ONLINE: Buddha’s Enlightenment Vigil
with MRO Teachers and Senior Staff
December 10 - 12, 2021
After he left his family’s home to seek liberation from suffering, Shakyamuni Buddha spent some years studying with spiritual teachers and engaging in extreme ascetic practices. Through it all, he remained unsatisfied that he had resolved his search. Inspired by a memory of an experience of deep, easeful meditation he’d experienced in his youth, 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 at their own pace, do walking meditation, rest when needed, and maintain a wholehearted mind of meditation throughout the vigil.
The vigil will include a Livestream link for those joining from home as the zendo remains open from Friday night and through the entire vigil, ending on Sunday morning. We will gather at 5:30 a.m. Sunday to sit together and then lift the silence at the Monastery with chanting at 6.
Our Sunday Livestream program will begin at 9 a.m. with a special service marking Buddha’s Enlightenment.