Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ango 2011 - Kick off

This weekend marked the start of Ango.  Ango is a three month intensive training period for Zen Buddhists.  With that, there is several things which one commits to with the goaless goal of deepening their practice.  As such, here are mine:

Commitments for Ango:

  • ~45 Minutes (1 long incense stick) morning zazen (6am CDT) + a few minutes of liturgy (HS, Sandokai, DoM, VoA, FV, EJKG & Metta)
  • ~25 Minutes (1 short incense stick) evening zazen (8pm CDT) + same liturgy as morning, maybe drop Sandokai, it's long, but I just really love it.
  • Full vegan. 
    • Previously I was a lacto-vegan (if that exists) and it was always a burden on my heart. To be so close to what I wanted to practice as compassion but not being able to drop dairy always has bugged me.
  • Dropping of soda, coffee & beer. 
    • Soda & coffee because it causes reflux for me and soda has lots of calories, so for health reasons. Beer because drinking 1 or 2 seems pointless. 
  • Shobogenzo reading each day
    • Academic study of Kaz Tanahashi's Shobo is my current focus. 
  • 30 Minutes of shakuhachi or sewing practice per day.
    • Depending on when I'm doing it sort of dictates which. Kids in bed means sewing...not shaku.
  • Dana
    • I have started a group on FB called Compassion in Action. First order of business is the North Texas Food Bank. Just doing a food drive and delivering it. After this I will begin to look at something maybe a bit different...maybe environmental or with people...still thinking about it
  • Nurturing Seeds Practice
    • This is a new one for me, but essentially not letting any negative 'seeds' take root in my thoughts.
  • Practice Partner Exercises
    • Weekly exercise to foster a strong practice with a partner and share Ango commitments
  • Meet with Jundo or Taigu at least once a month for dokusan.
  • Participate in Jukai preparations (Precept studies, Book readings and sewing of rakusu)
  • Formal studies and practices of samu.
  • Mindful eating preceded by meal gatha at each meal.
  • Commit to attending Rohatsu retreat in December.

My plan is to post up a daily blog on my successes, failures and insights.  This will provide a three-fold benefit. Provide my practice partner, Shohei, an update of my day.  Secondly, provide a nice way to look back over the 90 day journey.  Lastly, provide some boring, funny, sad and pointless data for your viewing pleasure.

Thanks & Gassho!


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