SESSHIN: Bodhisattva Perspectives on the Heart Sutra
During this sesshin we explore one of the core teachings of Mahayana Buddhism, the Heart Sutra (Prajna Paramita Hridaya–Heart of Realizing Wisdom Beyond Wisdom). What does it mean to live in this world with the heart of a Bodhisattva? How do we apply the wisdom beyond wisdom of this sutra? Through the practice of silence and stillness of the retreat, we will contemplate on this teaching in us as well as in our relationship to others.
Sesshin literally means ‘gathering the heart/mind’. A sesshin is an intensive multi-day Zen meditation retreat with a consistent schedule that creates a deep, quiet container for practice. Each day consists of sitting (zazen) and walking (kinhin) meditation, service and chanting (liturgy), formal meals in the zendo (oryoki*), personal interviews with the teachers, work practice (samu) and physical practice. We observe Noble Silence throughout and support each other in quiet, whole-hearted practice. It is recommended, although certainly not mandatory, that you participate in at least one day-long retreat (Zazenkai or Bodhidharma) before you sit sesshin to prepare you for this very deep and intimate practice.