2004 Shogoji International OPEN ANGO

2004 Shogoji International OPEN ANGO
May 10 - July 20, 2004

Annual International rainy season retreats (ANGO) take place at SHOGOJI HOZAN DOJO which was established for the purpose of providing foreign practitioners with an opportunity to experience traditional Japanese monastic Zen practice following EIHEI SHlNGI (Dogen Zenji's regulations on daily monastic life-style). The practice is carried out in an authentic SODO (a place where the practitioners do zazen, eat and sleep).
SHOGOJI was founded by Daichi zenji in 1338 in a place deep in the heart of the mountain. It's situated 20 kilometers Northeast of Kikuchi city in Kumamoto prefecture, Japan, at an altitude of 700 meters.
The 2004 Shogoji International OPEN ANGO begins May 10th and ends July 20th. Practitioners arrive on May 10th (before 4 p.m.) and go through an introductory period (TANGARYO) from May 11th to 17th. After the TANGARYO formal practice (SEICHU) begins.


Mendicant begging is practiced a few times a month.
Morning and noon meals (vegetarian) are carried out in a formal setting (KUIN and SODO GYOHATSU).
Twice a month practitioners take part in Chanting of Precepts Ceremony.
Every 4th and 9th day practitioners have a few hours of free personal time.

2004 Shogoji International OPEN ANGO

a. In order to be considered for the International OPEN ANGO applicants must meet the following requirements:
-must be able to stay the entire ANGO period.
-must understand either Japanese or English .
-must have a letter of recommendation from her/his Zen Centre or teacher.
-must have a certificate of health.
-must provide a photocopy of the page in passport which contains personal information, such as birth date, nationality, etc.

b. A selection committee will carefully select a fixed number of applicants. Ordained applicants have a priority.

c. All documents:

  1. letter of recommendation
  2. filled out application form
  3. signed affirmation form
  4. health certificate
  5. passport copy must be submitted to the following address by the end of March 2004.

    The Selection Committee of Shogoji
    2034 Hanjaku Kikuchi-shi, Kumamoto-ken
    861-1672 JAPAN

d. The applicants will be notified of the selection committee's decision by the end of April 2004.

2004 Shogoji International OPEN ANGO

Sitting in zazen with one´s whole body and mind everything in the entire world becomes the Self, and all space in the universe completely becomes enlightenment.
We avoid intoxication of one's body and contamination of nature, considering them as a whole.

  1. At Shogoji we do not use drugs, tobacco, or alcohol.
  2. As we use natural water that comes from the mountain we take special care not to pollute it, because later it irrigates rice plantations. We use only a special soap provided by the monastery for bath, washing clothes and dishes. We avoid other kind of soap, cosmetics or other chemical products.
  3. We truly give up the view which discriminates self and others that is why sexual desire does not arouse. We do not engage in sexual activity while we are here.
  4. All practitioners should be treated with due respect and must be called by dharma name.
  5. We want to fully enter the Buddha's teaching. We should not speak about things that would arouse likes and dislikes or distant us from our practice. We try not to discuss such things as politics, the weakness of other people, our desires for wealthy goods and similar topics.
  6. We respect the silence around us. We avoid speaking or laughing in loud voices. We walk quietly, especially around the SODO. W hen we handle dishes or other things, we try to do it quietly and carefully. We respect the four silent places where we should not speak: SODO, the table at mealtime, toilet, and bath.
  7. Our actions are respectful. We sit either seiza or with crossed legs. We do not sit with our legs straight. We do not lean against things when we sit or stand. We walk in SHASHU, especially around the SODO and HATTO. When we eat or drink we sit down in an appropriate place. We do not eat or drink while walking or standing or on the HATTO or SODO steps.
  8. We do not dress in a manner that would distract others. For both walk and sitting we wear loose clothing that covers the body. We do not wear short or sleeveless clothing or revealing clothing. Bright color or eye-catching designs are also not worn. For sitting a practice robe that covers the legs or a short robe with loose pants is best. Except for wedding ring, we do not wear jewelry.
  9. In order to avoid distraction, we do not wear wristwatches. When we need to know the time, we consult one of the clocks in the KUIN, SODO, or HATTO. Keeping a personal clock at our desks is also fine.
  10. Our food is donated by others, or it is purchased with money donated by others. Therefore, at meals we take what we need and we eat it all. After meals, leftover food is not thrown away. If we are served more than we want, we can offer the extra food to others in a separate dish. This can be done before the meal begins.
  11. At KAICHIN (bedtime), we brush our teeth, go to bed and go to sleep. We do not stay up to work, play, or talk.
  12. If we go out to the doctor or for some purpose, we avoid activities or purchases that would distract us from the Buddha way. We do not buy frivolous things like gossip magazines. We do not buy meat or luxurious foods or an abundance of snacks.
  13. Unless it is an emergency, practitioners are not permitted to use the telephone.
  14. Practitioners should also discourage their friends, family, etc. from calling them.

2004 Shogoji International OPEN ANGO

a. Applicants are expected to cover all medical costs should they experience any health related problems while at Shogoji. For that reason we strongly recommend that you enter Japan with adequate medical insurance. Shogoji annually organizes a free health check at a nearby clinic. All applicants are expected to undergo this health check.
b. Applicants are expected to cover their own transportation costs.
c. The introductory period (10 days) will cost the applicant 2,000 yen/day, or 20.000 yen. The formal practice period is free.
d. Those who want Soto school priest's qualifications must do ANGO as priest trainee at Zuioji.

2004 Shogoji International OPEN ANGO

The Founder : Late lkko Narasaki Roshi
Docho : Tsugen Narasaki Roshi
Tanto : Saito Hokan Roshi
Ino : Ven. Taiken Yoshitani
Lecturers : Ven. Koki Suzuki
Ven. Ryuken Kakii
Ven. Shunryu Kamata
Ven. Shoten Minegishi
Special Lecturers : Ven. Hakujin Kuroyanagi
Kanji : Ven. Mugai Takano
Jisho : Ven. Jisen Oshiro

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