Residential Training at Hoen-ji

The purpose of residential training is to establish stability of practice for the community. In order to do that, we make a sustained, wholehearted commitment to practice. We each support and encourage each other in our training, and by taking responsibility for ourselves, we can extend this to the community and world at large. We work to maintain and sustain an atmosphere of training during our time here.

Guidelines

Resident reading sutra bookIn practical terms, this includes the following responsibilities:

  1. Attend all sittings except for those where there is an outside work conflict; residents who cannot maintain this commitment will determine, with Shinge Roshi , an individual zazen schedule.
  2. Study regularly with Shinge Roshi, including dokusan. Course of study and frequency of dokusan will be determined by Shinge Roshi and each resident.
  3. Spend at least one hour a week maintaining the temple. Carry out agreed-upon samu assignments. These may include regular assignments (flowers, opening/closing altars, Sangha store, program committee work, office work, trash, etc.) and samu to meet seasonal or immediate needs (snow shoveling, sweeping, carpentering, planting, watering, weeding, etc). Be mindful and take responsibility for security, safety, lighting, litter and spills, supplies, etc.
  4. Leave all public areas you use as clean or cleaner than you found them. The zendo, Forman House common spaces (kitchen, Dharma Hall, dining room, second and third floor rooms except the second floor bedroom), student residence kitchen and dining/living room, and the outdoor areas used by everyone are public areas. This includes bathrooms, pantry/jisha closets, work areas, etc. Do not leave personal items in public areas.
  5. Participate regularly in resident meetings.
  6. Participate in the Hoen-ji schedule and programs. Learn and take responsibility for filling Hoen-ji training positions, such as in the Zendo and for sesshin.
  7. Be fiscally responsible. This includes paying resident tuition on time and taking the initiative when special arrangements need to be made.
  8. Live in a harmonious way with the Sangha by honoring commitments and supporting each other’s practice. This includes resolving conflicts in an appropriate and timely manner, guided by the conflict resolution process established in 2002.
  9. Develop and sustain a positive relationship with the community and neighborhood. This may include community service/citizenship activities such as work with community youth or the Justice Center, attending neighborhood meetings such as Neighborhood Watch and TNT meetings, keeping the grounds and buildings neat (snow removed from public walks, leaves raked, grass mowed, etc.), patronizing neighborhood businesses, and getting to know others in the neighborhood.

Potential and New Residents

Resident reading sutra bookPotential residents will be interviewed by Shinge Roshi and the head clergy in residence, and information about them will be shared with all current residents. If everyone agrees that a potential resident will be a good “fit” for the residential training program, an invitation will be extended to that person. The interview process may include a trial residency period, especially if the person is not a member of the Hoen-ji sangha. If a resident has major concerns about a potential resident, he/she should voice them. Generally, a person will not be invited to join the program if a current resident objects.

The potential resident will have already had an opportunity to read and ask questions about these guidelines. However, when a person moves in, the head resident clergy is responsible for providing an orientation to him/her, in order to support his or her practice here and lay a foundation for the person’s training. The orientation will include presentation of the “residential practice agreement,” discussion of each of the responsibilities outlined above, and discussion of the person’s strengths and limitations (health issues, etc.). Other residents will also orient the person.

For more information, please contact shika, Jikyo-san, at bshoultz@syr.edu.  To apply, please download and fill out the Resident Training Application below.

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Resident Training Application.doc32.5 KB