Fall 2019 Practice Period at City Center – Commuter 10/1 – 12/7

Commuter Participation

Commuter participation is designed for those who live off-site and commit to a level of participation for on-site events that works for their schedule. It is suggested that commuters set up a meditation space at home and commit to a regular sitting schedule; attend the Saturday class on-site or view later online; participate in home study and practice assignments as offered; join the dokusan or practice discussion rotation; and attend Dharma talks on-site or online.

Awake Body – Awake Mind: Embodying the Buddha Way

Led by Kiku Christina Lehnherr
October 1 – December 7

Applications for commuter participation are due September 30.

Participants can engage in the practice period in one of three ways:

About the Fall 2019 Practice Period – Awake Body – Awake Mind: Embodying the Buddha Way

A Practice Period is a traditional intensive training period common in the schools of Buddhism and varying between six to twelve weeks in length. There are three practice periods offered onsite each year at our City Center temple—Winter, Spring, and Fall. Participants can engage in a practice period in one of three ways: as a resident, as a commuter, and online.

Those who in past lives where not enlightened will now be enlightened.
In this life, save the body which is the fruit of many lives.
Before buddhas were enlightened, they were the same as we.
Enlightened people of today are exactly as those of old.
—Chan Master Lung-ya in Dogen Zenji’s “Eihei Koso Hotsuganmon”

Being awake in this life means being in alignment with the Being we are and to be fully inhabiting our body. It means to be responsive to all aspects of our life and to take full responsibility for them. We are one completely intertwined, inseparable body-heart-mind-spirit being. Whatever has happened to this being in the past, is happening to it in the present and might be happening to it in the future; how we bring ourselves to the impact of those events is completely in our hands, is completely our own responsibility, is transformative and will determine the outcome. This is a dynamic and continuous process of dependent co-arising, a journey of becoming moment by moment.

For this karmic life we have been given a wonder-ful body. It is the host and vehicle for the Being we are to express itself, as well as the storehouse of all our experiences. It is a body that intricately, inseparably and continuously participates in and responds to every thought, feeling and action, to every experience, to every impact.

It is an organism of complete, all-inclusive responsiveness,functioning continuously. It responds to but is not dependent on the level of our awareness. Our bodies are children of planet earth, together with all other species in nature. And as such our bodies too carry the innate capacity of nature to live in harmony with difference and equality. With all these capacities our body is a faithful ally and wonderful teacher for the endeavor of waking up, for the undertaking of Embodying the Buddha Way.

In this existence enlightenment arises with and within the body. There is no enlightenment available to us apart from it. With the support of the practice period structure, zazen (sitting meditation), mindfulness, sensory awareness, yoga, community service, each other, and texts from Zen and other traditions we will discover that learning to be all-inclusive within ourselves, more capable to meet and embrace the full spectrum of how we are arising moment by moment in this body, will also enable us to find ways to peacefully co-exist with others.

This Fall Practice Period is a chance to develop and deepen your practice together with others in a supportive environment and through activities including daily sitting, study, practice discussion with the teachers, and weekly sangha discussions. Weekly events include an oryoki meal, classes, ceremonies, dharma talks, and Wednesday afternoon teas with the practice period leader. During the ten weeks students will have the opportunity to meet individually with the practice period leader and/or other practice leaders.

This Fall Practice Period is a chance to develop and deepen your practice together with others in a supportive environment and through activities including daily sitting, study, practice discussion with the teachers, and weekly sangha discussions. Weekly events include an oryoki meal, classes, ceremonies, dharma talks, and Wednesday afternoon teas with the practice period leader. During the ten weeks students will have the opportunity to meet individually with the practice period leader and/or other practice leaders.

Christina will also teach a class on the practice period theme, Awake Body - Awake Mind: Embodying the Buddha Way. It will meet six Saturday mornings, October 12, 19, 26, November 9, 16, 23, 8:45 – 9:45 am. Also offered during the practice period is a community service series with Christina and Jeffrey Schneider, head of SFZC's Outreach Department, Community Service - Reaching Out with the Heart and Body of Practice, Wednesday mornings, October 16, 23, 30, November 6, 13, 20, 6 – 8:45 am.

Practice period teas are scheduled every Wednesday, 5:30 – 6:30 pm, beginning Wednesday, October 2 and ending Wednesday, November 20. There will be two one-day sittings, on October 5 and November 2. The practice period concludes with a seven-day Rohatsu sesshin, beginning the evening of Saturday, November 30 and ending on Saturday, December 7. (One day sittings and the sesshin must be registered for and paid for separately.)

Three ways to participate in the Practice Period

Residential Options

  • Work Practice Apprentice (WPA): For those who want to live and work full-time in the temple.
  • Limited Resident: For those who want to live in the temple but will not participate in the daily work schedule.

Commuter Option: For those who live off-site but can attend all or part of the practice schedule on-site.

Online Option: For those whose schedule or location doesn’t allow for regular on-site attendance of temple events.

The commuter option includes:

  • The Saturday on-site practice period class, Awake Body - Awake Mind: Embodying the Buddha Way.
  • Access to the Saturday class web page which contains videos of each class.
  • Weekly Wednesday practice period tea and dharma discussion.
  • An invitation to join the dokusan or practice discussion schedule.
  • All temple Dharma talks, ceremonies, and daily zazen periods.

*The one day sittings, oryoki meals, and sesshin are available at an additional cost.

Commuter Participation Fee: $169 general; $152 current members; $135 limited income.

Commuter Practice Period Application Process:
  1. Download the Commuter participation practice period application [Word]/[PDF] (available soon).
  2. Email your completed application to [email protected]
  3. Pay your participation fee here:

Inquiries and comments may be directed to [email protected]