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Ango - Deepening Our Practice

Updated: Feb 1, 2023

In Zen Buddhism, Ango (安居) is a period of committed practice. An Ango lasts anywhere from 90 to 100 days and consists of renewed efforts to meditation (zazen), study, and work (samu ). Historically, this practice goes back to the Buddha. In the time of the Buddha, he and his followers were nomads, traveling from place to place throughout the year. Twice a year, in spring and autumn, the rains came. Monsoon season. During this time the monks and nuns did not travel. They stayed together in sangha (community). This was a time of teaching, learning, and practicing together. I can imagine that this was a time for the younger monks and nuns to learn from and spend time with the elders. What a time of homecoming and enrichment this must have been for them all!

Rising Lotus Sangha began an ango on September 9, which will end on Rohatsu, December 8. Daishin and I invite you to join us in Ango.


What does that look like in an online sangha?

Well - we start where we are. Some of us are students who are precept holders. One of us is journeying toward priesthood. Some people have just Entered The Stream of Zen life. Some are struggling to find five minutes for the cushion. Some really aren't interested in Zen study - but want to find a place of calm in their busy lives. So start by asking yourself where you are and what you want - No judgment.

Then - you add something. And you practice that something (or some-things) for 90 days.

Suggestions:

~ add a meditation period to your week

~ add 5 minutes to your sitting time

~ commit to saying the Heart Sutra every day

~ join us for our online sitting groups Mondays at 9 pm or Wednesdays at 3 pm ET (links available upon request)

~join us online for a Sunday Service - 45-60 minutes of chanting, sitting, and discussing the Dharma.

~ do one of your chores (dishes?) in silence

~ do one of your crafts in silence

~ take a 30-minute walk in silence

~ Download the Mindful Bell app and when the bell rings, stop where you are and take 3 mindful breaths

These are just suggestions - I hope you'll join us. Those who are taking part in ango are enjoying being in practice together, even though we are separated by miles.

As always you can reach out to me ar revkyoji@gmail.com with any questions.

May we each be a blessing

Gassho,

Kyoji



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