A period of practice, seminars and community living with reflection upon the legacy of our spiritual ancestors and the spirit that they have imparted to the Dharma community.
This event is open to everyone and anyone who would like to follow this event and do these practices and exercises at home. Click on this link to join the OJO Retreat
The overall theme of this retreat period is "Right Effort within Other power". There is a common fallacy that Other Power and personal effort somehow exclude one another, whereas both are central elements in the Buddhist way. It is, therefore, important to understand the correct relation between them. This week includes memorials for Gisho Saiko Sensei, Amita Amrita Dhammika and Gyomay Kubose Sensei. All three were inspired by a deep Buddhist faith and all three were exemplars of Right Effort in the service of all sentient beings, though in three different ways that complement each another and together constitute three important dimensions of the Amida approach. Gisho Saiko pioneered Shinshu Counselling and his psychological methods rooted in Amidist faith inspired many students and disciples. Amrita Dhammika (1956-2006) went forth to Africa and expressed her faith in the form of humanitarian work. Gyomay Kubose (1906-2000), a disciple of Haya Akegarasu (1877-1954), supported the Japanese people in America through the difficult times that they experienced during and after the Second World War when as enemy aliens they faced great difficulties in recreating their community after internment and displacement and managed to do so through the sustaining power of Amidist faith. These three - psychological depth, humanitarian outreach and sustained community - are principal aspects of what Amida-shu is doing in the world.
The retreat also includes Paramita Day (21 March) and this focusses our attention upon the bodhisattva ideal. The Larger Pureland Sutra which is the principle text of Amida-shu has as one of its main themes the establishment of the bodhisattva ideal at the heart of what it means to have faith in Amida buddha.
The Retreat Period will be in four sections:
March 19-20: "The Nature of Spiritual Danger and How to Overcome It". Memorial for Gisho Saiko Sensei.
March 21-22: Weekend Practice Period: "The Six Paramitas", including celebration of Ohigan ("Paramita Day").
March 23-27: Study Week: Reflection upon the bodhisattva tradition of going forth for the benefit of all beings. Readings, seminars, writing. Memorial for Amrita Dhammika.
March 28-29: Weekend Practice Period: "The Dharma Community" including memorial for Gyomay Kubose.