You are here

Winter Practice Period : Rest, Radiance and Expression

January 2 - March 24

To forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand dharmas. - Dogen Zenji

During the deep stillness and quiet of winter, as the Earth lays dark and fallow - residential training at Great Vow adopts a lighter, more spacious schedule. The Winter Practice Period allows for residents to tune in with their own natural rhythms in practice, giving space to explore zazen, creative process, body practice and study on one's own.

We will emphasize creative process this year, exploring the theme, Through the Eyes Of: Seeing Beyond the Self. Dogen Zenji says in the Genjokoan, "To Forget the self, is to be enlightened by the ten thousand dharmas." Zen practice is an invitation out of the habitual self centered view. What is it to see the world through the eyes of compassion? Or a blade of grass? A rodent, a pebble, or death itself? Stepping outside the self, what can we learn about the seemingly other? What is it like to embody another perspective or position? How does this challenge and widen our understanding of the self?

Residents will be asked to choose a creative medium to work in through the Winter Practice Period. Classes, Dharma Readings and teachings will help support and encourage a deep and thorough-going investigation of the theme. The term will culminate with a community sharing of our art, and then our 8-Day Oneness Hears Listening Sesshin.

This is also the time of year where the schedule is more flexible and open. A great opportunity to intensify or explore personal 24 hour a day practice, in the context of the monastic schedule.

A rough outline of the schedule Wednesday - Saturday can be found below.

For more information about residential training and to obtain an application, contact the Director of Training.