On Sunday 10 November at 9:30 am (after 2 rounds of zazen starting as usual at 8:30), we will have a guest speaker, Dr. Ananda Guruge, who will speak on Buddhist bioethics. Ananda W.P. Guruge, who Sensei met at the International Buddhist Confederation meeting she attended in Delhi, is a retired Sri Lankan diplomat and a scholar in the field of Indology and Buddhist Studies. He is the author of over thirty books, among the most recent a complete translation of the Sinhalese chronicle, The Mahavamsa, and a biography of King Ashoka.
Jukai is the Mahayana Taking-the-Precepts Ceremony, in which we receive the Sixteen Precepts, and commit to putting them into practice to the best of our ability. Great Jukai, a more elaborate version of the ceremony, is celebrated periodically and will be observed at our Centre for the first time this year.
Jukai can be considered as the ceremonial highlight of the Buddhist year, and all are encouraged to attend.
Following the ceremony we will gather for a meal at a Chinese vegetarian restaurant in Panmure. The cost will be about $25 per person and if you plan to attend the meal, please RSVP by clicking the link and following the instructions. This will help us get an accurate count for the booking. http://www.doodle.com/ya8hcvgb6hwaw38d
Schedule for the Evening:
The zendo will be open for informal sitting beginning at 4:00, with the ceremony beginning at 5:00 sharp. Please plan to be robed and in the zendo before 5:o0.
The ceremony starts with a journey through the Six Realms of Unenlightened Existence, featuring visual displays prepared collaboratively by Centre members. Next there will be a chance to offer dana to Sensei. Envelopes are provided and offerings are kept anonymous. Unlike the usual dana given at a sitting, which goes towards the upkeep of the AZC, this offering is to Sensei personally, a token of gratitude for receiving teachings. Following this the Heart Sutra is chanted; then we recite a repentance gatha (verse) as a means of purification prior to receiving the sixteen precepts. The Three Refuges, the Three General Resolutions and the Ten Cardinal Precepts are each repeated three times.
After the ceremony, we will head off to Panmure for dinner (please RSVP above).
If you have sewn a rakusu in preparation for Jukai, you will receive it from Sensei in a ceremony starting at 3:30. As Sensei will need to inscribe your rakusu with your Dharma name, please make sure that the rakusu is complete and delivered to Sensei at least one week in advance of the ceremony.
Tuesday evening, 12 March, will see the opening of the first Working Sesshin we have offered in some years. During a Working Sesshin participants maintain their normal work schedule during the day but commit to attending sittings at the Centre each morning and evening. Past participants have found that this type of sesshin provides an excellent way to practice integrating the fruits of sitting into one’s daily routine.
Formal sittings will begin with the regular Tuesday 7:00 pm sitting. Thereafter we will have formal sittings Wednesday through Friday from 6:00 to 7:15 am each morning and from 7:00 to 9:00 pm each evening. We end on Saturday with an all-day sitting for which people may sign up separately if they wish. This will leave Sunday free as a rest day. A silent breakfast will follow each morning sitting, and a light supper will be available to which participants may help themselves (in silence) before each evening sitting. You should plan to provide your own lunch (main meal) at work.
Applications for the Working Sesshin are due on Tuesday, 5 March (one week in advance of the start date). The sesshin will be charged at the special rate of $80 for the four days. Sleeping at the Centre is an option for a limited number of people.
The Centre will be closed during the January 7-day sesshin, 5-12 January. Regular sittings resume on Tuesday 15 January starting with the Tuesday morning 6am sitting.