Great Sesshin, Boundless Way Temple, Worcester, MA, July 2012

A wonderful, hard seven days. We sat, shared jukai with five, sat, ordained a priest, sat, did litugy, sat, did interviews, sat, ate, sat, worked, sat, slept, and sat…

Ironically, no photos of zazen. But, here are a few from moments throughout our time together…

(click on the last picture for the full view…)

  • Stephen Slottow

    “We sat, shared jukai with five, sat, ordained a priest, sat, did litugy, sat, did interviews, sat, ate, sat, worked, sat, slept, and sat…”
    As I get older, I increasingly feel the need to get some exercise during sesshin–especially walking. Not kinhin, but walking. At Mountain Cloud (outside Santa Fe), participants can walk during breaks. I hope that Boundless Way lets people do that. Otherwise sesshin gets to be incredibly sedentary, far more sedentary than daily life. I (and my doctor) don’t find this to be an advantage.

  • Stephen Slottow

    Guess I ought to look into Mountains and Rivers sesshin.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/monkeymind James

    Hi Stephen,

    We do not do free form walking, but our kinhin is more active than traditional Soto. We do two speeds. Slow, which is still faster than most Soto and faster which is more like walking. I think for most people it provides the necessary movement a person needs in a day, if not cardio. I don’t really know what kinhin looks like at ZMM.

  • http://www.robynlove.com Robyn

    I can chime in about kinhin at ZMM…it starts slow – half a step with each breath and then moves to regular walking speed for most of the time. Thirty five minutes of sitting zazen and ten minutes of kinhin. Like that.

    Also, there is no prohibition about taking a walk during rest periods as long as one does not leave the grounds and, of course, is back in time for the next thing on the schedule.

    My experience at ZMM is that I often feel quite exercised up. Between sleeping in the cabins up the mountain (I rarely get put in a dorm in the main house), being an oryoki server (usually – much running up and down stairs with heavy bowls as well as all that up and down to serve), and work practice assignments that tend to be along the lines of ditch digging and hauling rocks, I seem to lose weight and gain muscle during sesshin. But I think they have me pegged as a healthy one….others may have a very different experience.

  • http://www.robynlove.com Robyn

    PS. I am not complaining about the exercise/hard labor during sesshin. I appreciate it because we also sit for a good seven to ten hours each day.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/monkeymind James

    Thanks, Robyn, and Stephen, if you were asking about whether it is permissible to take walks at Boundless Way sesshin during “rest” periods, the answer is yes, of course.


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