I live in the open mindedness of not knowing enough about anything."
Fall 2017 Class: Being a Sane Person in an Insane World
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Flint Sparks will be offering a four part class series this fall on the Vimalakirti Sutra title "Being a Sane Person in an Insane World." For a full description and registration please click here.
Fall 3-Day Practice Intensive
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A fundamental part of our traditional Zen practice is a formal concentrated practice opportunity called a Sesshin in Japanese. Roughly translated, it means to collect the mind. Within our contemporary western practice model at Appamada, we simply call them intensives. However, this common sounding moniker in English belies the depth of the opportunity. You might have heard teachers or experienced practitioners refer to them as an opportunity to "deepen" your practice, but what do they mean?
Put simply, a traditional intensivestructure reduces our practice-life (one word) to its simplest form. The distractions of outside life are removed. Individualistic preferences for schedule and activity are asked to be secondary. We are released into a contained atmosphere, supported by formality and structure, in which we can explore what it means to just do what is next, to just be here now, and to develop the fortitude to meet what arises without turning away. Given the right effort, and more importantly, the right support of those practicing with you, this containment allows us to explore a way of being which is always there, but may seem hidden in everyday life. Hence the metaphors which attempt to convey a way the exists beneath the surface - depth. Like everything else in Zen practice, it is something to be experienced, and once you have experienced it, you can let go of the description.