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Spring Sesshin 2024

Spring Sesshin – April 23-28, 2024


This spring, 19 of us joined to sit together for Sesshin at Oral Hull outside of Sandy Oregon. This year felt like the the quietest sesshin yet, we’re getting the hang of creating the sesshin container together at this particular retreat facility.
 Unfortunately, unlike our previous two sesshin at Oral Hull, the internet was too slow and intermittent to support a Zoom connection. Those who wished to participate in the Cloud were on their own. This makes sesshin very challenging (if not impossible, for most of us), and those in the Dirt Zendo missed our Cloud Sangha members very much. One retreatant was heard to say, “It felt like we were missing a limb.” We are making every effort to make sure internet is robust for our September (24-29) sesshin. We hope you will join us this fall!

Domyo offered Teisho during Sesshin. “Tei” means to offer or put forth, and “sho” means to recite or proclaim. Teisho are sometimes called “encouragement talks,” and they are meant to help listeners connect with the Dharma in spaciousness and silence of zazen. Teisho are not about explanations or the imparting of information, and they generally not recorded. They are offered spontaneously, just for the moment, just for those listening.

Our sesshin teisho were not recorded, but Domyo offers one inspired by our sesshin on her Zen Studies Podcast. Click here to listen. 


Click to enlarge the photos below:

March One Day Retreat

Last weekend, the Sangha came together for a One Day Retreat. We had 11 people in the Dirt Zendo and about 17 involved in the Cloud Zendo throughout the day.

During the retreat we pay mindful attention throughout the day to our meditation, our breath, chanting, silent work, and silent meal. We slow down, but in the midst of discipline, our minds and bodies have a chance to catch up with each other.

This time, during work practice we spent time taking care of the building both inside and outside.

At the end of the day there was Mondo which is a formal question-and-answer ceremony. People take turns presenting short verses from a shared study text, and responding to questions from those present. The presenter aims to remain centered in their own truth without getting drawn into intellectualizing or self-doubt, and the questioners aim to more fully understand the truth being presented. Mondo practice can help us get to know one another better, and can help the presenter clarify the strengths as well as the edges of their own understanding.

This time there were five who presented mondo verses – three in Dirt Zendo and two in Cloud Zendo. It was the first time having Cloud Zendo presenters, and it went very well!

The next One Day Retreat will be Saturday, October 26th. We hope you will join us!

Click to enlarge the photos: