Windhorse News & Events

Windhorse Sittings and Programs: November and December 2018

Weekly Programs and Formal Sittings

Sunday Programs: 
Nov. 11: We will have a program this Sunday, 9:30-11:30 a.m., followed by a sangha potluck, as always
Nov. 18: This Sunday program will be our annual Ceremony of Gratitude (see above)
Nov. 25: no program
Dec. 2 & Dec. 9: No program on these dates because of the Rohatsu sesshin (see below)
Dec. 16: Our last Sunday morning program of 2018
(January 6: Our first Sunday program of 2019)

Evening Sittings: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 7-9:00 pm
Please join us for these combinations of zazen, dokusan and (on Tuesday) chanting. They’ll be happening whenever we are not in sesshin or on holiday:
Tuesdays: Nov. 2o // Nov. 27 // Dec. 11 // (possibly Dec. 18 — please call ahead to be sure)
Thursdays: Nov. 23 // Nov. 25 // Dec. 13

Our next sesshin will take place over the first week of December: Saturday, Dec.1st through Saturday afternoon, Dec. 8th. The Japanese term for this special sesshin is Rohatsu, which translates as “eighth day of the twelfth month.” Traditionally considered to be the culmination of one’s year of practice, this 7-day sesshin explicitly commemorates the Buddha’s own enlightenment, said to have occurred when he glanced up at the morning star just before dawn on December 8th.

The deadline to apply to this sesshin is this Tuesday, November 13. Part-time participation is possible if space allows.

Winter 7-day Rohatsu Sesshin 2018


Ceremony of Gratitude
Each year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving we host a Ceremony of Gratitude at Windhorse, with this year’s event falling on November 18th. It ‘s the same time as our usual Sunday morning program: 9:30 -11:30, and includes zazen, a talk on the spirit of Thanksgiving, chanting of our dharma ancestral line, and a Circle of Gratitude – a chance for anyone to offer their own expressions of gratitude for whatever seems most important this year.

After the ceremony we have the celebration–everyone’s encouraged to bring something for this pre-Thanksgiving vegetarian potluck. And we need music: if you play an instrument, please bring it along! If no one does, we’ll just have to settle for the canned variety.

Thanksgiving Potluck at Windhorse, Nov. 22
Yes, this year on Thanksgiving we’ll once again host a communal vegetarian potluck event at the center on Panther Branch. All are welcome to attend, including friends and family members. Just let us know soon if you plan to come, and what you plan to bring: this is one potluck where we actually loosely attempt to coordinate the meal. The main guideline, though, is to bring a dish you love and want to share with others for this special American holiday.
We’re setting the starting time for the meal at 3:00 p.m., but people are welcome to arrive early to help set up and schmooze.

NEW YEAR’S EVE Ceremonies and Celebrations!
Yes, we plan to have our annual New Year’s ceremonies and celebrations at Windhorse! More info soon to come.

Article in Tricycle
An article by Lawson and Sunya has been published in the recent hard-copy and on-line versions of Tricycle Magazine. Originally titled “Dharma and Psychotherapy: Dealing with Dragons,” it appears in the magazine as “The Mind’s Dragons.” If you don’t subscribe, you can access the article here.
In conjunction with this article we’ve recently posted an updated version of the site, offering a more in-depth picture of the role of the unconscious in practice, and the ways that our Zentensive Workshop and Retreats help to address some of the issues unique to Western dharma practitioners.

Sunya’s podcasts have been available on iTunes, and can also now be found on Spotify. You need to sign up to access Spotify but it’s free (here’s a link: Listen on Spotify!), . Some have recommended Podbean – we’re still working on finding the best, most accessible venues. Thanks for your patience, and we appreciate your suggestions and feedback!


Getting Started at Windhorse Zen Community

Beginning a Zen practice at Windhorse is quite simple: send an email and/or give us a call (contact info below) to schedule a first sitting at the center in Alexander, NC, about a 20-minute drive from downtown Asheville.

We ask everyone, whatever their background in practice, to go through a basic orientation, which generally takes about 45 minutes.

The best time for new people to come ​for this ​is usually on Sunday morning at 8:45, before the 9:30-11:30 program of zazen meditation and dharma talk. If that doesn’t work for you, we can arrange to meet before a Tuesday or Thursday evening sitting, which begins at 7:00 pm. More information >>>