Nickerson St. Zendo (101 Nickerson Street, Suite 130, Seattle, WA, 98109) (
Fall Practice Period
October 7 – December 9, 2018
As the days shorten and the earth tips toward the night, many of us choose to intensify our practice and join other sangha members in deep investigation. We mark out a certain time for this and share our intentions with others. This is Fall Practice Period.
Our theme for this year's practice period is Self-Worth, Self-Love & Going Beyond. As limited human beings and aspiring bodhisattvas, we encounter these notions again and again. Often we struggle with them and suffer. What should we try to cultivate? What should we try to shed? Is there a sequence here or an integrated framework? What are the practices that actually take us beyond the words that we've heard so many times? We will be drawing inspiration from several sources including Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach and various koans from collections old and new. Sunday talks and Tuesday teaching circles will center on this theme. The topic unfolds as we go. A reading list will be available to all.
Gathering for intensive periods of practice is a tradition common to virtually all schools of Buddhism. These periods originally occurred during the rainy season when, unable to move freely about the countryside, practitioners came together to support each other. In a lay community such as ours, we take up this form by designating a period of time during which participants commit to intensify their practice as allowed by the circumstances of their lives. This is part of a seasonal rhythm of practice, of alternating intensification (breathing in) and loosening (breathing out).
We will officially begin the practice period at our regular gathering on Sunday, Oct. 7. The requirements are very simple:
1. Register using the link below. You will be asked whether you already have a partner or if you want one assigned to you. If you have a partner, you will be asked for the name. It’s best if this person is not your spouse.
2. Decide what commitments you want to make beyond those that currently make up your practice. We suggest you do this with care; stretch yourself a little but not more than is sustainable. See the list below for suggestions.
3. Meet with this partner at least twice during the period, at the beginning to discuss your commitments and broader intentions and toward the end to discuss how it all went. Feel free to meet or talk more often.
Here are a number of possibilities to consider as part of your practice period commitments. Please see the website and individual email announcements for more information on the various opportunities.
- Read the texts on the reading list (not yet available)
- Increase your daily or weekly zazen.
- Find a creative way to deepen your mindfulness practice during your daily activities.
- Meet with Jeff in dokusan one or more times.
- Attend the Tuesday teaching circle on the practice period topic. Drop-ins are welcome.
- Learn a service position--tenken, doan, kokyo or jisha.
- Attend our community meditation on Sunday mornings on a regular basis.
- Attend our community meditation on Tuesday evenings on a regular basis.
- Attend the one-day retreat at Blue Heron on Saturday, Oct. 20.
- Attend the one-day workshop with Valorie Beer at Blue Heron on Saturday, Nov. 10.
- Attend Rohatsu sesshin, led jointly by Nomon Tim Burnett and Eko Jeff Kelley, Dec. 5 - 9 at Red Cedar Dharma Hall in Bellingham.
Please consider joining with your fellow sangha members in this time honored tradition. This year we suggest each participant make a donation of $20. All are welcome regardless of their abiltiy to donate.