Rohatsu 2022

Noah Seltzer, one of Zenho Sensei’s students is offering a weekly poem to the sangha.

Here is the poem for this week:

It turns out it is not what I thought it was

those mornings

traversing the excruciations of the mind 

would not 

ungrasp me 

that I would not figure it out 

find the solution 

after all

tear open the gates of this 


to be let in 

at last

but instead 

I would have to let the revelation 

unfold me

unveiling herself like magic 

like that one day when I could finally 


see the sunset blooming into the evening after a day on the beach

and then sit 

and let the lyrics of the morning light

soften my 


Rohatsu is the Buddhist celebration of the Buddha’s enlightnenment after sitting beneath the Bodhi tree for 8 days. It begins on December 1 and ends on Bodhi Day, December 8, it is the day Siddhartha opened his eyes, saw the morning star, touched the earth and said at the moment of the his enlightenment, according to the Avatamsaka Sutra (or Flower Garland Sutra),“I now see all sentient beings everywhere fully possess the wisdom and virtues of the enlightened ones, but because of false conceptions and attachments, they do not realize it.”

In Zen Buddhism, Rohatsu is customarily preceded by a sesshin, a weeklong retreat involving intensive meditation. One the eve of Rohatsu, practitioners often meditate through the night in recognition of Shakyamuni’s all-night vigil culminating in his enlightenment. Rohatsu is the most important sesshin of the year.

As much as we might like to offer a week long sesshin for Rohatsu we realize that most could not participate due to our lay commitments..

This year for Rohatsu sesshin we would like to propose the following schedule:

December 2, Friday evening: 7-9PM

December 3, Saturday: 6:30AM-7PM

December 4, Sunday: 6:30AM-7PM

December 8, Thursday, Bodhi Day: 7PM-9PM

Please prioritize participation for the full program if at all possible. It is an important time for us to be together and to be supporting one another’s practice. We would appreciate the input of all sangha members regarding this schedule so we can make it work for as many of members to participate for a s much as possible. Please let us know how this works for you.

A note on dana regarding sesshins, zazenkai and ceremony: Sangha members who participate in these events, celebrations and ceremonies are encouraged to make dana to the sangha/teachers. We have explored the reasons for dana in a previous post. The dana can be offered by sealing it in an envelope and leaving it on the altar anytime during the sesshin or ceremony.

Schedule 8/28-9/4

Monday, 6:30AM, Zazen at the Tea House

Tuesday, 7PM, Dream Koan at the Tea House or ZOOM

Wednesday, 6:30AM, Zazen at the Tea House or ZOOM

Thursday, 6:30 AM, Vajrakilaya Sadhana, Tea House or ZOOM

Friday, 6:30 AM, Zazen at the Tea House or ZOOM

It was so amazing to be with you this weekend for zazenkai. So many beautiful awakenings manifested, challenges to our practice, good works done and the concentration of our hearts as one.

Thank you to all who attended!

Deep peace, Great love,

Issan & Zenho

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