Friday, July 19, 2013

Open Gate Zendo 2013 Summer Sesshin and Ordination

2013 Summer Sesshin

The time is near for the Open Gate 2013 Summer Sesshin and Ordination Ceremony. The Sesshin will held on Saturday and Sunday August 17th &18th with the Ordination ceremony beginning Saturday at 11:00 am (followed by a pot luck lunch and social period). Attendees are welcome to come Friday evening and spend the night in the Zendo as well.

Attendees arriving in the morning should arrive by 7:00. Below is the two day schedule. Guests coming only to the Ordination and potluck social should arrive between 10:30 and 11:00.

Ordination Ceremony

This summer we will be welcoming two new members into the Order of the Boundless Way; local Open Gate Sangha member- Sean Harrington, who had to delay his ordination last Fall due to the pending birth of his third child (mother and son are doing well!) and fellow Wayfarer Pablo Catalan of Madrid, Spain. Additionally, Zen Buddhist Order of Hsu Yun abbot Chuan Zhi, will be in attendance to perform an ordination ceremony as well.

With Chuan Zhi and his disciple Karima Wicks coming to Open Gate from across country and Pablo coming all the way from Spain, it would be wonderful to have a full house so that they will get to meet as many of our extended sangha members as possible.
Everyone is encouraged to come for the ordination ceremony to meet our new members, even if they are unable to attend the full Sesshin. (Small gifts and/or cards from sangha members to the new initiates are always welcome). Please send an e-mail in order to confirm your intentions in attending. As usual we need an accurate head count for planning and buying food stuffs.
If you would like more information about this sesshin or the ordination, please feel free to contact to contact Miles at-
Saturday Schedule
Morning Session
6:30 Wake-up bell
7:00 Non-residents Arrive (Chosho -morning bell tolled 9 times)
7:15-Call to Zazen (Plank drum (Han) roll)
7:30-8:00 One period of Zazen
8:00-8:05 Incense Ceremony (Remain standing to exit Zendo)
8:05-9:00 Casual breakfast and social time (in Hojo)
9:00-9:15 Break and kitchen cleanup

Second Morning Session
9:00- Call to Zazen (Han roll)
9:15-9:45 One periods of Zazen
9:45-10:45 Samu (Arrange Zendo for Ordination Ceremony)
10:45 Han Roll (Call to Ordination ceremony)
11:00-12:00 Ordination Ceremony
12:00-1:30 Potluck Lunch and Social Time (Cards and Gifts)
1:30 Han roll (announcing end of lunch and social time)
1:30 – 2:00 Samu (Clean up and return Zendo to original configuration)

Afternoon Session
2:00- Call to Zazen (Han roll)
2:15-3:30 Two periods of Zazen alternated with Kinhin
3:30-4:30 Angya practice. (Monk procession walk)
4:30- Call to Zazen (Han roll)
4:45-5:15 One period Zazen
5:15- Kitchen aids prepare Genkan for Dinner- bring out trays
5:30-6:15 Dinner ceremony (Oryoki)
6:15-6:40 Break and kitchen cleanup

Evening Session
6:30- Call to Zazen (Han roll)
6:45-8:00 Two periods of Zazen alternated with Kinhin
8:00-8:10- Kitchen aids prepare Genkan for tea, bring out trays
8:10-8:50 Tea ceremony & Dharma talk
8:55- Closing ceremony
9:00- Daily Closing- Konsho (striking the evening bell) tolled 9 times
9:00- Prepare for bed or non-residents leave for the night.

Sunday Schedule

Morning Session
6:30 Wake-up bell
7:00 Non-residents Arrive (Chosho -morning bell tolled 9 times)
7:15-Call to Zazen (Plank drum (Han) roll)
7:30-8:00 One period of Zazen (Chosan- first morning meditation)
8:00-8:05 Incense Ceremony
8:05- Kitchen aids prepare Genkan for lunch- bring out trays
8:15-9:00 Breakfast ceremony (Oryoki)
9:00-9:15 Break and kitchen cleanup

Second Morning Session
9:15- Call to Zazen (Han roll)
9:30-10:45 Two periods of Zazen alternated with Kinhin
9:30-10:45 Dokusan (one on one meeting with the teacher) by rotation.
10:45-11:45 Samu (work and/or exercise/rest period)
11:45 Han Roll
12:00-12:30 One Period Zazen
12:30- 12:40 Kitchen aids prepare Genkan for lunch- bring out trays
12:40-1:30 Lunch ceremony (Oryoki)

Afternoon Session
1:30-2:00 Break and kitchen cleanup
1:45- Call to Zazen (Han roll)
2:00-3:15 Two periods of Zazen alternated with Kinhin
3:15-3:30 Short Break
3:30-4:30 Tea ceremony, Teisho/Group Discussion
4:30-Closing - Konsho (striking the evening bell) tolled 9 times



Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Meet Thor Mitchell


Good day, my name is Thor Mitchell. I am 39 years old, grew up in Florida and now call the Pacific Northwest my home.
When I was 17 I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and The Tao of Pooh for a class. That got me thinking, who is ‘I’ and why was ‘I’ on earth. That questioning led me to books, mentors and classes for Zen, Taoism, Buddhism, Tai Chi and Qigong. I remember talking with a friend about being torn between a path of living in a shack on a remote beach or becoming an engineer and entering the workforce. I chose the business world. I kept up with Tai Chi every few years, loosely identified myself as a Deist/Taoist and deeper questions about ‘me’ were lost in the noise.

 As an engineer and programmer I have sought exact definitions and processes to define my world. Over the years, I have extracted a lot of self-identity and worth from my work. But, I've struggled to find the right creative outlets to balance this intense structure. I’ve dabbled writing whimsical software, playing the bass guitar, mountain biking, brewing mead, driving a fun car, running, taking photos, volunteering, and an equally big list of half-finished projects.

Twenty  years after my first search for meaning I came back to these questions. Where earlier I was drawn to the ideals of Taoism, in my late 30s I feel a deep bond to the practice of Zen. I can now see a broad theme of helping others in my life. Through practice I feel an even deeper need to help people, a few feet removed from negative self-talk and pride in what I do rather than what I have accomplished.

One year ago, after sitting with a few Zen centers in Seattle, I found Koro Kaisan Miles and the Open Gate Zendo.  When we shared tea, I felt at home and knew this was the place for me, Miles was to be my guide. Since I started practice at Open Gate , I've moved into a job managing people and have found that being able to help them is a magical gift. Daily I have the opportunity to be selfless, giving objective feedback on the good they bring to the team and observing behaviors they may want to change. I’m looking forward to joining our Order and helping others down this path of awakening and to make real their potential.



Alt + 0153..... ™... trademark symbol
Alt + 0169.... ©.... copyright symbol
Alt + 0174..... ®....registered ­ trademark symbol
Alt + 0176 ...° symbol
Alt + 0177 ...± ­-minus sign
Alt + 0182 ...¶.....paragr­aph mark
Alt + 0190 ...¾....fractio­n, three-fourths
Alt + 0215 ....×.....multi­plication sign
Alt + 0162...¢....the ­ cent sign
Alt + 0161.....¡..... ­.upside down exclamation point
Alt + 0191.....¿..... ­upside down question mark
Alt + 1....

Alt + 2 ......

Alt + 8721.... ∑.... N-ary summation (auto sum)
Alt + 251.....√.....square root check mark
Alt + 8236.....∞..... ­infinity
Alt + 24.......↑..... ­up arrow
Alt + 25......↓...... ­down arrow
Alt + 26.....→.....r­ght arrow
Alt + 27......←.....l­eft arrow
Alt + 18.....↕......u­p/down arrow
Alt + 29......↔...lef­t right arrow