INFORMATION ON THE SUMMER 1999 ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL ANGO AT SHOGOJI ZEN MONASTERY (HOZAN DOJO OF ZUIOJI SENMON SODO)
Annual International rainy season retreats (ANGO) take place at the HOZAN DOJO which was established for the purpose of providing foreign practitioners with an opportunity to experience traditional Japanese monastic Zen practice following EIHEI SHlNGI (Dogen Zenji's regulations on daily monastic life-style).The practice is carried out in an authentic SODO (a place where the practitioners do zazen, eat and sleep). The 1999 International Ango begins May 10th and ends July 20th. Practitioners arrive on May 10th (before 4 p.m.) and go through an introductory period (TANGARYO) from May 11th to 17th. After the TANGARYO formal practice (SEICHU) begins.
Typical Daily Schedule
Wake up - 3:30 a.m.
Morning Zazen - 2 periods
Breakfast in Sodo
Tea Ceremony in Hatto
Lunch in Sodo
Informal Supper in Kuin
Night Zazen -2 periods
Bed - 9:00 p.m.
Mendicant begging is practiced a few times a month.
Morning and noon meals (vegetarian) are carried out in a formal setting (SODO GYOHATSU) . Evening meals are provided in a dining room (KUlN).
Chanting of precepts ceremony. Twice a month.
Every 4th and 9th day practitioners have a few hours of free time.
-NO intoxicants (alcohol, tobacco, etc.).
-Affectionate body contact between practitioners is not permitted.
-All practitioners should be treated with due respect.
-At no time are prachtioners allowed to leave the premises without permission.
-Unless it is an emergency; practitioners are not permitted to use the telephone.
-Practitioners should also discourage their friends, family,etc., from calling them.
(HOW TO APPLY)
a. In order to be considered for the INTERNATIONAL ANGO
applicants must meet the following requirements:
-must be able to stay the entire ANGO period.
-must understand either Japanese or English .
-must have a letter of recommendation from her/his Zen Centre or teacher.
-must have a certificate of health.
-must provide a photocopy of the page in passport which contains personal information, such as age, sex, etc..
b. A selection committee will carefully select a fixed number of applicants. Ordained applicants have a priority.
c. All documents (1. filled out application form 2. signed affirmation form 3 letter of recommendation 4. health certificate 5. passport copy ) must be submitted to the following address by March 15th 1999.
ADDRESS :The Selection Committee of Shogoji-Hozan Dojo
2034 Hanjaku Kikuchi-shi Kumamoto-ken 861-1672 JAPAN
d. The applicants will be notified of the selection committee's decision by the end of March 1999.
a. Applicants are expected to cover all medical costs should they experience any health related problems while at Shogoji. For that reason we strongly recommend that you enter Japan with adequate medical insurance. Shogoji annually organizes a free health check at a nearby clinic. All applicants are expected to undergo this health check.
b. Applicants are expected to cover their own transportation costs. The introductory period (10 days) will cost the applicant 2,000 yen/day, or 20.000 yen. The formal practice period is free.
c. Those who want Soto school priest's qualifications must do ANGO as priest trainee at Zuioji.
The Founder : Late lkko Narasaki Roshi
Docho : Tsugen Narasaki Roshi
Godo : Soho Honda Roshi
Ino : Ven. Taiken Yoshitani
Lecturers : Ven. Hokan Saito, Ven. Kokuwa Tsuchida
Lecturers : Ven. Koki Suzuki. Ven. Ryuken Kakii,
Lecturers : Ven. Shunryu Kamata, Ven. Shoten Minegishi
Lecturers : Ven. Ryodo Yamashita
Special Lecturers : Ven. Shohaku Okumura,*Ven. Shoken Winecoff,
Special Lecturers : Ven. Ryotan Igarashi,
Kanji (fulltime staff) : Ven. Mugai Takano
Points for Orienting Newcomers
1. We avoid intoxication. At Shogoji we do not use drugs, tobacco, or alcohol.
2. Sexual desire can also be a sourse of intoxication. We do not engage in sexual activity while we are here.
3. We want to fully enter the Buddha's teaching. We should not speak about things that would arouse likes and dislikes or distant us from our practice. We try not to discuss such things as politics, the weakness of other people, our desires for wealthy goods and similar topics.
4. We respect the silence around us. We avoid speaking or laughing in loud voices. W e walk quietly, especially around the SODO. W hen we handle dishes or other things, we try to do it quietly and carefully.
5. We respect the four silent places where we should not speak:SODO, the table at mealtime, toilet, and bath.
6. Our actions are respectful. We sit either seiza or with crossed legs. W e do not sit with our legs straight. We do not lean against things when we sit or stand. W e walk in SHASHU, especially around the SODO and HATTO. W hen we eat or drink we sit down in an appropriate place We do not eat or drink while walking or standing or on the HATTO or SODO steps.
7. We do not dress in a manner that would distract others. For both walk and sitting we wear loose clothing that covers the body. We do not wear short or sleeveless clothing or revealing clothing. Bright color or eye-catching designs are also not worn. For sitting a practice robe that covers the legs or a short robe with loose pants is best. Except for wedding ring, we do not wear jewelery.
8. In order to avoid distraction, we do not wear wristwatches. When we need to know the time, we consult one of the clocks in the KUIN, SODO, or HATTO. Keeping a personal clock at our desks is also fine.
9. Our food is donated by others, or it is purchased with money donated by others. Therefore, at meals we take what we need and we eat it all. After meals, leftover food is not thrown away. If we are served more than we want, we can offer the extra food to others in a separate dish. This can be done before the meal begins.
10. At KAICHIN (bedtime), we brush our teeth, go to bed and go to sleep. We do not stay up to work, play, or talk.
11. If we go out to the doctor or for some purpose, we avoid activities or purchases that would distract us from the Buddha way. W e do not buy frivolous things like gossip magazines. We do not buy meat or luxurious foods or an abundance of snacks.