Dear Sangha Friend,
With fond memories of the fall Ango training period, we're now moving into the quieter dimensions of December and all the joys of winter on Mount Tremper. In just such a season, we have no shortage of opportunities to practice generosity, vigor and concentration, and to do that together.
Buddha's Enlightenment Vigil takes place both at the Monastery and the Zen Center of NYC on the weekend of December 8-10. As we commemorate the Buddha's accomplishment, we also honor our own commitment to awakening by meeting that commitment and aspiration directly in zazen. From Friday evening through Sunday morning, practitioners will set their own pace, some sitting through the nights, others finding their own middle way. Read more on the program page. At the conclusion to the weekend, as part of our Sunday morning program, Shugen Roshi will officiate tokudo—the full monastic ordination ceremony—for Shea Ikusei Settimi. If you're able, please join us in supporting Ikusei at this major step along her path. 
Also in December, we're holding our 29th annual Dana Dinner, a free and festive holiday celebration for Catskill community members who might not otherwise have such an opportunity this season. Many families and individuals from the sangha join us for the day or the whole weekend to help make this event a success each year. Dana Dinner takes place December 16. To donate or volunteer your time, please click here.
Looking Ahead 
On the weekend of January 12-14, Trudi Jinpu Hirsch-Abramson returns to the Monastery. Jinpu trained as a monastic for a number of years at ZMM and was later ordained as a Zen priest and has worked extensively in the field of hospital chaplaincy. Her retreat on Death and Dying, which was very well-received the last time she offered it here, is entitled Allowing Death to Teach Us How to Live. If you've ever wondered how to make the study of impermanence an active, transformative, and even joyful practice, consider joining us for this program.
The Hemera Foundation continues to provide generous fellowships for artists, educators, and health care workers who would like to attend retreats at Zen Mountain Monastery. To find out more about Hemera Fellowships and our commitment to making sure that finances are never an obstacle to practicing at the Monastery, please visit our Financial Assistance page.
Important Dates for November
12/1 - 12/3      Weekend Sesshin
12/10              Monastic ordination ceremony for Shea Ikusei Settimi
12/15 - 12/17  Dana Dinner weekend
12/24              The Monastery will hold its usual Sunday morning program from 9am through lunch.
12/26 - 1/1      Rohatsu Sesshin with Shugen Roshi (This program is full.)
Please don't let financial issues prevent you from attending a program at the Monastery.
If you can't afford the program fee, there are options.
Sunday Morning Program
The Sunday Program is open to the public and offered every week of the year. If it's your first visit, you'll receive beginning instruction in zazen (Zen meditation) and an orientation to the Monastery.
9am-noon: Liturgy, zazen, and dharma talk
Noon-1pm: Lunch & clean-up
Please arrive by 8:45am and plan to stay for the whole morning. $5 suggested donation.
Wednesday Evening Zazen
Beginning instruction in zazen offered weekly except during sesshin; please check our calendar or call first to confirm. 
March-December: 7:30-9pm
January-February: 6:30-8pm
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For more information on any of our retreats, go to the retreat calendar.
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