“The endeavor to negotiate the Way … consists in discerning all things in view of enlightenment,
and putting such a unitive awareness into practice in the midst of the revaluated world.” – Dogen
This program is designed for practitioners living at home who yearn to realize and actualize the great matter of birth and death.
“Vine of Obstacles” acknowledges the difficulty of following through with our practice aspirations in the midst of daily life and the truth that this very bind can be a dharma gate. This program is intended to support you in this entanglement.
Vine of Obstacles Zen requires commitment to ongoing awakening and the capacity to carry out daily practice alone. It also requires regular meetings with Dosho via Google Hangouts and email.
Our primary avenues for practicing enlightenment are daily zazen (integrating earnest-vivid sitting and koan introspection), study, and engagement in the world.
- Practitioners will learn to embody the Buddha way, developing fluency in actualizing awakening in daily life.
- Practitioners will become happy, powerful, and positive influences at home, work, and in the community, “making manifest the great earth’s goldenness.”
- We will have a fun, lively, edgy time together.
- Just-sitting/koan zazen.
- One or two thirty-minute practice meetings (see below) each month via Google Hangouts
- Study selected works, including the following:
- Guidelines for Practicing the Way is a primer on Zen practice that focuses on intention, practice-enlightenment, body practice, and receiving and actualizing the fundamental. This course includes supplementary readings, audio and reflection work that is shared with Dosho.
- Thirty Poems, Twenty Minutes helps you access Zen teaching through poetry. You will be invited to digest selections from some great masters of the Japanese tradition (Dogen, Ikkyu, and Ryokan), feel each poem, and find your own expression for the meaning and mood of the sample.
- The Heart Sutra is our “Buddhism-in-a-nutshell-with-a-Zen-edge” course. As the pre-eminent sutra in the Zen tradition, it is often recited in daily practice. In this course, we dig into the meaning while embodying the teaching.
- The Bodhisattva’s Four Methods of Guidance is about actualizing the altruistic heart of the Bodhisattva (awakening being) within the relationships of daily life.
- Genjokoan (or Actualizing the Fundamental Point) is regarded as a central work in Dogen Zen, a beautiful and subtle resolution to the question the drove the young Dogen’s inquiry – “If we’re originally enlightened, what’s the point of practice?” This course is designed to shake up and intensify practice. It combines zazen, study and engagement in new ways – particularly in the use of koans within the text, to be actualized in daily life.
- Buddha Nature has thirteen koans with commentary. Each case has one central case and a number of checking questions that explore different aspects of the koan, pulled from Dogen’s commentary. Students are invited to enter the koan and commentary such that they can be actualized in daily life.
- The Healing Point of Zazen offers an in depth exploration of Dogen’s Zazenshin and includes important scholarly work on the fascicle, careful examination of Dogen’s commentary, as well as koans and checking questions.
- These courses provide the opportunity to interact with classic Zen sources, and the Engagementforums offer us the important opportunity to engage with each other as a practice group.
- We also have a Zazen Workshop that students can use as a resource as they choose.
- Twice a year, we offer a twelve-week practice period where each practitioner focuses on “one inescapable thing” and shares their weekly practice plan for zazen, study, and engagement with others in the group.
- $110 a month for ongoing study reflections and feedback, either via email or through the Vine Moodle, and two meetings with Dosho via Google Hangouts
- $75 a month for ongoing study reflections and feedback, either via email or through the Vine Moodle, and one meeting with Dosho via Google Hangouts
- Some scholarships spaces are available. Contact Dosho about the availability of these.
Application or more information
Contact Dosho at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and for an application.