Ango

Peaceful Dwelling

What is Ango?

Ango—“peaceful dwelling”—is a traditional intensive training period common to many schools of Buddhism.

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, and this is particularly true during this time of Covid. 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.

Ango Entering

Each ango begins formally with an Ango Opening Ceremony during which those participating in the training period step forward to acknowledge their commitment.  This Spring, the opening ceremony will took place on March 7th as part of our Sunday morning program with those of us at the Monastery crossing the literal threshold and many more, including the ango’s chief disciple, doing so from their homes and over Zoom. You can watch Shugen Roshi’s talk from that day on our Livestream page or within our podcast.

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

Below are links to programs of particular interest to formal ango participants.
Visit the Ango Activities List for a complete schedule, including meditation intensives open to all.

Special Opportunities for Ango Participants

Buddhist Study

Noble Path Talks
with Hojin Sensei & ZCNYC Sangha
6:30-8 pm, Thursdays: March 18, April 15, May 20
These monthly gatherings on Zoom give us a chance to share some time together and hear a fellow sangha member relate some of their own experiences in encountering and setting out on the path.  What brought us to the Dharma? How is that spark alive now? How is our practice helping now?
We will also take up the Faith Mind Poem using the line -by- line translation offered by Hobai and expressive reflective practices.

Registration for March, April and May dates will  be posted soon!

Art & Body Practice

Chado: The Zen Art of Tea Practice with Andrew Hobai Pekarik
Every other Sunday from 2 – 3pm
Join Hobai and fellow sangha members for an ongoing exploration of tea ceremony as an appreciation of the season, the senses, the magic of awareness and really life itself! Click here for a list of basic tea ceremony equipment, though there is no requirement to bring anything other than your keen interest.
March 14th, 28th
April 11th, 25th
May 16th, 30th
Please click here for details and to register.

Beyond Words: A Mime Practicum with Warren Chikan Bacon
Mondays, 7 – 8pm
Join Chikan, a student and performer of mime since the 1970s, in this exploration of reality through the canvas of body and mind. It is a true adventure involving concentration, imagination, and embodiment. And perhaps most importantly, it’s fun!
Please click here for details and to register.

Garden of Words: Cultivating the Writer’s Mind with Katherine Jifu Jamieson
Tuesday Evenings 6:30-8pm (except during Sesshin / One Continuous Thread)
Seeds of stories, poems and essays are present in all of us, but how do we create the rich soil for them to take root and grow? Using the metaphor of a garden coming into bloom, we’ll explore how to till our internal landscapes and sustain a fertile writing practice for years to come. Inspiration will come from in-class exercises, developing a daily writing habit, and reading each other’s and other author’s work.
Please click here for details and to register.

Pilates with clyde Fusei forth
Wednesdays, 7 – 8am (except during sesshin / One Continuous Thread)
Pilates is a methodology that focuses primarily on core stability and integration. Focusing on fundamental principles and exercises, we’ll grow our practice from there, integrating a variety of influences, contemporary approaches to the classical exercises, and some fun variations.
Please click here for details and to register.

Focused Flow Yoga with Michele Laura
Wednesdays, 10 – 11:15am (except during sesshin / One Continuous Thread).  Beginning March 10th.
That “yoga stills the fluctuations of the mind” is the definition and heart of yoga, according to Patanjali, author of the 196 sutras that systematized and organized classical yoga.  This weekly focused flow yoga class will explore eight limbs of yoga to still the mind, the “king” of the psycho-physical structure, focusing on breath work, deep body awareness and alignment in asana.  Class ends in deep relaxation (Savasana) and a brief time of sitting in your new body experience.
Please click here for details and to register.

Morning Yoga with Robyn Ikyo Love
Fridays, 7-8 am (except during sesshin / One Continuous Thread).  Beginning March 12th.
This gently energizing class is designed to wake up your body and mind as you start your day.  We will use movement and postures (āsana) as well as our breath (prānāyāma) to generate a feeling of stability and ease in our body and a clarity and focus in our mind.  For this class series, we will be embracing the idea that “yoga is relationship” and connecting to the joy of being embodied.
Please click here for details and to register.

Creative Expression: Faith in Heart-Mind with Hojin Sensei
Fridays, 10:30am-12 pm (except during sesshin)

Often we think of faith in terms of having faith ‘in’ someone or something. This is one aspect. There is also the simple, pure experience of faith itself—the firsthand, body-mind affirming experience of faith or trust—not necessarily ‘in’ something, but rather as having faith or being faith itself. What is this, when it’s not an abstract or conceptual idea but something that is present within you? How do we express it? Come join this journey of the creative process.
Be part of a Friday morning creative expression cluster that has now been active for one solid year!
Drop-ins welcome; registration here.

For our public programs calendar go to zmm.org/online-programs