Temple Night – Friday, November 23

During Temple Night, we transform the Buddha Hall into a space for free-form devotions and sitting meditation, buoyed by exquisitely appointed altars bathed in soft light. Beginning around 7:00 pm, you’re invited to join in our twice-a-year informal sitting in the Buddha Hall (right behind 5 Arnold Park). All are welcome, both members and non-members. You are free to sit anywhere, to join in chanting or to remain silent, and to make prostrations and offer incense at any of the altars, as you wish. You can sit late into the night, if you like, after the formal end of Temple Night. Many people have found these late hours of Temple Night to be an especially fine time for zazen.

Taking the Precepts (Jukai) – Saturday, November 24

This annual ceremony, second in importance only to ordination, gives us the opportunity to further ground our practice by pledging to do our best to live up to the basic sixteen precepts of Buddhism: the Three Treasures, the Three General Resolutions, and the Ten Cardinal Precepts. All are welcome, whether you’re a member of the Zen Center or not: don’t shy away from this ceremony because you think you’re not “ready” for it. You won’t be held accountable by anyone other than yourself. The power this ceremony has to support our spiritual aspirations is boosted by joining with some 50-100 others who also want to renew theirs. This ceremony really is not about navigating right and wrong, but about fortifying our natural desire not to cause harm. We do that by actually voicing these precepts, bringing us closer to embodying them.

If this year will be your first time receiving the precepts, or if it’s been a while, here’s a rough outline of what to expect: The ceremony begins around 5 pm in the Buddha Hall, but you’re welcome to come early if you like and sit in the Arnold Park zendo (anything you’re able to do ahead of time to slow down and clear the mind will help make Jukai more meaningful). A bit ahead of time, we’ll begin sending people out to the Buddha Hall, and once there you’ll be directed down the center aisle to make an optional donation to the teacher (a token amount is fine), do a prostration at the altar, and take your seat. When everyone is seated, Roshi will enter, we’ll chant the Prajna Paramita, and then Roshi will lead everyone through the Sixteen Precepts. The ceremony itself takes about half an hour, and afterwards we’ll have refreshments in the Link.

Schedule for Thanksgiving Weekend

7:00 p.m.Center reopens in the evening with formal sitting & dokusan.

Thursday November 22

4:00 p.m. Potluck vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner in the Zen Center dining room.

Friday November 23

8:00 a.m. Workday begins (volunteers welcome!)
7:00 p.m. until late Temple Night: The Buddha Hall is open for informal sitting, chanting, prostrations, and other devotions. Children are invited to participate until 7:45.  Offerings and photographs of deceased relatives and friends may be put on the Memorial Altar in the Buddha Hall.

Saturday November 24

8:30-10:30 a.m. Zazen and teisho on an aspect of the Precepts, followed by a light brunch.
11:00 a.m. Dokusan with Roshi for out-of-town members.
3:00 p.m. Zendo open for informal sitting
5:00  p.m. Jukai Ceremony (Taking the Precepts), includes monetary donations to Roshi.  Refreshments afterwards.

Sunday November 25

  Center closed.

Sunday November 25