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This year's Winter Ango (90 day retreat) at ASZC will take place from January 1 through March 31, 2015. Everyone is invited to take part in the increased opportunities for practice and study. Rev. Tesshin James Smith, from the Atlantic Soto Zen Center, Halifax, Nova Scotia, will be in residence throughout the 90 day Ango.

There will be an enhanced practice schedule including:
• Weekday Morning, Midday & Afternoon Zazen
• Monday Evening Zazen & Selected Readings with Gatsu Jabez Maurer
• Tuesday Evening Cloud Dharma Skype with Elliston Roshi
• Wednesday Evening Newcomers Workshop with Disciples in Rotation
• Thursday Evenings: An 11-week Workshop: "Observing the Precepts, Deepening Samadhi"
• Sunday Evenings: Group Sutra Study (Surangama)

For those who like getting a little sawdust on themselves, Saturday afternoon zendo kitchen renovations.

Additionally, on the last week of each month there will be an open mic musical entertainment evening. Come bring your instruments and voices to sing along with others. It will be held on either a Friday or Saturday evening. You can let us know which evening you prefer by emailing:
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All are encouraged to meet with Tesshin for practice discussion by appointment, at ASZC or for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or coffee as time allows.

Tesshin will undergo Shuso (head student) and Shiho (Transmission) ceremonies while in residence. You will be invited to participate in the public parts of those ceremonies, which will be announced in advance and take place on appropriate Sunday mornings. This is the "PhD of Zen" as Matsuoka Roshi called it, so Jim is to be congratulated.

Last Updated (Friday, 19 December 2014 09:59)


Zen Sangha Letter

We vow with all beings from this life on throughout countless lives to hear the true dharma. That upon hearing it no doubt will arise in us nor will we lack in faith. That upon meeting it we shall renounce worldly affairs and maintain the buddhadharma. And that in doing so the great Earth with all beings will attain the buddha way. — Dogen’s Vow; Eihei Dogen Zenji

Dear Good Friends of ASZC,

We come to you with a worldly affair, one with which Master Dogen was intimately familiar, that of maintaining the buddhadharma. This time of year, most members and friends of ASZC make their year-end donation and offer a sustaining pledge for next year. Won’t you join them?

This year we celebrate 75 years of Matsuoka Roshi’s appearing in the West, and nearly 40 years of continuous operation of Atlanta Soto Zen Center. We thank you for your generous dana in the past, and its consequences in the present, and invite you to join in taking care of the future Zen Center sangha and practice place that we value so deeply. Please help ensure that ASZC will continue for the benefit of all beings and generations to come.

It is an auspicious time for you to contribute to your center’s prosperity. We hope that by your support the ASZC is able to be there for you and others for many years to come.

Last Updated (Friday, 19 December 2014 09:57)




Each year at this time we look back, sometimes with regret; and forward, sometimes with trepidation. Setting aside the intellectual sloppiness, or arbitrariness, of selecting a given time of year to make such an assessment — winter introspection likely being a vestige of our agricultural and tribal heritage — any excuse for taking a time out from the hectic pace of modern life is welcome.

Zen meditation is a top-tier example of such a time-out. Shohaku Okumura Roshi referred to zazen as a "vacation." Where every other activity is a form of output, zazen is all input, he said. Everything else is work. We are fortunate to have this "excellent method as the essence of the teaching" as Master Dogen puts it. So, if we are making a year's end inventory of those things for which we are thankful, zazen is certainly near the top of the list.

Last Updated (Wednesday, 17 December 2014 19:24)

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