Tuesday, December 6, 2022

The Snake's Tail Sesshin

 We had our annual Rōhatsu sesshin this past weekend, celebrating the day 2600 years ago that our founding teacher, Shakyamūni Buddha, had his great awakening to the true nature of reality.  We worked with kōan 6 from the Gateless Gate collection, where the Buddha twirls a flower and his first Dharma heir, Mahakashyapa, smiles and is recognized as understanding the great matter of our Way.  it was the first sesshin taught by Dharma Holder Michael Herzog, who assisted David Rynick Rōshi and myself, and the head seat (tanto) was Assistant Teacher Adam Monty, with Senior Assistant Teacher Rev. Paul Galvin supporting him as assistant tanto, and Assistant Teacher Rev. Corwyn Miyagishima supporting our zoom sangha as online tanto.  We had 40 participants, 22 in person at the Temple, and 18 in the zoom zendo.   The name given to the sesshin by Adam is based on the poem by Wumen that accompanies the koan, where, describing the Buddha, he writes, "The snake shows his tail."  The whole is revealed with one glimpse of the part.  And so it is with awakening.  The weekend was a wondrous experience of deep practice and community connection.

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