PZI Teacher Archives

Summer Sesshin: Closing Ceremony


John Tarrant and HOP Michelle Riddle close the sesshin, together with the sangha, letting it go into the gone beyond. Timekeeper Todd Geist gives closing thanks. Musician Amanda Boughton sings a celtic ballad and plays mandolin, Cantor Amaryllis Fletcher chants and plays violin for the closing sutras and four boundless vows. Final day of Summer Sesshin, at Santa Sabina, June 19th, 2022.


John Tarrant asks the assembled sesshin sangha,

Where does the celebration from last night (the night of our refuge-taking ceremony) go?
It’s gone, gone, into the gone beyond.  

(from the Heart Sutra)

Now we are opening the way for others to be carried along, as we have been, in the great current of this sesshin and the Dao.

The core of our practice is the freedom that arises when the burden of beliefs, and the things on our minds, is laid down. Not having to carry all that entanglement—and if you still have to carry it, well, not to carry the judgment of carrying it.

Community helps us awaken and learn more than we would in the lone warrior model—the ‘me alone’ model of practice and pursuit of enlightenment. Ultimately, we are doing it for each other. The bodhisattva path is one of assistance and inclusion. Jizo, the ultimate bodhisattva, said he would stay until even the very last demon was enlightened!

John shares poetry from Li Bai and Su Tung-Po (Dongpo).

All participate in a closing sutra service, with Amanda Boughton on vocals and mandolin, and cantor Amaryllis Fletcher on violin.

Michelle Riddle, Head of Practice for sesshin, closes the retreat and thanks all who helped. Todd Geist gives a tender thank you to the teachers and participants, and asks that if you have them to give, please donate additional funds to keep PZI opening out to the world—to support the generosity of our teachers and the Scholarship Fund.

Eight people participated in refuge-taking by reciting their vows publicly, and receiving their Zen names and rakusus (short symbolic ‘robes’).

And so ends Summer Sesshin 2022.

More on the the vows, Zen names, and Rinzai rakusus in our Summer Dragon of Requirement Newsletter.

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