Buddha's Birthday Sesshin
Thursday April 5 to Sunday April 8
Over twenty-five hundred years ago, nestled in a fertile valley along the border between India and Nepal, a child was born who was to become the Buddha. The stories say that before his birth, his mother, the queen of a small Indian kingdom, had a dream. A beautiful white elephant offered the queen a lotus flower, and then, entered the side of her body. When sages were asked to interpret the dream, they predicted the queen would give birth to a son destined to become either a great ruler or a holy man. One day, they said, he would either conquer the world, or become an enlightened being—the Buddha. Within ten months, as a tree lowered a branch to support her, a baby boy was born, emerging from her side.
In Mahayana Buddhism, April 8 is recognized as Buddha’s birthday. We come together as a community at this time to commemorate the birth of Shakyamuni Buddha. Sesshin means to gather heart-mind, and during this retreat we will practice sitting, walking, eating, silence, bowing, chanting, resting, sleeping and working together. You do not have to sleepover but everyone is encouraged to attend the full sesshin, and to benefit by sleeping over at Zen Center on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
If you have not ever attended a sesshin, and want to, but have questions, please bring your questions to a temple officer:
Ino – Stacy 541-944-2682
Tenzo – Mike 541-622-5756
Shisui – Ramana 541-201-1160
Sesshin begins Thursday, April 5 with dinner and orientation at 6:00pm. You may arrive as early as 5:00pm to settle in to your assigned space. Sesshin ends on Sunday at 12:00 noon.
Download the registration form here or they are available at Ashland Zen Center.
Registration closes on Wednesday March 28.