Wednesday, October 25, 2017 10:30am Renewal of Vows Ceremony Please join us as we renew our commitment to keeping the Precepts and the Bodhisattva Vows.
October 26 – 29, 2017 FEEDING OF THE HUNGRY GHOST RETREAT
The importance of offering merit, particularly for those who have died in distressing circumstances or unsettled states of mind, is at the heart of this retreat. Dharma talks examine what it means to offer merit, how we can truly help those who are suffering, and how we can convert our own craving and greed through the practice of the Dharma. In the Feeding of the Hungry Ghosts Ceremony, we offer the food of the Dharma to all beings who have died under painful, difficult or despairing circumstances.
Saturday, October 28, 2017 10:30am Ceremony of the Feeding of the Hungry Ghosts This elaborate Transfer of Merit ceremony is intended for all those who have died, especially those in the last year or in tragic circumstances, as well as those who find themselves in unfortunate states of existence. A special altar is prepared with a great variety of food to represent the wealth and nourishment of the Dharma.
Saturday, October 28, 2017 7:15pm Ceremony of the Segaki Toro In darkness outdoors we hold a ceremonial burning of paper memorial tablets with the names of the dead. This signifies the purifying of their karma.
Sunday, October 29, 2017 10:30am Festival of the Founder This traditional memorial honors the Ancestor in the temple’s lineage who founded it. For many OBC temples that monk if Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett. At Shasta Abbey, the first monastery established by Rev. Master Jiyu, the founder is Great Master Keido Chisan Koho Zenji, her Transmission Master in Japan. It is customary to found a temple in the name of one’s master. Koho Zenji died on November 1, 1967. He was the Chief Abbot of Daihonzan Sojiji, one of the two head training monasteries of Soto Zen in Japan.
Saturday, November 4, 2017 9:30am – 2pm Friends of Shasta Abbey (FOSA) Workday Please join us as we work together to prepare the monastery for winter. We are grateful to FOSA members as they also provide lunch.
Saturday, November 4, 2017 PLEASE MOVE YOUR CLOCKS BACK 1 HOUR TONIGHT.
Sunday, November 5, 2017 10:30am Festival Memorial for Reverend Master Jiyu-Kennett As the founder of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives, Rev. Master Jiyu was responsible for the Transmission of our Serene Reflection Meditation lineage from Japan to the West and thus is the recipient of the merit offered in this festival memorial. It is because of her great efforts and boundless compassion that we are able to encounter the Dharma and practice the Buddhist Way today here at Shasta Abbey and at the many OBC temples and priories throughout North America and Europe.
Wednesday, November 8, 2017 11:00am Surangama Ceremony
Friday, November 10 – Sunday November 12, 2017 Introductory Retreat An Introductory Retreat introduces guests new to Shasta Abbey to the Serene Reflection (Soto Zen) practice in a monastic setting. It provides down-to-earth help for taking this practice back into daily life outside the monastery gates. Introductory Retreats offer meditation instruction, periods of seated meditation, Dharma talks and informal discussions about meditation, mindfulness and the basic teachings of Serene Reflection. The retreat concludes with an informal tea for retreat guests, monks and our local congregation.
Sunday, November 12, 2017 10:30am Festival of Remembrance Day This festival is a special memorial honoring those killed in war.
Thursday, November 15 through Friday, November 17, 2017 Silent Meditation Retreat This three-day Silent Meditation Retreat focuses is very much on meditation: there are six or seven periods of meditation each day. Meals are eaten in silence. There are no Dharma talks or spiritual counseling. Monks are asked to put aside monastic office responsibilities as much as possible to go deeply into the heart of meditation. Lay participants likewise are invited to deepen their meditation in this quiet and reflective time. Committed practitioners who have spent time at the Abbey may consult the Guestmaster about attending this Retreat.
Sunday, November 19, 2017 10:30am Festival of Buddhist Martyrs This memorial ceremony was inaugurated by Rev. Master Jiyu upon the discovery in the early 1990s of the mass graves of thousands of Buddhist monastics in Mongolia who were executed during the Soviet Communist regime. The ceremony offers merit to all those who have died as a result of their Buddhist faith.
Thursday, November 21, 2017 10:30am Festival of Thanksgiving This festival is a ceremony of gratitude to the Buddhist Ancestors and in North America is celebrated on the national holiday of Thanksgiving. The altar is decorated as for a harvest festival.
Sunday, November 26, 2017 10:30am Festival of the Avatamsaka The focus of this festival is the Avatamsaka (Flower Garland) Sutra, regarded as the crowning work and expression of Mahayana Buddhism. This scripture describes in detail the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment, especially the countless beings present. Pre-eminent is Vairochana Buddha, the Cosmic or Dharmakaya Buddha, through whom most of the teachings are voiced. Also prominent are Maitreya, Manjusri, Samantabhadra, and other Bodhisattvas who exemplify and embody the extent of the Bodhisattva vow of training. The Avatamsaka Sutra is also the scriptural source for our use of Buddhist winter holiday decorations – jewel trees, nets of lights, garlands, and such.
Tuesday, November 28, 2017 10:30am Renewal of Vows Please join us as we renew our commitment to keeping the Precepts and the Bodhisattva Vows.
Thursday, November 30, 2017 Monastery closed for our Winter Monastic Retreat. We will reopen on Monday, December 11, 2017.
Friday, December 8, 2017 10:30am Festival of the Buddha’s Enlightenment on December 8 This important festival celebrates Shakyamuni Buddha’s moment of spiritual awakening under the Bodhi tree in ancient India as he gazed at the morning star rising in the eastern sky. Our Winter Monastic Retreat – the Rohatsu Retreat – ends on December 8 to commemorate this event.
Monday, December 11,2017 Monastery re-opens.
Sunday, December 24, 2017 7:00pm Ceremony of the Eve of the Buddha’s Enlightenment followed by a celebratory tea in the Dining Hall.
Monday, December 25, 2017 10:30am Festival of the Buddha’s Enlightenment This important festival celebrates Shakyamuni Buddha’s moment of spiritual awakening under the Bodhi tree in ancient India as he gazed at the morning star rising in the eastern sky.
Friday, December 29, 2017 – Monday, January 1, 2018 New Year Celebratory Retreat
Year-end is traditionally a time for both reflection and celebration. This 3-day retreat offers opportunities to do this together as members of the Buddha’s family. Dharma talks explore ways to deepen our resolve and our practice in the coming year. Meditation, ceremonies, and celebration offer opportunities to bid farewell to the old and welcome the new. On New Year’s Eve we hold a Vigil for Maitreya, as well as the midnight New Year’s Ceremony, followed by ringing in the New Year with the great bell. The retreat ends on January 1, and guests are welcome to stay overnight and leave on January 2.
Sunday, December 31, 2018 10:00pm Vigil for Maitreya
Sunday, December 31, 2017 11:30pm Festival for New Year The New Year Ceremony provides an opportunity to reflect on the past year and to establish our direction for the year ahead. The celebrant “revolves” the Scripture of Great Wisdom – the Heart Sutra -, the central scripture in Zen Buddhism and the essence of the Prajnaparamita (Great Wisdom) Sutras. The revolving echoes the movement of the heart of training within ourselves as the Teaching is “turned” and “given” to beings in all directions. Celebratory juice is drunk – laity and monks together – as part of the ceremony. Afterwards the Temple big bell is rung 108 times by all present, signifying the myriad ways of breaking the Precepts and simultaneously the 108 ways of observing them – the means to enlightenment.
Monday, January 1, 2018 10:30am Festival of Maitreya Maitreya is the Buddha who will follow Shakyamuni Buddha in the future. Along with Gautama before his enlightenment, he is the only Bodhisattva revered universally by all Buddhist traditions. His name is derived from the Sanskrit maîtri meaning “loving-kindness”. Thus he is called “the Loving One” or the Friendly One”. In Zen traditions Maitreya represents the potential each of us can bring to fruition through training. January 1 was also Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett’s birthday, so this ceremony had a special significance for her.