2018 ADZG Nine-Week Spring Practice Commitment Period

Models of Bodhisattva Practice: Faces of Compassion

April 1 - June 3, 2018

Ancient Dragon Zen Gate dragon logo

Focused periods of community practice originated at the time of Shakyamuni Buddha. During these periods practitioners join together to deepen and support each other's practice of the Buddha way. In Japanese Zen these practice periods are residential monastic retreats known as ango (peaceful abiding). In modern American context, our non-residential practice commitment period is an opportunity to integrate and develop sustainable practice in our everyday lives and echo the ancient Buddhist tradition of intentional community practice. Ancient Dragon Zen Gate's sangha community lives, works, and practices as householders in an urban environment, enacting our responsibilities to nourish our connections with our loved ones, work situations, and our own body/minds. To support deepening practice, participants in the practice commitment period (PCP) design individualized programs including three key aspects of Zen training: meditation, study, and community life. Participants will practice with one of six bodhisattva figures (Avalokiteshvara/Kannon, Manjushri, Samantabhadra, Ksitigarbha/Jizo, Maitreya, and Vimalakirti) from Faces of Compassion; Classic Bodhisattva Figures and Their Modern Expression.

For this year's Practice Commitment Period the Head Student will be Eishin Nancy Easton, who will share PCP leadership with Guiding Teacher Taigen Dan Leighton.

All practitioners are welcome to register. Participants in the practice commitment period are required to make a commitment to meditation, study, and community. A commitment sheet is available for outlining your practice commitment for the eight weeks of practice commitment period. Personal commitments can include some flexibility or modification, in consultation with Taigen. Distant members may also participate.

Meditation - A commitment to zazen

  • A commitment to four days of weekly home sitting (or at least six days/week including ADZG).
  • A defined commitment to at least two weekly sittings at ADZG, including Hyde Park.
  • Participation in three all-day sittings (April 1, May 13, or June 1, 2, or 3).

Study - Exploring and integrating the Dharma

We will consider the major Bodhisattva figures from within the Mahayana tradition, which serve as supports for the Soto meditation tradition. Six chapters from Faces of Compassion: Bodhisattva Archetypes and Their Modern Expression by Taigen Dan Leighton will be highlighted as focal points for our practice.

  • Students commit to deciding during the first few weeks on one of the six Bodhisattvas to focus on, with the study informing daily life. Selections can be decided in consultation with Taigen. Appropriate chapters will be available on separate handout at ADZG for PCP participants.
  • Meeting three times individually (Dokusan) with Dharma Teacher Taigen Leighton.

Community - Sharing and Supporting

  • Participation in Dharma discussion groups with PCP participants led by PCP Head Student Eishin Nancy Easton on three Sundays at ADZG: April 15, April 29, & May 20, 2018, from 1-3 pm.
  • Meet informally to discuss practice experiences with a PCP Dharma companion.
  • Volunteer in an ADZG sangha service activity (such as greeter, serving tea, etc.) to be arranged in consultation with Taigen and other temple leaders.
  • This may include our Sangha Spring Cleaning Day, Saturday April 21, 1 - 3:30 pm; also a Sangha outreach event to be announced later.

All PCP people are invited to the Head Student Questioning Ceremony, Saturday evening June 2, the second evening of the closing 3-day sesshin.
Registration and information: Please speak to Taigen or e-mail [email protected]. Please register by Monday, March 26, 2018.
Suggested Donation: $125.00 (Not including donations for one-day sittings/sesshin). Sliding scale is available to all.