Buddha’s Enlightenment Vigil
with MRO Teachers and Senior Staff
December 7 - 9, 2018
After he left the home in which he was raised, Shakyamuni Buddha studied with spiritual teachers across northern India in an effort to resolve his questions about life and death. But even after six years of ascetic practices, he remained unsatisfied. One evening, he remembered the simple joy he had experienced sitting at the foot of a tree as a child. He sat down at the base of a bo tree, took the zazen posture, and resolved not to rise until he had settled his questions. That morning, upon seeing the morning star, he realized annuttarasamyak-sambodhi, supreme perfect enlightenment.
At Zen Mountain Monastery, we celebrate the Buddha’s enlightenment with a vigil dedicated to the simple yet profound practice of zazen, which Dogen Zenji called the “dharma gate of ease and joy.” We’ll begin after supper Friday evening with introductory remarks and a renewal of our bodhisattva vows. Then, we’ll mark the Buddha’s enlightenment by sitting together through the night and day. In the spirit of hermitage practice, participants will be invited to sit or rest at their own pace. A buffet table will be available in the dining hall for meals. Green tea will be offered during the night sitting. The vigil will extend through Saturday evening. The silence will be lifted on Sunday morning at breakfast.
Please note: Those who register for this retreat and plan on staying overnight are asked to preserve the harmony of the program by staying until the conclusion of the retreat on Sunday at noon.
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.