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New this Fall

Fall Practice Period

A "Practice Period" at a Zen center is a particular period of time when Zen practice and study are given a special emphasis in participants' lives. Traditionally, practice periods take place in a residential monastic setting for three months. This fall at Compassionate Ocean we will have a version that is adapted to our urban householder situation. 

Our 2019 Fall Practice Period will take place from Sunday, Sept. 22 to Sunday, Dec. 15. This time period includes the fall Buddhist Studies class as well as the week-long Rohatsu sesshin in early December. 

People who choose to participate will schedule an individual meeting with Joen and Michael. This meeting will have two purposes - a personal check-in, then developing an individualized plan for practice for the fall. The practice activities chosen are up to the individual. 

Participants are also invited to attend monthly teas that will take place after our usual Sunday morning gatherings on Sept. 22, Oct. 13, Nov. 10, and Dec. 15. These teas will be a time to connect with others, give and receive support for continuing practice, and hear suggestions for practice from Joen and Michael and from each other. 

If you would like to participate in the fall Practice Period at Compassionate Ocean, please send an email to, or leave a voicemail at 612-781-7640. A brochure with more details about the Practice Period will be sent to you. 

2019-20 Sesshin Practice Group

A sesshin (literally, "to gather or collect the mind") is a time when formal Zen practice is the focus of what we do. Sometimes these are called "retreats", but we're actually going forward into the heart of our lives. 

Everyone is welcome to participate in any of our sessions, which are offered monthly for two to seven days. The Sesshin Practice Group is designed for people who intend to participate in most or all of the sessions we offer in the coming year, and who want to receive training from Michael and Joen in aspects of traditional Zen practice that especially come alive in sesshin practice. These includes the practice positions of doan, ino, tenzo, jisha, and work leader. Participants will also have individual meetings with a teacher during sesshins, and become more familiar with the meaning of the chants we do. We will also incorporate continuing study of the Zen precepts. 

If you would like to participate in the Sesshin Practice Group, please send an email to, or leave a voicemail at 612-781-7640, or talk to Joen or Michael. 

Work Days

To support and strengthen our Center, we are scheduling monthly Work Days to clean and maintain our building and take care of other important tasks as needed (mailings, etc.). These are also a great time for community practice. People of all skill levels are welcome. 

Our fall work days will be from 10 A.M. - 3 P.M., with a potluck vegetarian lunch at 1 P.M., on the following Saturdays: Sept. 28, Oct. 26, and Nov. 23. Sign-up lists will be available at the Center two weeks in advance of each Work Day. 

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