather than skipping fourth Saturdays, as we have been). Hopefully the weekday evening will be convenient for more people.

I’m planning to structure the topics of our weekly talks into a series on basic Buddhist concepts, establishing a home practice, engaging with the tradition, and more—culminating in an opportunity to receive Jukai, and formally enter the Buddhist path as a layperson. 

We will additionally be holding occasional Saturday practice sessions that will be a longer, half-day retreat style format. These will be announced as special events.

Looking back, it has been an amazing and precious year! I feel lucky to have met so many of you and had the chance to practice together. I look forward to seeing you in the coming year!