Every Sunday (please call to check during holidays and bad weather)
Come and join us for our regular Sunday schedule. Coffee and tea are available from 8:30am onwards, and we start at 9:30am with a service, followed by zazen until 11:00am. A short break is followed by a dharma talk by Tenshin Roshi or one of his senior students, and then we share a delicious vegetarian lunch.
For first-timers, we run a Zen Meditation Instruction class which also starts at 9:30am. This is a great time to come along for your first time and learn the basics of zen practice and how you can do it. The class joins the regular schedule at 11:20am for the dharma talk and then lunch. There is a recommended donation of $15.00 for those who wish to take the class.
We have a number of instructional videos that you may find helpful either before or after visiting Yokoji for the first time. If you would like to know more about how we do things here, please refer to our videos on meditation, or zazen, and the basic forms we use.
Sunday September 6th - Sunday November 22nd
The Fall Training Period at Yokoji is a time of intensified practice for the whole community—where we have the wonderful opportunity to recommit ourselves to practice, embodying and strengthening the qualities that we most appreciate and value. It is a perfect time to spend a few days, weeks or months in residence at the Center to deepen your appreciation of life through zazen, service and communal living. Non-residents can participate both at home and at the Center. For those practicing at Yokoji, the schedule is more demanding, with an abundance of zazen and a greater number of sesshins. Whether you are spending the whole period at Yokoji, just one or two weekends, or are committing to a stronger home practice, we invite you to participate with us in any way that you can during this Training Period.
Friday October 30th, 3:30pm - Sunday November 1st, 12:30pm
CLOSED TO NON-RESIDENTS
Sesshin can be translated as “to unify the mind.” Sesshin is at the heart of Zen Practice - a chance to give full attention to one’s life without distraction.
This sesshin is designed for those who are new to Zen practice. There will be orientation given regarding the basic formal procedures that will be used over the weekend, so no prior experience is required. The schedule will be lighter than the regular sesshin that we run at Yokoji. We all have the ‘beginner’s mind’, that which sees the world afresh in each moment. Sesshin is the perfect vehicle to realize this. This sesshin is also open to experienced practitioners. Please look over the schedule for sesshin before signing up.
Saturday November 14th, 5:30am - 8:20pm
CLOSED TO NON-RESIDENTS
Take this opportunity to examine your life through the lens of the precepts. During dawn zazen, the precepts are recited in a short service and each of us chooses a precept to work with during the day. The day then follows the regular schedule, of either interim or training period, depending on the time of year. Work, meals, zazen and other activities provide the ground on which to experiment with, and reflect upon, the chosen precept. We finish the day with Fusatsu, or renewal of vows, an ancient ceremony of atonement and renewal followed by a council where each participant has the chance to share their experience.
If you can’t make it for dawn zazen, you can come for work practice at 9am in the office and join the day then. The 10 grave precepts are listed as part of the 16 Bodhisattva precepts, which you will need to look at if you are not present for dawn zazen.
There is no cost for the Day of Reflection, but if you would like to join us for any meals, we ask for a donation of approximately $10.00 per meal. Registration is not required if you do not plan on staying overnight, but please inform the office if you plan on attending.
Sunday November 15th, 3:30pm - Sunday November 22nd, 12:30pm
CLOSED TO NON-RESIDENTS
The final sesshin of the Fall Training Period. Rohatsu means ‘December 8th’ in Japanese, the date of Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment, but we bring the sesshin forward to tie it in to the end of training period. If Shakyamuni did it, you can too.
Sesshin can be translated as “to unify the mind.” Sesshin is at the heart of Zen Practice—a chance to give full attention to one’s life without distraction. Participants live at the Center for the duration, following a simple yet challenging schedule of zazen, chanting services, formal meals, work practice and rest periods. Dharma talks are given daily and Tenshin Roshi, if present, offers face-to face interview (dokusan) to all students. There are sometimes visiting teachers who will also give dharma talks and interviews. Please visit the sesshin page for more information about sesshin.
If you would like to participate in a 7-day sesshin for the first time, we recommend that you attend a Day of Zen Practice class or a weekend sesshin first. If you cannot attend either of these first, you must at least be present for the first evening of sesshin to receive instruction.
For those with prior sesshin experience, part-time participation is acceptable if you cannot make the whole event.