Live-In Training at Chozen-ji
One of the many experiments we have undertaken over the last year is to expand the number of people who come to Chozen-ji for live-in training. This has resulted in more than 20 people coming and training since July 2017.
Living in allows people to train much more deeply in a short amount of time, and to create a new set of habits and rhythms they can bring back to their daily lives. One of the ways that you can support live-in training is by contributing to the Gi and Hakama fund here.
Below are comments from some of the live-in students from the last year in their own words:
Alani Apio - Hawaii
"Although I’ve been training for 17 years at Chozen-ji, I’ve never lived in beyond the weeks of sesshin. Last fall I was in a serious state of depression and searching for ways to heal and move forward—so I decided to live in for 21 days. Doing so helped me to experience both how ingrained daily habits were keeping me from healing and how new perspectives, by way of resetting my daily routines, could lead to healing and learning. And, I finally learned how to ring the bell and strike the han properly."
Alex Greene - Madison, WI
"I grew up visiting the dojo and started my training at Chozen-ji around the time Tanouye Roshi passed away. I also lived in for three years, 2002-2005. In my week living in again in August 2017, I really felt the connection and presence of Tanouye Roshi. Not in any mystical way, but in that the core ki'ai was still there. This is part of the timeless quality of Chozen-ji. A lot of things about our lives change, but the dojo carries on—with that energy imbued throughout."
Katie Loncke - Oakland, CA
"I had lived, served, or studied at silent meditation centers around the world for months at a stretch, but Chozen-ji’s physical training (grueling at times) tapped into a whole different side of my hindrances and potential for non-fear. Easy? No. Life-changing? Yes. With gratitude to all who make this precious place possible, I’m returning the first chance I get."
Kalpana Krishnamurthy - Portland, OR
"Chozen-ji is like a diamond—it has so many facets. When my kids asked me what I like the best about my time at Chozen-ji, I said learning archery with Honda Roshi. When my husband asked, I said doing calligraphy. When my coworkers asked, I said going deeper in my meditation practice with twice daily sits. And that's to say nothing of ceramics, the tea ceremony, weeding a Zen garden or Kendo."
Noland Chambliss - San Francisco, CA
"Chozen-ji is a remarkable place and my experience living there was one of the most impactful of my life. The generosity of the community there is extraordinary. My time there helped me to think differently about the relationship between my mind and my body, process some intense emotional experiences, and gave me a strength of will and focus that has served me immensely."
Geri Maeshiro - Hawaii
"The intention is upheld by many. But the pillars, who keep Chozen-ji standing strong, give an incredible amount of patience, generous energy, and deep committed form of dedication to the place and their practice. Freely and often, they embody the form they offer access to. The inspiration percolates, resonates—and in living in, it gets much more possible to start to feel a sense of saturation. Meanwhile, the bell keeps ringing into the next moment in which we all try again, again."
Yutaka Kawahito - Hiroshima, Japan
"Even though 3-4 weeks of my stay wasn't enough to know what Zen is, daily zazen practice was a valuable way for me to learn the main teaching of Zen—that it isn't knowledge to be obtained through words, but rather through one's experience. Living in at Chozen-ji allowed me to submerge myself into the heart of that. Time at Chozen-ji blew by. I am grateful for this time and space that Chozen-ji has shared with me."
Noriko Wada - Hawaii
"My family was going through a particularly difficult time, having to make end-of-life decisions for my parents. I was lost as to what the "right thing to do" is. In the toughest moment, I drew upon the strength that Chozen-ji helped me to develop. I sense I've barely scratched the surface of the well-spring of strength that we all have inside us."
Richard Chamberlain - Los Angeles, CA
"Yesterday evening I sat and meditated for about 45 minutes. It went reasonably well, but didn't quite ring the bell. Then I was about to get up when, unexpectedly, a sort of pure gold moment descended, eyes wide open, and I felt the presence of Chozen-Ji—of love, in the most beautiful, heartwarming way.
"I wasn't alone at all. You all were still with me and the Gods smiled.
"So your wondrous gift of Chozen-Ji is still giving!"