Life at Antaiji
Life at Antaiji: The actual work changes considerably depending on the season, but the monthly schedule is like this:
April to December:
|1st to 5th||Five day sesshin|
|7th to 9th||Regular work|
|10th||One day sesshin|
|12th to 14th||Regular work|
|15th||One day sesshin|
|17th to 19th||Regular work|
|20th||One day sesshin|
|22nd to 24th||Regular work|
|25th||One day sesshin|
|27th to 29th||Regular work|
|31st (or 30th)||Free day|
Sesshin (Zen retreat) schedule:
|4am to 9am||Zazen|
|10am to 3pm||Zazen|
|4pm to 9pm||Zazen|
The zazen periods are interrupted by 15 minute intervals of kinhin (walking Zen) every full hour. The sesshin ends at 3pm on the last day. During sesshin no talk is allowed. There is no sesshin in August and only one sesshin from the 1st to the 8th in December.
Regular working day schedule:
|4am to 6:10am||Zazen|
|After cleaning||Help in the kitchen|
|7:30am to noon||Samu (work)|
|after lunch||Samu (work), shower, help in the kitchen|
|6pm to 8pm||Zazen|
|after 8pm||Free time (be quiet after 9pm)|
Communication is important in a community where the 24 hours of the day are practiced all together. Even if you do not speak Japanese, try to listen to the others very carefully with your heart. Do not expect everyone to understand your English.
Everyone will perform the same activities during the day, including zazen, cleaning, work, meals, bath, in the same way, so watch what the others do and try to fit in harmoniously. You are not supposed to create a schedule of your own.
During breaks or on free days you might be expected to help in the kitchen or do other jobs around the temple. This might be part of the training for the full-time position (in the cooking rotation for example).
From January to March, because of the heavy winter snow, there will be no work outside. Instead the practioners study and take turns giving dharma talks (in Japanese). Please come to Antaiji already in early spring if you want to participate in the study period in winter, so that you will be familiar with the situation here to a certain degree.