Practicing Together, Maintaining Sangha

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  • Bion
    Treeleaf Unsui
    • Aug 2020
    • 3716

    Practicing Together, Maintaining Sangha

    Hello, friends.

    I am not much of a thread starter, really and I am very much one of the "stick to the 3 sentence rule" folks, which is why I will be as brief as possible here

    Treeleaf is, like any other Zen Sangha, Center or Dojo, a place of practice and study, which means the main reason we come is to join in the core practice of Soto Zen Buddhism, Shikantaza Zazen, to learn about the Dharma and to do that in company of likeminded practitioners. Sangha is one of the three jewels the Buddha mentioned, at the same level as Buddha and Dharma and it is one of the refuges available to us as well. That is not a small thing and our practice is maintained and supported by Sangha and in turn our practice builds and maintains Sangha! Given that Treeleaf is an open digital space and that the tides of practitioners rise and fall continuously, I figured this is a good as time as any for a little reminder of what we offer at Treeleaf to support community practice!

    Our core events are the Weekly and Monthly Zazenkai, where the sangha gathers for two or more periods of Zazen, kinhin (walking meditation), a short ceremony in the Soto Zen tradition, and for a Dharma talk. Afterwards, those who wish can stay and enjoy a brief period of friendly and informal conversation with Jundo and other members. The Zazenkai is the perfect place to plant roots in the Sangha and to create a bond through practice with other members and our teacher. If we can manage to attend live, we can be actively taking the lead, setting the tone for the event. A warm smile offered sincerely crosses space and time and can brighten someone else's day. A bow given wholeheartedly can be responded from a different corner of the world. The way we sit, move and act can be a valuable encouragement for someone else watching or participating.

    Zazen being why we are all here, Treeleaf offers daily opportunities to join the Sangha for zazen over Zoom in our SCHEDULED SITTING ROOM >>; These sessions are hosted by our lay practitioners and unsui. Some groups have been sitting together for many years. A complete list of our daily offerings is continuously available on the Practice Calendar >>;

    Sometimes though, because everyone's life circumstances are different, our schedules don't match the offerings in the Sangha. For that reason, we also have an always open FREE SITTING ROOM >> . Think of the FSR as the Zendo always open outside of scheduled events. Joining the FSR for zazen is in part an act of generosity, as we actively offer our practice to others by being present. Most of the time, probably no one is the FSR, but someone might pop in and find us sitting there, and feel encouraged by that, or we might join the room and find someone in there and we can join them, supporting their practice and being precisely what they needed at that moment. Joining the FSR is also a good reminder that we practice in a Sangha and that we should always remain open towards what is offered and what we can offer to others, making no distinction in our mind about here, there, in person or online, effectively transcending space and time, practicing in a boundless space.

    Many of our scheduled events are also recorded for later participation and are all available immediately through our YouTube Channel >>; and this way, there is no reason for anyone to miss any talk, event, ceremony or gathering.

    Once a week, on Sundays, we offer opportunities to gather as friends and get to know each other, at our Tea Houses. These are valuable opportunities to form bonds and feel more integrated in the Sangha. The Tea Houses happen in our Zoom MEETING ROOM >> . The times for these events can be found, again, in our Practice Calendar

    I hope this little description is of use to anyone new or old in the Sangha, still trying to figure out what Treeleaf is all about and how to engage with the Sangha in a more meaningful way. I would like to encourage everyone to use these wonderful tools we have available. Let us all practice together generously supporting each other.

    gassho
    sat and lah
    Last edited by Bion; 05-17-2024, 06:42 PM.
    "Stepping back with open hands, is thoroughly comprehending life and death. Immediately you can sparkle and respond to the world." - Hongzhi
  • Antonio
    Member
    • Mar 2024
    • 45

    #2
    Gassho!

    SatLah
    Antonio

    "To study the Buddha Way is to study the self; to study the self is to forget the self; to forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the body and mind of others drop away. No trace of realization remains and this no trace continues endlessly" - Dogen Zenji

    Comment

    • Doshin
      Treeleaf Unsui
      • May 2015
      • 2644

      #3


      Well that is a good reason to exceed the 3 sentence rule

      Doshin
      Stlah

      Comment

      • Shigeru
        Member
        • Feb 2024
        • 32

        #4
        I've often found communities online to be very tight knit and difficult to get into socially, but that's never been my experience here, which I am incredibly grateful for. I'd deeply recommend fellow newcomers to jump into what interests them, on the other side of the "join the meeting room" are nothing but warm welcomes

        Gassho
        SatLah
        - Will

        Respecting others is my only duty - Ryokan

        Comment

        • Alina
          Member
          • Jul 2023
          • 141

          #5
          Thank you Bion for this reminder of all the available options to join and maintain our Sangha. A few weeks ago I started sitting at the Moment-by-Moment-Hangout on Wednesdays and it really makes a difference in my practice, to have a time reserved to sit along with the Sangha is a beautiful thing.

          Just wanted to say that I really appreciate all the resources available to nourish and continue our practice.


          Gassho
          Alina
          stlah

          Comment

          • Bion
            Treeleaf Unsui
            • Aug 2020
            • 3716

            #6
            Originally posted by Alina
            Thank you Bion for this reminder of all the available options to join and maintain our Sangha. A few weeks ago I started sitting at the Moment-by-Moment-Hangout on Wednesdays and it really makes a difference in my practice, to have a time reserved to sit along with the Sangha is a beautiful thing.

            Just wanted to say that I really appreciate all the resources available to nourish and continue our practice.


            Gassho
            Alina
            stlah
            Ah, that is fantastic! I have to come join you one of these days, to meet you! Thank you for your presence there and for mentioning it here.

            Gassho
            Sat and lah
            "Stepping back with open hands, is thoroughly comprehending life and death. Immediately you can sparkle and respond to the world." - Hongzhi

            Comment

            • Bion
              Treeleaf Unsui
              • Aug 2020
              • 3716

              #7
              Originally posted by Shigeru
              I've often found communities online to be very tight knit and difficult to get into socially, but that's never been my experience here, which I am incredibly grateful for. I'd deeply recommend fellow newcomers to jump into what interests them, on the other side of the "join the meeting room" are nothing but warm welcomes

              Gassho
              SatLah
              I’m really glad you feel that way! I am grateful that you continuously make efforts to be present!

              Gassho
              Sat and lah
              "Stepping back with open hands, is thoroughly comprehending life and death. Immediately you can sparkle and respond to the world." - Hongzhi

              Comment

              • Tairin
                Member
                • Feb 2016
                • 2725

                #8


                Tairin
                Sat today and lah
                泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

                Comment

                • Douglas
                  Member
                  • May 2017
                  • 50

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Bion
                  Hello, friends.

                  I am not much of a thread starter, really and I am very much one of the "stick to the 3 sentence rule" folks, which is why I will be as brief as possible here

                  Treeleaf is, like any other Zen Sangha, Center or Dojo, a place of practice and study, which means the main reason we come is to join in the core practice of Soto Zen Buddhism, Shikantaza Zazen, to learn about the Dharma and to do that in company of likeminded practitioners. Sangha is one of the three jewels the Buddha mentioned, at the same level as Buddha and Dharma and it is one of the refuges available to us as well. That is not a small thing and our practice is maintained and supported by Sangha and in turn our practice builds and maintains Sangha! Given that Treeleaf is an open digital space and that the tides of practitioners rise and fall continuously, I figured this is a good as time as any for a little reminder of what we offer at Treeleaf to support community practice!

                  Our core events are the Weekly and Monthly Zazenkai, where the sangha gathers for two or more periods of Zazen, kinhin (walking meditation), a short ceremony in the Soto Zen tradition, and for a Dharma talk. Afterwards, those who wish can stay and enjoy a brief period of friendly and informal conversation with Jundo and other members. The Zazenkai is the perfect place to plant roots in the Sangha and to create a bond through practice with other members and our teacher. If we can manage to attend live, we can be actively taking the lead, setting the tone for the event. A warm smile offered sincerely crosses space and time and can brighten someone else's day. A bow given wholeheartedly can be responded from a different corner of the world. The way we sit, move and act can be a valuable encouragement for someone else watching or participating.

                  Zazen being why we are all here, Treeleaf offers daily opportunities to join the Sangha for zazen over Zoom in our SCHEDULED SITTING ROOM >> These sessions are hosted by our lay practitioners and unsui. Some groups have been sitting together for many years. A complete list of our daily offerings is continuously available on the Practice Calendar >>

                  Sometimes though, because everyone's life circumstances are different, our schedules don't match the offerings in the Sangha. For that reason, we also have an always open FREE SITTING ROOM >> . Think of the FSR as the Zendo always open outside of scheduled events. Joining the FSR for zazen is in part an act of generosity, as we actively offer our practice to others by being present. Most of the time, probably no one is the FSR, but someone might pop in and find us sitting there, and feel encouraged by that, or we might join the room and find someone in there and we can join them, supporting their practice and being precisely what they needed at that moment. Joining the FSR is also a good reminder that we practice in a Sangha and that we should always remain open towards what is offered and what we can offer to others, making no distinction in our mind about here, there, in person or online, effectively transcending space and time, practicing in a boundless space.

                  Many of our scheduled events are also recorded for later participation and are all available immediately through our YouTube Channel>> and this way, there is no reason for anyone to miss any talk, event, ceremony or gathering.

                  Once a week, on Sundays, we offer opportunities to gather as friends and get to know each other, at our Tea Houses. These are valuable opportunities to form bonds and feel more integrated in the Sangha. The Tea Houses happen in our Zoom MEETING ROOM>> . The times for these events can be found, again, in our Practice Calendar

                  I hope this little description is of use to anyone new or old in the Sangha, still trying to figure out what Treeleaf is all about and how to engage with the Sangha in a more meaningful way. I would like to encourage everyone to use these wonderful tools we have available. Let us all practice together generously supporting each other.

                  gassho
                  sat and lah
                  Thank you for this. I didn't know we had a room that I could just use. I will definitely take advantage of it.

                  -Sat Today

                  Comment


                  • Bion
                    Bion commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Wonderful!!! Please do!

                    Gassho
                    Sat and lah
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