Sesshin Application Form
Blue Cliff Zen Sangha
1-4 February, 2018
By applying you are agreeing to attend the entire retreat, keeping the schedule, and following instructions from the teachers and leaders. This practice is intense and difficult and is only open to people who have a regular silent sitting meditation practice and who have sat at least one half-day retreat in either a Zen, Vipassana, Dzogchen, or similar discipline.
Harwood Lodge, the building we are in for this first retreat is not wheel-chair accessible and there will be a need for people to walk up and down stairs several times a day. We apologize. It is our commitment to find fully accessible accommodations in the future.
Harwood Lodge is an older building. It is not very well heated. It will be cold.
Sleeping arrangements are dormitory. There is no bedding available, you need to bring a sleeping bag and pillow or sheets and blankets. Again, it will be very cold with inadequate heating.
We will try to accommodate people in a male and female identified separate sleeping areas. If you have a special need in this regard, please let us know in advance. If we can accommodate your special need we will. If we cannot we will let you know in time for you to decide if the alternatives we can offer are acceptable.
To apply, please respond to the following questions. They include some personal questions. Your answers to those will be held in confidence and no records beyond name and contact information will be retained after the retreat. We only ask these questions because a Zen retreat is a strenuous practice both physically and psychologically. While we try to be kind, the container of the practice is not.
Please describe your meditation practice history.
All meals will be vegetarian. Please list any food allergy/dietary restrictions
Do you snore or use a CPAP?
Do you have any physical limitations we should be aware of?
Do you have any psychological concerns that should be noted, such as major diagnosis?
Do you take any medications that we need to be aware of?
Please be aware that Harwood Lodge is in a relatively remote area, it will not be possible to obtain most of these things if you do not bring them yourself.
The Cost is $225. This fee does not account for paying anyone. There will be an opportunity to give dana for the teachers and tenzo (cook). That is not a required payment. We are just beginning as a community and have no financial reserves. We are trying to keep costs down. At the same time we are committed to helping anyone who wants to attend to do so. If you cannot pay the fee, please speak to James directly, and we will try to find a way to make it work. All fees need to be paid by the 25th of January, one week prior to the beginning of the sesshin.
A Check list of what you need to bring:
A heavy coat
Sweater or Sweatshirt
Please wear muted colored clothing. Black gets you a gold star.
A sleeping bag and pillow or sheets and blankets. The facility has no bedding.
Towels and toiletries
We will eat our meals in formal Oryoki style. If you do not own an oryoki set, you will need to bring three bowls that can stack, chopsticks (If you cannot use chopsticks, then a fork), a spoon, and a small spatula. For cloths, you will need a washcloth, a cloth napkin, and a larger cloth such as a bandana.
The retreat is will be held at Harwood Lodge, on Mt Baldy. We will begin with an informal, light meal at 5pm. Please check in before that time. For directions: https://angeles.sierraclub.org/harwood_lodge/directions_harwood_lodge
To register (responding to all the questions listed here) write to Blue Cliff Zen Sangha, 2436 E. Fourth Street #889, Long Beach, CA 90814. Please include your check made out to "James Ford" (We are in the process of incorporating as a religious non-profit, but in the meantime we do not have our own checking.) You might want to note "Blue Cliff Zen retreat" on the memo line. If for some reason we cannot accommodate you, your check will be returned. For any questions please email us at Bluecliffzensangha@gmail.com