Dear Sangha Friend,
There's no time like the wintry present to settle into your practice, allowing the stillness of the season to be a model and a mirror. We have a number of zazen intensives coming up in February, providing us with a nice preview of the 2018 Spring Ango that is just around the corner. February 8-11 we'll hold the bi-annual Basic Space Meditation Intensive that begins with the traditional forms of sesshin but then opens up as the day goes on, allowing participants to set their own pace. Later in the month, Bodhidharma Sesshin unfolds from the 19th to the 25th. Check out the schedule below or visit the website for details.
Dharma Action Day
Tomorrow, January 28, from 1:30-3:30pm, the Monastery will host a homegrown social action fair that is open to all. The afternoon is a chance for the community to participate in a larger exploration of social action as it relates to our training and practice. It will include sangha presentations on different initiatives that are either already established (like the National Buddhist Prison Sangha and Beyond Fear of Differences) or that we'd like to reinvigorate or begin new (like the Earth Initiative). Presentations will be brief to allow people to rotate through many different groups, see what they are drawn to, and explore different ways to get involved. We're hoping this Dharma Action Day will be the beginning of a new and ongoing social action initiative within the MRO. 
Looking ahead
Coming up in March, Hogen Sensei will lead a retreat on the six paramitas. Perfect from Now On examines how the paramitas—perfections of generosity, morality, patience, vigor, concentration, and wisdom—are skillfully designed to target the places where we create distance in our experience. The weekend after that, from March 23-25, Shugen Roshi will offer the second of two retreats focusing on the bodhisattva precepts. These retreats can be attended in either order. While Precepts I presents an overview of the moral and ethical teachings of Zen Buddhism, Precepts II examines the necessity of cultivating bodhicitta in our daily lives.
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 February
2/2 - 2/4          Introduction to Zen Training Weekend (This program is full.)
2/3 at 2pm      Zen Teens
2/4 at 9am      Zen Kids/Pre-Teens Program
2/8 - 2/11        Basic Space Meditation Intensive with Shugen Roshi and Hojin Sensei
2/19 - 2/25      Bodhidharma Sesshin with Shugen Roshi, Hojin Sensei, and Zuisei Goddard 
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. 
January-February: 6:30-8pm
March-December: 7:30-9pm

For more information on any of our retreats, go to the retreat calendar.
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