I want to remind you that our 6th annual 108 Days of Meditation is beginning this week. The opening ceremony is this evening. I hope you already knew of this from my previous announcements through various means such my meditation email list, the 108 Days Facebook page, the Green River Zen Center Newsletter, and so forth. But the it occurred to me that I had not sent out a notice on this list. So if you are hearing of this for the first time, I apologize for the short notice!
The 108 Days officially begins today -- Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, with an opening practice and ceremony at the Green River Zen Center, 7--9 pm, Dixon House, Leverett Congregational Church, Leverett, MA.
The official end is Apr. 24, with a closing ceremony, on Apr. 28.
If you are just hearing of this, and need a little more time to take the plunge, it would be fine to begin a few days later. For example, if you started this Sat. Jan. 10, the closing ceremony would be 108 days. So no problem starting any time this week.
Of course it is not mandatory to attend the ceremonies to take part. But if you can join us on tonight, that would be great. In any case, if you are planning to take part, please let me know so I can include your name. Here is a description with all the relevant information:
TURNING THE LIGHT AROUND:
108 DAYS OF MEDITATION
Jan. 6 – Apr. 24, 2015
Led by John Genyo Sprague
In his teachings on meditation, Dogen urges us to take the backward step, and turn the light around to shine within. This is a central teaching in Zen, the thread of which goes back to much earlier times in China and India.
So much of our attention and life energy is spent attending to the “external” world and to our many thoughts and ideas about it. Zen meditation offers an opportunity to turn the light of our energy and attention inward – to let go of our external fixations and illuminate and nourish our inner being. Consistent and long practice strengthens both our spiritual and physical energies, and provides a foundation for insight and awakened compassionate living.
Join the Green River Zen Center for our 6th annual 108 Days of Meditation – a commitment to meditate every day for 108 days, building our practice, nourishing our inner spirit, and supporting the realization of our own enlightened nature. The 108 Days begins with an opening practice and ceremony on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 7–9pm, at our zendo at the Dixon House of the Leverett (MA) Congregational Church. It officially ends on Friday, Apr. 24, with a closing ceremony at the zendo on Tuesday, Apr. 28.
Even if you cannot make the ceremonies, please join us in this practice, which is facilitated by John Genyo Sprague. Genyo has opened a Facebook page, 108 Days of Meditation, in which people can post to support each other. For more information please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-259-1304. Everyone is welcome to take part.
The goal is primarily to strengthen our meditation practice, and build our concentration-power (samadhi, joriki).
The basic agreement is to meditate everyday for 108 days. The traditional practice is one hour per day. If you can do this, that’s great, but if that is not possible, commit to what you can do. The key is consistency, and to build one's practice.
You can break your daily meditation into two or more periods.
Walking meditation can be included.
A couple missed days are acceptable, although it is preferable to squeeze in at least some minutes of practice on those days.
If for some reason you are not able to succeed fully with these commitments, I encourage you to keep going nonetheless and do your best for the entire 108 says, since the main goal is to support one’s practice and build concentration. At the end we will honor everyone who has undertaken the journey.
Ongoing support is available. Consider joining us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/108Days
Contact: John Genyo Sprague,
413-259-1304, or email@example.com.