Monday, January 03, 2011

heart kyol che

Yet another thing that smacks of "New Year's Resolution" that I am participating in!! Seriously though, it's just odd timing that it's happening at the beginning of the year, and's only a three month commitment.

Filched directly from the flyer, but with the addition of links and notes (in italics), by me:

Kyol Che is a traditional Korean Zen retreat. The name means “tight dharma”(I have also heard it as "tight practice") or “coming together.” In Korea, it is the three-month winter and summer periods when monks and nuns do intensive sitting practice in the mountain temples. Providence Zen Center (which is the international head temple for the school of zen I practice with) holds two Kyol Che retreats annually, with students sitting up to three months in the winter and four weeks in the summer.

The Heart Kyol Che is an opportunity for students who cannot sit the traditional Kyol Che, or who can sit only part of it, to participate by doing extra practice at home and practicing together with others as they are able. This will run concurrently with the traditional Kyol Che (Monday, January 3rd through Friday, April 1st). By doing this Heart Kyol Che together, we will strengthen our own practices, and provide support to our fellow students who are able to sit the traditional Kyol Che. We in turn can draw inspiration and energy from their commitment.

If you are geographically distant, you can still participate in the Heart Kyol Che through your commitment to practice at home. Try to attend talks, sittings, and retreats at another center of the Kwan Um School of Zen
(which for me, would be my local hangout, Empty Gate Zen Center).

My personal commitments:
-Daily practice as suggested (recitation of the Four Great Vows, bowing, chanting of the Heart Sutra, and sitting for 15 minutes....equates to about half an hour a day).
-Daily mantra practice (suggested minimum is one thousand repetitions).
-One personal day of silence.
-Long sittings, by way of the January and February retreats at my local zen center.
-Work practice, at my local zen center.
-Listening to dharma talks (teaching lectures) weekly, primarily online.

The MostImportantGuy has also committed to his own version, and he faxed over our sign-up sheets today. On the forms we noted the personal commitments that we are keeping during the Kyol Che period (January 3 through April 1), and this way the folks who are really sitting at the zen center through the entire three month meditation retreat (?!) will know we are there with them "in spirit".

Hey, I had my camera on hand very early this morning:

Early morning sunshine. First blue skies in weeks. Looking out my kitchen window. A glass hangs in the window.

(note to self: shown just as snapped)