Practice periods go back to the time of the Buddha when monastics would gather together during the three-month rainy season. In that spirit, Katagiri Roshi was the first to offer nonresidential practice periods for householders.
Our Vine of Obstacles, online, home-based training periods are a time to deepen and broaden your practice. We focus on developing home practice by encouraging creativity, transparency, accountability, and mutual support. The processes that the Vine community has developed have proven effective for creating community, enhancing the continuity of daily practice, and waking up.
How this practice period will work:
The focus for this practice period, the deeply settled heart, is about working your zazen edges and then bringing your discoveries on the cushion to your study of the buddha dharma, and engaging the world. Each week, Dosho will provide a short reading from the ancients to provide grist for the zazen mill. We will discuss these readings in practice meetings, teas (see below) and on the Vine forums.
Concretely, the process will work like this:
- On Sundays, each practitioner reflects on their past week of practice and plans for the upcoming week for zazen, study and engagement, writing what you want to share on your practice planner.
- Planners are posted on the forum set up for each practitioner and will available to all the other practitioners in practice period and Dosho.
- You will be assigned a small group of about eight practitioners (probably fewer) and it will be this group that you will follow most closely and whom will also follow you.
- Participants will meet with Dosho three times during the practice period for thirty-minute practice meetings.
- Participants select from either the Heart Sutra or Guidelines for Studying the Way for their study focus.
- A small group tea will be held with Dosho facilitating three or four times during the practice period, Wednesdays at 9:00am EST, 3:00pm EST, or 6pm EST. These teas are opportunities to get to know others in the practice period and discuss the dharma together.
Suggested donation: $195.
If you have questions or would like to participate, please email Dosho at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dosho Port Roshi has been practicing Zen since 1977 and received dharma transmission from Dainin Katagiri Roshi when he was thirty-three years old in 1989. He then embarked on an “intermittent pilgrimage” while teaching Zen, working as an education administrator, and raising two children. Recently, Dosho received inka shomei (literally, document of succession) from James Myoun Ford Roshi in the Aitken-Tarrant line of the Harada-Yasutani-Yamada lineage. Dosho currently teaches with Great Tides Zen in Portland, ME, and with Vine of Obstacles: Online Support for Zen Training.