Friday, December 13, 2013 10:30 am Renewal of Vows
Sunday, December 15, 2013 10:30 am Transfer of Merit Ceremony
The Transfer of Merit and Willingness Rev. Master Meian Elbert Listen/Download
Sunday, December 22, 2013 10:30 am Lay Donors' Offering Ceremony
Tuesday, December 24, 2013 7:00 pm Eve of Elightenment Day Ceremony, followed by festive Tea
Wednesday, December 25, 2013 10:30 am Enlightenment Day This important festival celebrates Shakyamuni Buddha's moment of spiritual awakening under the Bodhi tree as he gazed at the morning star rising in the eastern sky.
Saturday through Wednesday, December 28, 2013 - January 1, 2014 New Year Celebratory Retreat
If you have previously attended an Introductory Retreat, we invite you to join us for this retreat of meditation, ceremonies and celebration when we gather together as members of the Buddha’s family to bid farewell to the old year and welcome the new year. During this retreat, we reflect on and offer gratitude to the Buddhas and Ancestors for their teaching and help in the past year and we ask for their continued help in the year to come. After our potluck on New Year’s Eve, we meditate and hold a Vigil for Maitreya, the Buddha Who is to Come, 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 you are welcome to stay overnight until January 2.
Sunday, December 29, 2013 10:30 am 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, including Vairochana Buddha, the Cosmic Buddha, through whom most of the teachings are voiced. Also present in the Sutra are Maitreya, Manjusri, Samantabhadra, and other Bodhisattvas who exemplify and embody the extent of the Bodhisattva vow of training.
The Avatamsaka Scripture: The Larger View Rev. Master Meian Elbert Listen/Download
Monday, December 30, 2013 10:30 am Renewal of Vows
Tuesday, December 31, 2013 Vigil of Maitreya followed by the New Year's Eve Ceremony The Secular New Year ceremony provides an opportunity to reflect on the past year and to establish our direction for the year ahead. A meditation vigil and the Vigil Ceremony for Maitreya precedes theNew Year's Eve Ceremony, which climaxes at midnight as 2014 begins. Afterwards, the Temple's main 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.
Radical Sobriety Reverend Master Daizui MacPhillamy Listen/Download
Wednesday, January 1, 2014 10:30 am 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 Sanskirt maitri (Pali, metta), meaning "loving kindness". Thus he is called "The Loving One" or "The Friendly One". Maitreya is usually depicted seated on a throne or chair with his feet down, Western style, and often holds a stupa. In the Zen traditions, Maitreya represents the potential each of us can bring to fruition through training.
Hymns to Maitreya Reverend Master Daizui MacPhillamy Listen/Download
January 2 through February 1, 2014 The Monastery is closed for the month of January.
Friday through Sunday, February 7 - 9, 2014 Introductory Retreat What is Serene Reflection Meditation? And how is it helpful in meeting the demands of daily life? How important is it in the practice of Buddhism? 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. Within the monastic schedule, and in silence as much as possible, Introductory Retreats offer meditation instruction, short periods of seated meditation, Dharma Talks and informal discussions with time for questions. The retreat concludes with an informal tea for retreat guests, monks and our local congregation.
Introduction to Serene Reflection Meditation Various articles Read/Download
Sunday, February 9, 2014 10:30 am Festival of the Buddha's Renunciation This ceremony honors one of the key events in the life of Shakyamuni Buddha - the leaving home of the young Prince Siddharta in the 6th century BCE on his quest for the answer to suffering. Gautama, his family name by which he was known before his awakening, left his palace home and family at the age of 29 to begin a six-year search that eventually led to his enlightenment beneath the Bodhi tree. The ceremony reminds us of the necessity in training of "letting go" of the familiar and dare to launch into the unknown, not just once, but each moment in meditation.
The Buddha's Renunciation Rev. Master Meian Elbert Listen/Download
Renunciation and the Mind Rev. Master Meian Elbert Listen/Download
Wednesday and Thursday, February 12 - 13, 2014 Great Renewal of Vows
Sunday, February 16, 2014 10:30 am Festival of the Buddha's Parinirvana This most solemn ceremony of the Buddhist year celebrates the historical Buddha Shakyamuni's entry into eternal meditation - Parinirvana. The ceremony illustrates the seeming darkness that engulfs us at the death of a great teacher (or our own death), the assurance of the Teaching's "return" to the world, and the underlying certainty that the True Light, the Unborn Buddha Nature, can never die.
Light and Darkness Rev. Master Meian Elbert Listen/Download
Tuesday through Thursday, February 18 - 20, 2014 10:30 am Silent Meditation Retreat The focus of our Silent Meditation Retreat 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 a Three Day Meditation Retreat.
Sunday, February 23, 2014 10:30 am Festival of Avalokiteshwara Bodhisattva Avalokiteshwara, "Regarder of the Cries of the World", is the Bodhisattva of Compassion who assumes whatever form is necessary to help living beings on their way to the Other Shore, Nirvana. Appearing sometimes male, sometimes female, in accordance with this vow, Great Compassion is ultimately beyond all opposites. Avalokiteshwara represents our willingness to train ourselves for the benefit of others and to help beings however we can.
On the Bodhisattva of Compassion (On Shobogenzo Chapter 32 - Kannon) Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett Listen/Download
Friday through Sunday, February 28 - March 2, 2014 Introductory Retreat What is Serene Reflection Meditation? And how is it helpful in meeting the demands of daily life? How important is it in the practice of Buddhism? 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. Within the monastic schedule, and in silence as much as possible, Introductory Retreats offer meditation instruction, short periods of seated meditation, Dharma Talks and informal discussions with time for questions. The retreat concludes with an informal tea for retreat guests, monks and our local congregation.
Introduction to Serene Reflection Meditation Various articles Read/Download