Practice Period 2023
“Where is My Mind?”
A study of the Sūrangama Sutra
January 28 – April 8, 2023
In person and on Zoom
Applications now closed.
The Everyday Zen Practice Period is an opportunity to intensify your daily practice through participation with the sangha in a number of activities:
Additional ceremonies, both in-person and online, are listed below. The annual Everyday Zen Sesshin will begin in the afternoon of Monday, March 27, and conclude in the afternoon of April 2.
Practice Period participants are encouraged to attend as many events as possible. This will help to deepen and enrich the practice experience.
The Sūrangama Sutra, a seminal sutra in Chan (Chinese Zen), serves as the textual basis for this Practice Period. It follows Ananda’s journey to understand the sensate world, the nature of mind and how to practice bringing both into harmony.
Each year, a senior practitioner from the sangha serves as Shuso (head student). The Shuso offers inspiration, guidance, and serves as a central point of connection for the practice period.
The Shuso for this year’s Practice Period will be Neal Shorstein (Myogen Kanyu; Clear Eye, Brave Friend). A Zen priest ordained in 2018, Neal has been a student of Norman’s since 2005. He is an ophthalmologist, researcher, and volunteer with Seva Foundation, Berkeley, helping to bring sight-restoring eye care to many places in the world.
Zen practice periods include two important ceremonies for the Shuso. The Shuso Entering Ceremony installs the Shuso into their position while the Practice Period culminates with the Dharma Inquiry Ceremony (Shuso Hossenshiki) during which the Shuso responds to questions from Practice Period participants. These ceremonies bookend the Practice Period in a beautiful way.
The theme for this Practice Period is “Where is my mind?” and the study text will be the Sūrangama Sutra, a seminal Chan sutra.
The primary translation that will be used is The Surangama Sutra – With Excerpts from the Commentary by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua (New edition) available for purchase from the Buddhist Text Translation Society. It is also available as a free PDF from grandsutras.org.
For a more accessible and contemporary entry into the text, Norman recommends That Is Not Your Mind! Zen Reflections on the Surangama Sutra by Zen Teacher and neuropsychologist Robert Rosenbaum, with forward by Norman.
The text will be studied and practiced as a springboard to contemplating its direct relevance to everyday practice.
All Practice Period participants should plan on attending several events each week, including, and especially, the daily sittings, the weekly Dharma Seminar, the monthly All-Day Sittings on January 28 and February 18, the special ceremonies, and any other events of interest. Participants are encouraged to attend Sesshin if possible.
Though formal practice events are essential, they do not constitute the Practice Period, they only structure it. What happens in your body and mind as you live the days, weeks and months of the Practice Period is what is important.
Each enrolled participant will have a Practice Period partner. Partners are asked to meet in-person, by phone, or virtually, during the Practice Period for practice check-in and review.
Less experienced practitioners and those who live outside of the greater San Francisco Bay Area were given the opportunity on the application to request one-on-one practice discussion/guidance from an experienced Everyday Zen teacher/leader.
More information on this will be available through the Shuso’s Bulletin Board once the Practice Period begins.
All times are given in Pacific Time
Links for information and to register for public events will be added they become available
For events reserved for Practice Period participants, please see the Shuso’s Bulletin Board
January 28, 2023 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM (hybrid)
Opening of Practice Period and Shuso Entering Ceremony
January All Day Sitting
February 6, 2023 5:30 PM – 6:00 PM (virtual)
Full Moon Ceremony
February 18, 2023 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM (hybrid)
Buddha’s Parinirvana Ceremony
February All Day Sitting
February (dates to be announced)
Teas with the Shuso in person and online
March 8, 2023 8:15 AM (virtual)
Honoring Mahapajapati Ceremony
After Morning Zazen on the same Zoom link
March 8, 2023 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM (hybrid)
Full Moon Ceremony
After Wednesday seminar
Tiburon Community Congregational Church and on the same Zoom link
March 27 – April 2, 2023 (hybrid)
Annual Bay Area Sesshin
Santa Sabina Center
April 7, 2023 4:30 AM (virtual)
Pravarana Ceremony (confession and purification)
April 8, 2023 (hybrid)
Hossenshiki and Buddha’s Birthday ceremonies
Tiburon Community Congregational Church and online in Zoom
Thank you for joining us in our 18th Annual Practice Period — our second Practice Period on Zoom. We’re grateful for another opportunity to intensify our practice together, supported by the extended family of Everyday Zen practitioners and with the leadership of our Shuso.
Suggested donation for the Practice Period is $150.
Please give what you can. We cannot continue offering teachings online without your financial support.