During my last meeting with my teacher, Ven. Wonji Dharma, I discussed my plan to engage in a modified form of the traditional Kyol Che meditation retreat. The traditional practice entails a three month intensive silent meditation, usually for nine to ten hours a day. I never was able to attend the retreat and rather than wait to see if I would ever be able to, I decided to create a version of my own. For the next three months I will spend every Tuesday in silent meditation. I will alternate sitting and walking meditation periods, engage in weaving meditation and eating meditation. It, like the traditional Kyol Che, is meant to strengthen my formal practice through discipline and focused attention.
My teacher suggested I open this up to others. He reminded me that the Providence Zen Center created what is called a Heart Kyol Che. It is meant to be for those who cannot sit the traditional Kyol Che. Pracitioners participate in the Heart Kyol Che by making a personal commitment to practice during the time period of the Kyol Che. I thought my teacher's suggestion was brilliant, so I spend the last few days putting together what I call the Lotus Heart Kyol Che.
How does it work?
Each person participating determines their level of personal commitment to practice from January 24th through April 18th. Individuals can do extra practice at home and whenever possible, practice together with other Heart Kyol Che participants. By doing the Lotus Heart Kyol Che as part of a group, practice is supported and strengthened. Anyone can participate. And those who are local who participate are encouraged to attend meditation classes, Zen practice groups, yoga classes and Kyol Che Special Service Ceremonies held at Bloom Yoga and Wellness. The ceremonies include chanting, meditation, a dharma talk and a small ceremony to help encourage and revitalize energy toward keeping Lotus Heart Kyol Che commitments. If you are not local, find equivalent groups and organizations to compensate and make commitments to.
Making a commitment to oneself is an act of courage and faith, which can result in better self esteem and overall physical and mental health. Focusing a commitment during a specified time creates good habit energy, allowing a practice to become part of a daily routine. Additionally, knowing you are part of a group of dedicated and supportive people who share the goal of bettering themselves is an added boost when the practice feels challenging or when commitment wavers.
What does the Lotus Heart Kyol Che entail?
Simply print and fill out the form below, make a copy and submit one to me (Rev. Do'an Prajna) by January 24th, 2015.
A blog by the Lotus Heart Zen Meditation and Study Group members