This year's topic for our annual Zen Studies Retreat is Understanding Consciousness through the Yogachara Buddhist school's Eight Consciousnesses Model.
Recommended text (photocopies will be provided if you don't have it): Understanding Our Mind by Thich Nhat Hahn.
Alternate/additional text: Living Yogacara by Tagawa Shun'ei
Combining the traditional and the contemporary, Nomon Tim Burnett will lead our annual Zen Studies retreat.
Far from just an academic inquiry, the weekend will involve a series of meditations and experiential exercises along with ample discussion to help us explore, from the inside out, this model of the mind and how it might be useful to us.
Our Zen Studies retreats combine meditation, lecture, discussion, private interviews with the teacher, and innovative experiential education to explore the contemporary meaning of ancient Buddhist texts.
Private interviews: Private interviews with Nomon Tim Burnett, called dokusan, may be offered depending on enrollment. At last year's Study Retreat there was time for every participant to meet with Tim. That is our intention this year as well. Attending the early morning session provides more opportunities for dokusan.
Meals: A simple oatmeal breakfast will be offered during the optional early morning sits. Please bring a small potluck item that goes with oatmeal if you attend. Lunch this year will be brown bag. Please bring your own lunch. Saturday we will have a long break for dinner giving us time to go out or eat quietly at the Dharma Hall.
$50. ($40 discounted price available to RCZC Members)
An additional donation to the teacher (dana) or to RCZC may be made with registration or at retreat.
6:00am - 9:00am (optional) Join the regular Saturday morning sit at the Dharma Hall. The morning includes 3 periods of meditation, private interviews with the teacher, morning service. Simple breakfast of oatmeal plus potluck items. Please bring some fruit, bread or other simple additions to the breakfast.
9:30am - 5:00pm Program: Meditation, two Dharma talks with discussion and activities, bag lunch. Please bring your own bag lunch. Tea will be provided.
5:00pm - 7:00pm Dinner break. Bring something to eat at the Dharma Hall or go out. We encourage a somewhat lighter approach to silence in these study retreats - going out with old and new friends for dinner is a part of the weekend that many appreciate as Dharma practice.
7:00pm - 9:00pm Meditation. Private interviews with the teacher. Returning to silence for the evening to digest the teachings of the day.
9:30am - 4:00pm Program: Meditation, two Dharma talks with discussion and activities, bag lunch. Please bring your own bag lunch. Tea will be provided. A closing work period to clean up the Dharma Hall. Plan on being able to leave after 4pm.
Overnight accommodations: The Dharma Hall is available for overnight accommodations on Friday and Saturday and can fit up to eight people. Please indicate in the registration is you need a place to stay overnight. We are also able to match people with local sangha members with guest rooms to share - if you can provide a place for someone to stay in the Bellingham area please let us know in the registration as well.
About Zen Studies Retreats: Our study retreat format was developed with Zoketsu Norman Fischer over many years. This unique weekend format include sitting and walking meditation and the spirit of silence and retreat but also emphasizes teachings, discussion, and interaction more than our sesshin (Zen meditation retreats). Parts of the day are in silence, others include discussion and social time. We see this format as an opportunity to integrate teachings, sangha life, and practice expressing our understanding of the teachings as they pertain to our lives.