Archive for the ‘Special Events’ Category

Charles River Zen Schedule

Please visit the web site of Charles River Zen to learn about the latest events, schedule, and what is going on in our Watertown location.
The calendar of events on is supplied by the same source as CRZ, however, please have a look at the new site.

Final Meeting: You are invited

On Wednesday, July 27, 2011, a tradition of over 50 years will come to an end with the last and final meeting of the Cambridge Buddhist Association’s Zazen-kai. It is also your very last chance to sit at 75 Sparks Street, the place that had been the home of the CBA since 1979.
Everyone is welcome to participate. At the end of the night we will have a formal sarei (tea), chant the Heart Sutra, and the last abbot of the CBA, Dokuro, will move the Manjushri statue from the Zendo’s altar into a box for storage. That will also mark the end of the house functioning as a Buddhist temple.
Please come and join us for this significant event.

All-Sangha Lunch and Meeting: June 5, 2011

Dear friends,

Please join us for an end-of-season informal lunch and gathering on Sunday June 5 at 12:30 pm at 75 Sparks Street.The imminent sale of the CBA gives us much to reflect upon as we simultaneously look forward to a new beginning. Our meeting will bring you up-to-date on the latest developments regarding our physical space and will offer an opportunity for you to share ideas with one another and the Board, as we formulate goals and strategies for the year to come.

The informal lunch will begin at 12:30 pm, following the Sunday morning schedule. Please feel free to join and bring friends and family. If you plan to attend please RSVP via email or by calling 617-491-8857. This will help us plan accordingly for the lunch.

If you are unable to attend and would like to learn more about our future direction or ways that you can contribute, please contact us. We hope you see you soon!

Shuko M. Rubin, Vice-abbess
Kyo-on Dokuro, Abbott

Hanamatsuri: Buddha’s Birthday Retreat April 2-3

Please join us to celebrate the historical Buddha’s Birthday with a day retreat on Saturday, April 2nd. The retreat starts at 9:00 am with formal tea, followed by morning chanting. At noon a formal vegetarian meal will be served in the traditional manner, eating in the Zendo.The afternoon schedule includes more seated meditation, walking, chanting, and the opportunity to meet with the abbot individually. The day program concludes at 5 pm.

Sunday morning the schedule begins at 9 am with the traditional Sunday program: chanting, sitting, walking. At 11:30 am there will be the Hanamatsuri ceremony, in which the Baby Buddha is bathed in sweet tea by everyone who wants to participate. Please come and participate in this yearly event that has been tradition at the CBA for the last seven years. It is a unique experience that nobody should miss!

Urban Rohatsu Dec. 6 – 12

This year we are offering our first “Urban Rohatsu”. As an urban place of practice we are here to meet the needs of working people who want to take advantage of the possibility to practice Zen. The Rohatsu Sesshin is the most intense practice period in the traditional monastic setting and we are attempting to bring that intensity into the daily schedule of those who cannot participate in a residential Rohatsu retreat.

We start out on Monday, December 6 with the regular evening schedule. Throughout the week there will be morning sitting from 5:30 am till 7:30 am. The morning schedule includes choka, the morning chanting, and a lot of sitting. Participants will leave, go to work, to school, or whatever their day demands of them and return in the evening for the regular 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm schedule. There will be a Dharma Talk on Monday evening, Wednesday morning, and Friday evening; the Tuesday and Thursday sittings will offer the opportunity for informal interviews with the abbot.

The high point of the Urban Rohatsu will be the weekend: Saturday from 6:00 am – 9:00 pm, three formal meals, a full sesshin-like schedule that consists of zazen, kinhin, Dharma Talk, informal interviews, and a short cleaning period called nitten soji. Unlike other retreats we hold during the year, there will be no work period (samu) and that time will be replaced with sitting. Following this strict schedule will allow for an intense opportunity to relate to the spirit of Rohatsu. Sunday morning we’ll begin at 7:00 am, have an informal silent breakfast at 9:00 am, sit a little more, and end with the jodo-e (成道会) ceremony, celebrating Buddha’s enlightenment.

The sittings during the week are free, as usual we ask for a voluntary contribution of $3 – $5 for a sitting. For Saturday and Sunday we are asking for contributions to cover the food expenses.


All day: $85 ($75 for members)
Part-time: $30 per meal ($25 for members)


All day: $25 ($20 for members)

Signup is required for the weekend portion to allow for proper food planning. Please contact us to sign-up via e-mail or leave a message at 617-491-8857.

Tokudo-shiki & Season Opening

On Sunday, September 19, the Fall/Winter season opens. A very special event will be included in this opening sitting: an ordination ceremony, Tokudo-shiki  得度式. The regular sitting schedule will begin at 10 am with formal tea, followed by a period of Zazen. The ordination ceremony begins at 11 am.

Please feel free to join us for the sitting or the ceremony. The ordination marks an important event for Dharma Cloud Hermitage, we are taking on the first ordained disciple that is directly affiliated with the temple. Join us in welcoming the newly ordained member of our sangha.

Special Program: Buddha’s Birthday, May 2, 2010

On May 2nd we will celebrate Buddhas Birthday with an early start for the Sunday schedule, 7 am. There will be sitting until 9 am, followed by a break with informal, self-serve silent breakfast. The schedule will resume with the usual 10 am sits, and end early at 11:15 am to prepare for the Hanamatsuri Ceremony, which will follow around 11:30 am.

Hanamatsuri (Flower Ceremony) commemorates the birth of the historical Buddha. It is usually held on or around April 8, but some temples delay it. Shuko and Dokuro had the pleasure to participate in Hanamatsuri at Rinzai-ji in Los Angeles on April 8. The CBA Hanamatsuri has been a tradition since Houn-an Dharma Cloud Hermitage started to attend the Zazen-kai.

The ceremony involves lots of flowers, petals on the altar, and the standing baby Buddha in a bowl of sweet tea. In the beginning the Abbot opens the ceremony with prostrations while everybody chants, then four celebrants circumambulate the altar and chant. After each line of the chant the baby Buddha is bathed with a scoop of sweet tea. When the circumambulation ends after the third repetition of the chant, everyone in the community is invited to bathe the Buddha. This is especially popular with the children, who love the color of the flowers and the bathing.

After the ceremony there will be an informal light lunch served. To offset the cost of the food and the flowers a donation for the participation in the ceremony and the early schedule is requested. No sign-up is required, but let us know that you will come so we can prepare enough food.

Guest Teacher Talk: Shinge Roshi

Shinge Rōshi (Roko Sherry Chayat) will be giving a Guest Teacher Talk on Sunday, January 10, 2010 at the Cambridge Buddhist Association. Shinge Rōshi practiced at the CBA under Myōon Chikō Maurine Stuart and later became a Dharma successor to Eidō Tai Shimano Rōshi. It is our privilege to welcome Shinge Rōshi back to her former place of studies and to hear her speak about a portion of the Rinzai Roku.

Please note that the CBA is subject to a strict 35 people limit of occupancy, which will be strictly enforced. Seating is on a first come basis. The talk is part of the regular Sunday schedule, which begins at 10 am. If you plan to come just for the talk, please arrive by 10:45 am. We are able to provide chairs for those who choose not to sit on the meditation cushions.

On Sundays parking on Sparks Street is not restricted, so please feel free to park close to the center. A donation of ten dollars is suggested.

New Year’s Eve Celebration 2009

Please join us on December 31, 2009 to say good bye to the old year and to welcome 2010.
We will have a three hour program from 6pm through 9pm at the Sparks Street Zendo. There will be some formal cleaning to help us realize to not leave traces, followed by zazen, a brief talk, and the communal ringing of the large bell. The program finishes at 9pm so you’ll have a chance to celebrate the ‘scientific’ new year with your friends and families.

Please come and get your turn ringing out the old and welcoming the new.

Jodo-e 2009

Jodo-e is the celebration of Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment. We are holding this special event in the evening of Monday, December 7, 2009. While the celebrations are traditionally held early in the morning – to reflect the Buddha seeing the morning star on the eighth day of his sitting under the Bodhi tree -we will have the ceremony in the evening to accommodate the sangha.

Celebrating this event is a celebration of our innate ability to walk the same path the Buddha walked and the possibility to realize the same fundamental insights and be enlightened to the nature of the universe. Guests are welcome.