Mill Valley Zen Meditation and Mindfulness Practice Period

January 6 – March 27, 2020


To participate in the Mill Valley Zen Practice Period please sign up here. All are welcome and enrollment is open and ongoing.

We’ll meet every Wednesday from January 6th – March 24th on Zoom, and will end with a one-day “Step Into Your Life” retreat on March 27th. There will also be two half-day retreats on January 30th and February 27th. The retreats require a separate registration and will be held in a different Zoom meeting room. All events are optional, and you are encouraged to attend as many as possible.

During the practice period we will be reading and studying an essay by Dogen, the 13th century founder of Soto Zen in Japan, called the “Genjo Koan,” or the koan of everyday life. The essay has some beautiful and inspiring sections and others that are rather difficult to grasp. To assist, we will be working with the book Realizing Genjokoan by Shohaku Okumura. Below you’ll find a few passages from the Genjo Koan.

The purpose of practice period is to create a time and container to focus more on your practice and your life. I suggest that you set an intention for a daily meditation schedule and an intention to bring more focus into what matters most during this time.

The other purpose of practice period is to be part of a learning community. There is something special about meditating and practicing together.

I look forward to this time together.


Some passages from the Genjo Koan
To carry yourself forward and experience myriad things is delusion. That myriad things come forth and experience themselves is awakening.

To study the buddha way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of realization remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly.

When you first seek dharma, you imagine you are far away from its environs. But dharma is already correctly transmitted; you are immediately your original self.

When dharma does not fill your whole body and mind, you think it is already sufficient. When dharma fills your body and mind, you understand that something is missing.

The nature of wind is permanent; because of that, the wind of the Buddha’s house brings forth the gold of the earth and makes fragrant the cream of the long river.