Affiliate of the
Silent Thunder Order

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STO News

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  1. Newcomer Events at ASZC

    At the Atlanta Soto Zen Center
    Elliston Roshi will offer a class Monday evenings in May:

    Practice on the Cushion and in Daily Life

    May 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th - 7:00 - 9:00 pm
    Preregistration Fee for 4 classes: $60; $20 each class
    All materials will be provided.

    Saturday May 31 - 9:00-NOON
    Pre-registration Fee for Retreat: $25; $30 at the door

  2. April 2014 Retreat
    And this is just a quick demo for Thomas
  3. Spring Break 2014 Retreat
    Second Annual College Spring Break Retreat
    in North Carolina
    Thursday March 13th — Sunday March 16th 

    (Topic yet to be determined)
    The Silent Thunder Order and the NCSU Buddhist Philosophies group
    are pleased to offer an introductory retreat
    oriented for beginners and college students
    who wish to deepen their meditation practice.
    The schedule will include sitting and walking meditation, meals,
    Dharma Talks and private interviews (Dokusan)
    offered by the Abbot of the Silent Thunder Order
    Zenkai Taiun Michael Elliston roshi.

    Attendees should plan to arrive by Thursday evening, for introduction and settling in.
    Friday and Saturday will have full-day schedules.
    Sunday will 

    Location: Private Residence on Lake Gaston, NC

    We are going to try a different location this year, someplace in NC so the NCSU students don't have to travel so far to attend. lake-boathouse2-300x225
    The retreat will take place in a private house on Lake Gaston, about 1 3/4 hour drive NE of Raleigh.  The address is 124 Quail Hollow Drive, Littleton, NC, and here is a picture of the view from the house. And here is a map, which you can also use to view/print directions:

    View Larger Map

    Notes on what to bring / consider
    (for those new to retreats)


    Arrive on Thursday, March 13th or Friday 14th.  Arrive as early as you like on Thursday; I plan to arrive the night before to prepare so will be there all day.  Please arrive no later than 6pm, so we can all eat together and have an evening sit and service.
    Friday and Saturday will be a full day of Zazen, Kinhin, Dharma talks and Dokusan.  Weather permitting, we may be able to have some Zazen and/or Kinhin outside by the lake.  A detailed schedule will be developed and posted.
    Sunday the 16th we will visit the Chapel Hill Zen Center for Zazen and the morning service, where Elliston-roshi will give the Dharma talk.  Afterwards, Joho Pat Phelan-roshi will talk with us and give us a tour of the CHZC.

    Cost:  Due to the unique situation of college students, this retreat is offered for a flat fee of $100
     for full-time students; regular retreat fee policies apply to all others.

    (read about Dana the Perfection of Giving here)

  4. ASZC Sewing Weekend
    The weekend of January 18, 19 and 20 we are honored to have our Sewing Teacher Kaaren Wiken with us and the people who are sewing Rakusu and Okesa will have a special opportunity to work with her. Others are invited to help and support those who are sewing by sewing or helping with meals. And if there's anyone who wants to learn some Zen sewing that's not Rakusu or Okesa Kaaren will gladly instruct them in sewing envelopes, altar clothes, zafu, zabuton, oryoki linens .... whatever...Cost will be $15 per night for people staying at the zendo and $50 per day for the sewing, Anyone wishing to contribute additional dana for Kaaren is invited to do so. For more information contact Carola Butler
  5. Rohatsu 2013
    Dec 1-8 2013
    Sesshin means to unify or expound the Mind. It offers a unique opportunity to deepen practice and training in an intensive immersion into zazen (shikantaza).

    The annual Rohatsu Sesshin is unique in that we sit up all night the last day in observance of Buddha's Enlightenment. We will be practicing at the Zonolite training center.

    Elliston Sensei will lead a series of informal discussions on experience during zazen, and will offer daily dokusan, time TBD.

    Follow the schedule to the degree possible. As a lay practice Sangha we recognize family and work-related responsibilities and encourage partial attendance as well. If possible please attend the orientation on Sunday and plan your entry and exit during break times. Please inform the Retreat Leader (Ino) if and when you must be absent. (download schedule here)

    Meals will be informal and Oryoki-style at the discretion of the Tenzo; please bring your bowl set if you have one; if not one will be provided. Please let Tenzo know of any special dietary

    Please observe silence when arriving, leaving, and especially between lights out until the middle breakfast bell is rung. Please avoid reading; talking only when necessary and during formal dialog.

    Please register in advance so we may adequately prepare. You may register by sending an email to Retreat fees constitute a large portion of our operating budget and make it possible for us to provide a facility in which to hold retreat. The fee schedule is available here; one may pay online here, or in person during the retreat.