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  • Winter Practice Period 2022 (overall registration)

Winter Practice Period 2022 (overall registration)

  • Thursday, January 06, 2022
  • (PST)
  • Thursday, January 13, 2022
  • (PST)
  • Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, 1207 Ellsworth St, Bellingham, and Online on Zoom


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:
  • Register here for all Practice Period events.

    The retreats and class have modest fees and there is the opportunity to make an additional donation to the sangha during the registration process.

Registration is closed

WINTER 2022 Practice Period   January 6 - March 10

 You may register for all Practice Period events here.

A short list of events, with links to key resources, is available at redcedarzen.org/winter2022.

Note: This year's Practice Period will be held both at the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship (BUF) and also broadcast online (hybrid programming). And our main weekday evening programming moves to Thursdays. All activities in January will be online.

Practice Period is a time in which Zen students practice intensively together. Historically, practice period started with the rains retreats of the early Buddhist nuns and monks when they could not travel due to heavy rains. During that time they settled down for more intensive practice. 

Although we don't live in monasteries, each winter in the spirit of those in monastic practice, we settle our busy lives in order to intensify our practice. We bring our mindfulness and Dharma practice to the foreground of our lives more than usual. Annual practice periods have been an essential part of Zen practice for a thousand years and an important part of Red Cedar Zen for over 20 years. 

In the center of the mandala of Practice Period is the head student, or shuso, who serves as the center of the sangha wheel giving classes, Dharma talks, and meets in small groups with practice period students over tea.

This year's Shuso is Seiu Hannah Sullivan. Hannah has served the sangha in many capacities including as Ino (Zendo coordinator) and is our current Board Secretary.

Hannah received jukai from Eihei Peter Levitt and Zoketsu Norman Fischer in 2015, has a warm ongoing relationship with Nomon Tim Burnett, and is currently studying actively with Sokaku Kathie Fischer. 

Hannah has also worked as a high school teacher in the public schools, a clay artist, a tree planter, and a health care practitioner, retiring in 2015 from Whatcom Hospice after 25 years as an RN. She maintained a private practice as a licensed massage therapist, and taught yoga for 12 years. She lives with her husband, Gerry Cook, in Marblemount and Bellingham spending as much time outdoors as possible.

Guest Teacher: We are delighted to announce that at the opening and closing of this year’s Practice Period, Nomon Tim will be co-leading with Sokaku Kathie Fischer. You can learn more about Kathie here.

Practice Period ThemeWe will be guided this year by a conversation with the classic Mahayana wisdom text The Diamond Sutra. We’ll consider themes of generosity, emptiness, and transcendental wisdom as we explore these ancient teachings.

Opening the Practice Period

Opening Ceremony: We start with an opening ceremony on Thursday January 6th, 7pm - 9pm, which includes the opportunity to verbally share your practice and life intentions for this year's Practice Period.

Opening Sesshin: There is an opening 1-day sesshin Practice Period Opening Sesshin on Saturday January 8th (7:00am - 5:00pm). Seiu Hannah will give her Wayseeking Mind talk (practice autobiography) that morning. All are welcome to attend this talk in person or online.

During the Practice Period

Practice Period Class: Shuso Seiu Hannah will lead us in a weekly class “Exploring the Diamond Sutra” integrated into our Thursday night weekly practice for 6 of the 8 weeks of practice period (note the change from our long-time Wendesday evening program). 

Tea with the Shuso: Practice Period Participants are warmly invited to have tea with the shuso to discuss practice and get to know each other more deeply. Seiu Hannah or her benji (assistant), Seizan Karen McMains, will let us know how to book your tea time.

Practice Period Buddies - The weeks of Practice Period go by quickly. To help stay connected we recommend that you choose to work with a practice period partner. You may arrange this or we can help you find one. Someone you get together with or call regularly during practice period to discuss how it's going with your intentions and practice. When you sign up please let us know if you'd like help finding a practice partner. If you don't ask for our help find a partner and speak with them at least three times during Practice Period.

Mid-Practice Period Check-InOn Saturday February 5th we’ll continue the morning program after the sit into breakfast (oatmeal + potluck items) and check in with each other on how it’s going so far in our practice period studies.  

Regular Zazen Practice and Study - consider renewing or expanding your commitment to daily practice at home and with our regular weekly schedule:

Monday - Thursday 7am - 7:40am (Zoom Only) Join the morning sit to integrate sangha practice into your day. 

Monday Evenings 7pm: Reading Dogen (Zoom Only) -consider participation in our ongoing Dogen study group meeting on Monday evenings at 7pm. Details are here. 

Thursday Night Practice 7pm - 9pm (In Person + Zoom) - is especially important during practice period and this year includes the Shuso’s Class. Dokusan with Nomon Tim Burnett  will be available.

Saturday Morning Practice 7am - 8:45am (In Person + Zoom). Deep quiet, 2 periods of meditation, and the full morning service - a central and important ritual in Soto Zen. Followed by the opportunity for some social time.

Sunday Zen Alive! Program 10am - Noon (Zoom Only). One period of zazen, kinhin, a Dharma Talk featuring a variety of speakers, and service. 

Closing the Practice Period

The practice period closes with three events in sequence:

(1) The 3-day Practice Period Closing Sesshin all day Thursday March 3 - afternoon of Saturday March 5th. 

(2) An important ceremony which is also open to all in the practice period: Shuso's Dharma Inquiry Ceremony at 2pm on Saturday March 5th.

(3) A final closing circle will be held Practice Period Closing Circle on Thursday evening March 10th.

Fill out the registration form to sign up all events in practice period, including the retreats, state your intentions, and let us know about your practice period buddy. 


www.RedCedarZen.org     360-389-3444     registrar@redcedarzen.org
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