Spring Ango

Trust in Buddha Nature

Ango—“peaceful dwelling”—is a traditional intensive training and an important part of our Zen practice.

Ango traces its history to the time of Shakyamuni Buddha and the early sangha. Each year, as the monsoon rains began, the community would gather together. This enabled everyone to deepen their practice and polish their understanding through the indispensable teachings of the Three Treasures—Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

Ango in the Mountains and Rivers Order

The MRO is committed to protecting the spiritual integrity and practice of ango. We recognize the complexity of practicing in the world of family, livelihood and other responsibilities. At the same time, understanding the transformative effect that spiritual practice has on our lives, we emphasize the importance of entering regular periods of intensified training. All MRO students are required to formally participate in at least one ango each year.

Ango Requirements

During ango, Monastery residents intensify their daily practice by increasing their involvement in the Eight Gates of training and participating in monthly sesshins. Home practitioners take up the challenge by increasing their Eight Gates practice at home and making contact with the teachers at the Monastery, Temple or affiliate groups. Each ango, participants help create a unified sangha by joining in at least two zazen intensives and engaging with Buddhist study and Beyond Fear of Differences / anti-oppression work. Participation in an Introduction to Zen Training Retreat or Zen Practice Retreat online with the Monastery are strongly encouraged for those formally participating in ango.

If you have questions about any aspect of ango training, call the Training Office and speak with one of the senior monastics.

Each ango begins formally with an Ango Entering Ceremony during which those participating in the training period step forward to acknowledge their commitment. This Spring, the entering ceremony will take place on March 6th as part of our Sunday morning program with those of us at the Monastery crossing the literal threshold and many more, doing so from their homes and over Zoom.


Thank you for participating in ango with us!

Buddhist Studies Mondos with Shugen Roshi

Thursdays, 7-9pm. Zoom link and assignment will be sent to all participants. We will be using The Lotus Sutra translation by Burton Watson (easy to find a used copy).

Dates: March 10 & 24; April 7 & 21; May 5 & 19.  The assignment for 5/19 is Chapters 14, 20 & 25.

You can download and listen to the March 10th Buddhist Studies Mondo here

You can download and listen to the March 24th Buddhist Studies Mondo here

You can download and listen to the April 7th Buddhist Studies Mondo here

You can download and listen to the April 21st Buddhist Studies Mondo here
(You can also find the article on early Buddhist attitudes toward women and the feminine which Roshi spoke about during this Mondo here)

You can download and listen to the May 5th Buddhist Studies Mondo here

You can download and listen to the May 19th Buddhist Studies Mondo here

Beyond Fear of Differences Commitments—Unlearning Racism, Healing Oppression

Special Opportunities for Ango Participants

10:30 am – 12 noon

(except during sesshin)

REVEALING BUDDHA VISION—Stories of True Colors & Coming to our Senses

An Art Practice Series With Hojin Sensei

In these sessions, we will learn and explore the haptic process, an approach which depends upon sensory experience—interior and exterior—as a touchstone to expression. This does not leave out the thinking process but allows the senses to lead in exploring unknown wildernesses and stories. Dharma teachings and prompts will guide us as we find our way in vivid colors, sounds, smells, tastes, touches, spaces and in the movements of our bodies.

7:00 – 8:00 am

(except during sesshin)

18 Lohan Hands Qi Gong with Pragata Blaise

Qigong taps into the natural, ever-present wisdom and vitality of our bodies and the cosmos, allowing us to direct Qi energy to wherever it is needed. Open to those who have never practiced Qigong before as well as seasoned practitioners.

CORRECTION: 10:00 – 11:00 am

(except during sesshin)

Yoga for Sitting with Michele Laura

In Yoga for Sitting, we will practice inhabiting and deeply observing our body through various yogic breathing, posture and focus techniques.  We will explore finding our individual seat of “steadiness and ease”, strength and softness. Bring props if you need and have them—yoga  mat, blankets, blocks, strap, light weight chair—helpful for many bodies.  Practice is geared toward all levels of experience.

Alternating Mondays
6:30 – 7:45 pm

Beginning March 28

Hara-Focused Body Practice with Mayumi Ishino
(for BIAPoC Sangha)

Hara focused movements: visualizing an inner tree with breath.

A series of simple movements connect the breath and body parts, releasing physical and mental tension, while deepening awareness of the lower abdomen (hara). The class includes standing, sitting, and lying down positions as well as a brief sharing period.

6:30 – 8:00 pm  (except during sesshin)

Reading the Lotus Sutra: A Sangha Practice Group

Come join the fellowship of good friends as we recite the Lotus Sutra. We will practice listening, explore vocabulary, and enter the rich tapestry of parables and characters that come alive in the Sutra. The text is The Threefold Lotus Sutra is offered for free digitally here.

For our public programs calendar go to:

Spring Ango Activities List

Most events can be joined online; some can be joined onsite. Check the Programs Page for more details and to register.

Ango Entering Ceremony at ZMM and via Livestream  Sunday, March 6th, 9-12pm   

Monastery Intensives

  • Ango Opening Sesshin— March 4 – 6
  • True Refuge Week (MRO students) March 15 – 20
  • Founding Sesshin led by Hogen Sensei/ One Continuous Thread— March 28 – April 3
  • Apple Blossom Sesshin led by Hojin Sensei/ One Continuous Thread — April 25 – May 1
  • Ango Intensive: All the Way Home is Home Itself— Teachings on Buddha Nature, with Shugen Roshi— May 12-15
  • True Refuge Week (MRO students)May 17 – 22
  • Shuso Hossen Sesshin led by Shugen Roshi/ One Continuous Thread — May 23 – 29

Temple Programs (check Program Page and Temple Notes for more details)

  • Half-day Sit: Every non-sesshin Saturday, 9am – noon

Monastery Retreats: 

  • This Very Mind is Buddha: The Platform Sutra, with Chan teacher Rebecca Li—March 17-20
  • Precepts I: Entering the Way of Compassion, with Hogen Sensei—May 20-22

Evening Programs:

  • Nuts & Bolts of Zen Practice: Taking Refuge in the Buddha, with Hogen Sensei—March 18
  • Simplicity and Depth: Teachings from Early Chan, with Mn. Shoan Ankele—April 6
  • Nuts & Bolts of Zen Practice: Taking Refuge in the Dharma, with Hogen Sensei—April 15
  • Shining a Light on Microaggressions: An MRO Forum, for white-bodied sangha—April 20
  • Right Effort, with Mn. Gokan Bonebakker—May 11
  • Honoring Our Ancestors: The Trailblazing Early Buddhist Nuns of China, with Buddhist Scholar Kathy Lin— May 18

Fusatsu: Renewal of Vows Ceremony and Talk

Upcoming Thursday, May 27th during sesshin and via Livestream, 7-9 pm,.

Watch the April 1st Fusatsu talk on Livestream here.

Buddhist Study Mondos with Shugen Roshi  

Thursdays, 7-9 pm. Reading materials and zoom link will be sent in advance of each session. We will be using The Lotus Sutra translation by Burton Watson (easy to find a used copy).

Dates: March 10 & 24; April 7 & 21; May 5 & 19

Dharma Encounters at the Monastery (as part of the Sunday morning program):

Dates: April 3, May 1, and May 29 

Special Events at the Monastery:

  • Buddha’s Birthday, April 10 (as part of the Sunday program)
  • Jukai Ceremony, April 17  (as part of the Sunday program)

Sangha Practice & Affinity Groups:

These have become an integral and often joyous part of our training together over the past year and a half. Consider joining a group that’s right for you, as a drop-in participant or ongoing member. No formal commitment to these is required. Visit ZMM.org/staying-connected for more information.

In addition to the Beyond Fear of Differences (BFOD)/Anti-Racism Ango Commitment for ango, additional BFOD programs and in development and will be posted as soon as possible here and on the programs page.