Rohatsu is Japanese for “eighth day of the twelfth month” when Japanese Zen Buddhists observe the enlightenment of the historical Buddha.
Below is a dharma talk from the Jewel Mirror Sesshin with Hokyoji Zen Practice Community I partially attended in August via Zoom.
Fortunately or unfortunately, or both, or neither, Zoom retreats are part of meditation practice for folks at this time. From November 30th to December 6th the hokyoji Zen Practice Community’s Zoom Rohatsu Sesshin (Retreat) focuses on the immeasurable/sublime abiding/Brahma Vihara/divine abode of Upekkha or Equanimity. Retreat details and registration link below:
Equanimity; Finding Our Way Home
In the awakened mind two of the most important aspects are:
Mindfulness and Equanimity
Please join the Hokyoji Zen Practice Community for the deeply silent and beautiful Rohatsu Sesshin. At Hokyoji we have been studying the practices of the Divine Abodes (Brahma Viharas) for a year. These four abodes of: Metta/Boundless Friendliness; Karuna/Compassion; Mudita/ Sympathetic Joy; Upekkha/ Equanimity, help us to cultivate the powerful and gentle reference points for zazen itself, and for the activities in each day of our lives. Right now, the life within us and around us is particularly fraught with disturbance, loss, and uncertainty. Equanimity, the crown of the Brahma Viharas, is the theme for Rohatsu. Equanimity is a dynamic, demanding practice rooted in the nondual teachings of Zen. It’s blessings are peace, nimbleness, responsiveness and capacity.
This online retreat will begin Monday, November 30th at 7:00pm and continue through Sunday, December 6th at noon. Event leaders will reside at Hokyoji in accord with pandemic guidelines. Participants will participate online via Zoom and have the option to participate as much or as little as desired. We ask that all participants attend the orientation session on Monday evening. Once you register, you will be sent a Zoom link.
A normal Hokyoji in-person retreat would be listed at $510 for 6 nights, with Hokyoji members receiving a 20% discount: $480 for 6 nights. However, as this year is a online retreat, Rohatsu 2020 will be based on dana (generosity). Please pay what you think is appropriate for your participation, or just pay what you can, be it a smaller or possibly a larger amount. No one will be turned away. Please REGISTER HERE
On the topic of equanimity, a few equanimity cultivation phrases:
May I learn to see the arising in passing of all things with equanimity and balance — Jack Kornfield
May I embrace change with stillness and calm. May I deeply except this moment as it is. — Christina Feldman
May I accept and open to how it is right now because this is how it is right now. — Carmella Masters
A write up by Caroline Jones and Paul Burrows on how the Brahma Viharas connect, interrelate, balance and counterbalance each other (as a whole):
The Four Sublime Abidings
Metta, [kindness] the love that connects, is an antidote to all forms of aversion.
It is not attachment.
If it slides into sentimentality, karuna [compassion] brings the heart back into balance.
Karuna, the love that responds, is an antidote to cruelty.
It is not pity.
If it slides into sorrow, mudita [appreciative joy] brings the heart back into balance.
Mudita, the love that celebrates, is an antidote to envy.
It is not competitive.
If it slides into agitated excitement, upekkha [equanimity] brings the heart back into balance.
Upekkha, the love that allows, is the antidote to partiality.
It is not indifference.
If it slides into disconnection, metta brings the heart back into balance.