November 2016 Sesshin
The Emperor asked the great teacher Bodhidharma, “What is the first principle of Zen?”
Bodhidharma said, “Vast emptiness, nothing holy.”
The Emperor asked, “Who are you standing before me?”
Bodhidharma said, “I don’t know.”
The Emperor did not understand.
Not knowing is the boundless field of possibilities. It is one of the most profound teachings in Zen. It helps us walk through this life with great curiosity, creativity, and joy. It is like viewing the golden leaves and cool breezes of autumn for the first time. It is like viewing our life again for the first time, too, including its joys and difficulties.
Please join us for this wonderful exploration. There will be lots of meditation, both sitting and walking, dharma talks on practice, and plenty of time for reflection.
Some experience with retreat practice and with meditation is recommended.
Empty Field Zendo is a community of people supporting each other in Zen meditation practice. Our emphasis is zazen (zah-zen, sitting meditation), which is a practice that can awaken us to our true nature without reference or dependency on any other factor, such as race, gender, or religious affiliation. People of all faiths, or none, are welcome.
Beginner instruction is held on the last Sunday of each month from 5:30 to 6:30 PM. If you have never sat with Empty Field or another Zen group, you are welcome to register in advance for Beginner Instruction. Our beginner instruction includes information about Zen, Empty Field, and zendo protocol, as well as providing practical instruction on sitting postures and an opportunity to practice sitting and ask questions. Beginners can then join the group for the final 25-minute sitting period of the evening and the reading of literature.
Meditation meetings are held every Sunday evening from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at Unity Church of the Bay Area. Please plan on being on your cushion or in your seat by 5:25 PM. All are welcome.