Becoming Unbound: Understanding, Working With, and Ending Karma
September 28 – December 4
“Beings are the owners of their karma—or actions. They are heirs to their karma, originators of their karma, and are bound by their karma.” —the Buddha
Karma is a foundational and yet often misunderstood concept in Buddhism. Too often people think it means "fate" or is some kind of cosmic justice system. The theory of karma is simply the theory of cause and effect; it is a natural law, having nothing to do with the idea of retribution or reward and punishment.
The Buddha’s teaching on karma—literally “action”, or specifically volitional action—is nothing other than his compassionate explanation of the way things are: our thoughts and actions determine our character as well as our future, and therefore we ourselves are largely responsible for the way our lives unfold. Karma points to the mechanics of why we suffer—largely through identification with a fabricated self—and how we can make the suffering end.
A clear understanding of karma and how it works can provide a foundation for an ethical, contented life and compassionate way of living. By intentionally and skillfully using wholesome karma to change unwholesome karma, we can experience a transformation in our character and our whole being, as well as how we relate to others. As the Buddha discovered, the path of practice serves to “unbind” us from karmic patterns, enabling us to experience true liberation.
Open to beginners and experienced practitioners alike. At this time on-site participation is open to both residential and commuter participation; Covid Health and Safety Guidelines for City Center's congregant living environment will apply.
About the Fall 2021 Practice Period
This is a traditional intensive training period common in the schools of Buddhism. Participants can engage in this training period as a resident or as a commuter.
This training period is a chance to develop and deepen your practice together with others in a supportive environment and through activities including daily sitting, study, practice discussion with teachers, and weekly sangha discussions. Weekly events include classes, ceremonies, Dharma talks, and other events. Participants will also have the opportunity to meet individually with the leader of the intensive and/or other practice leaders.
*For residential participants, these activities occur onsite and include communal meals with the other residents. Depending on the state of public health, commuter participants may be invited to join the residents for meals in the dining room for an additional onsite charge. This offering has yet to be determined, but may become available depending on SFZC Health & Safety protocols. All participants have access to the Online components (listed below).
David will teach a class on the theme of the practice period, Understanding, Working With, and Ending Karma. It will meet eight Tuesday evenings, October 5 – November 23, 7:30 – 9 pm PT.
There will also be the opportunity for practice period participants to participate in two Saturday one-day sittings (see below), on October 2 and November 6, and a concluding seven-day sesshin (see below) beginning the evening of Saturday, November 27 and ending on Saturday, December 4.
Participants can engage in the practice period in three ways: residential, commuter, and online.
All options include access to these Online components:
- Online Portal
- Online Class
- Small Groups
- Morning zazen in the Online Zendo
- Evening zazen in the Online Zendo
- Wednesday and Saturday Dharma talks in the Online Zendo
I. Residential Option
Includes access to all the onsite* as well as the online components listed above.
- Work Practice Apprentice (WPA): For those who will live and work full-time in the temple.
- Limited Resident: For those who will live in the temple but will not participate in the daily work schedule.
Residential participants should plan to arrive by the early afternoon of September 27, 2021.
Note: We will accept new residential participants based on available housing. You are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as residential space is limited.
II. Commuter Option
For those who live off-site but will attend all or part of the practice schedule on-site.*
Additional components to the Online ones listed above (vetting for Covid-19 is part of the registration process):
- In-person morning zazen and service
- Evening zazen and service, TBA as City Center re-opens and these events become available
- Depending on the state of public health and SFZC Health & Safety Protocols, commuter participants may be invited to join the residents for meals in the dining room for an additional onsite charge
Not included in the Commuter option and requiring separate registration:
- One-day sittings on Saturday, October 2 and Saturday, November 6
- Rohatsu sesshin, evening of Saturday, November 27 through Saturday, December 4
III. Online Option
For those participating fully online who will not be visiting the temple.
- Includes access to all the Online components listed above
Not included in the Online option and requiring separate registration:
These fees include residency, meals, and all practice offerings.
WPA: Includes full-time work practice at City Center
Limited: Not working at City Center
For payment of residential participation fees, information will be provided with notice of acceptance into the practice period.
- General $169
- Current SFZC Members $152
- Limited Income $135
For payment of commuter participation fees, information will be provided with notice of acceptance into the practice period.
- General $179
- Current SFZC Members $161
- Limited Income $143
Online participation fees are paid as part of the application process.
Residential and Commuter Options
- Please review the Pure Standards for Residential Zen Training.
- Please review the Health and Safety Updates that apply to all residents and commuters.
Residential Application (includes link to pay the $30 application processing fee)
Deadline for residential applications has been extended to September 14.
Deadline for commuter applications is September 13.
Register to receive the application.
Deadline for online registration is September 30.