Saturday, November 29, 2014 10:30 am Renewal of Vows Ceremony
Sunday, November 30, 2014 10:30 am Meditation Sunday
Please join us for a period of sitting meditation in the Buddha Hall at 10:30, followed by the Dharma Talk.
Monday, December 1 - 10, 2014 The Monastery is closed as we observe Rohatsu, our Winter Monastic Retreat, which commemorates the Buddha's Enlightenment.
Monday, December 8, 2014 10:30 am Festival of Enlightenment Day on December 8th
This important festival celebrates Shakyamuni Buddha's moment of spiritual awakening under the noble ficus religiosa (fig) tree in ancient India as he gazed at the morning star rising in the eastern sky. In Zen monasteries, Rohatsu, the winter weeklong monastic retreat commemorating that event, usually precedes it.
Festival of the Buddha's Enlightenment on December 8th Listen/Download
Saturday, December 13, 2014 10:30 am Renewal of Vows Ceremony
Sunday, December 14, 2014 10:30 am Ceremony of Gratitude Every day is a precious gift and one where we can find something to be grateful for, even if it’s a painful time that is needing to be looked at. The Ceremony of Gratitude is an ancient ceremony that the Lay Sangha has brought back to express gratitude to the monks at Shasta Abbey and all they do to help our training. The most important gift is the gift of presence and training. Some want to offer more than this and bring a gift (often based on the things the Abbey could use). Others bring a card with a poem or expression of gratitude, or something they made - cookies, jam or cat toys. Some just bring themselves. All gifts are of deep value. Please know that your presence and training is the most precious of gifts that you can bring.
Lay Donors' Offering Ceremony Listen/Download
Sunday, December 21, 2014 10:30 am Festival of the Avatamsaka Sutra
The focus of this festival is the Avatamsaka (Flower Ornament) 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.
Festival of the Avatamsaka Scripture Listen/Download
The Avatamsaka Scripture: The Larger View Rev. Master Meian Elbert Listen/Download
Wednesday, December 24, 2014 7:00pm Ceremony of the Eve of the Buddha's Enlightenment
Please join us in a joyful ceremony of readings and invocations in celebration of the Festival of the Buddha's Enlightenment. A festive tea follows.
Ceremony of the Eve of the Buddha's Enlightenment Link to Ceremony Invocations
Thursday, December 25, 2014 10:30am Festival of the Buddha's Enlightenment
This important and joyful festival celebrates Shakyamuni Buddha's moment of spiritual awakening under the noble ficus religiosa (fig) tree in ancient India as he gazed at the morning star rising in the eastern sky. We celebrate with festive ceremony in a beautifully decorated Buddha Hall.
Festival of the Buddha's Enlightenment on December 25th Link to Ceremony Invocations
Tuesday, December 30, 2014 10:30 am Renewal of Vows Ceremony
Wednesday, December 31, 2014 9:45pm Vigil for Maitreya and New Year's Eve Ceremony
The New Year ceremony provides an opportunity to reflect on the past year and to establish our direction for the year ahead. Several meditation periods and a Vigil for the Bodhisattva Maitreya precede the ceremony which climaxes at midnight as the new year begins. The celebrant "revolves" the Scripture of Great Wisdom, the Heart Sutra, the central scripture in Zen Buddhism. The revolving reflects the movement of the heart training within us, as the Teaching is "turned and given" to beings in all directions. Afterwards the Abbey's main bell is rund 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.
Festival of Secular New Year Listen/Download
Thursday, January 1, 2015 10:30am Festival of Maitreya Bodhisattva
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 Sankrit maitri meaning "lovingkindness". Thus he is called "the Loving One" or "the Friendly One". In the Zen traditions, Maitreya represents the potential each of us can bring to fruition through training.
The Maitreya Festival is traditionally celebrated on the first day of the new year - in the West on January 1. This date is also Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett's birthday, so the ceremony had a special significance for her and retains a similar significance for her descendants in the Dharma.
Festival of Maitreya Bodhisattva Listen/Download
Hymns to Maitreya Reverend Master Daizui MacPhillamy Listen/Download
Friday, January 2 - February 1, 2015 The Monastery is closed as we take this time of renewal.
Friday through Sunday, February 6 - 8, 2015 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 8, 2015 10:30am Festival of the Buddha's Renunciation
Festival of the Buddha's Renunciation Listen/Download
On Renunciation Rev. Master Hubert Nearman Listen/Download
Wednesday, February 11 - Thursday, February 12, 2015 Great Renewal of Vows
Sunday, February 15, 2015 10:30am Festival of the Buddha's Parinirvana
Festival of the Buddha's Parinirvana Listen/Download
The Buddha's Last Words Rev. Master Meian Elbert Listen/Download
Tuesday, February 17 - Thursday, February 19, 2015 Silent Meditation Retreat
Sunday, February 22, 2015 10:30am Festival of Avalokiteshwara
Festival of Avalokiteshwara Bodhisattva Listen/Download
Sunday, March 8, 2015 10:30am Festival of Samantabhadra
Festival of Samanatabhadra Bodhisattva Listen/Download
Tuesday, March 10 - Thursday, March 12, 2015 Silent Meditation Retreat
Sunday, March 15, 2015 10:30am Festival of the Spring Equinox
Festival of the Spring Equinox Listen/Download
On the Spring Equinox: Opportunity for Change Rev. Master Ando Mueller Listen/Download
Sunday, March 22 - Sunday, March 29, 2015 Keeping of the Ten Precepts Retreat
What It Means to be a Buddhist Reverend Master Daizui MacPhillamy Listen/Download