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The Ocean of Zen

The Ocean of Zen

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Published by WonjiDharma

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Published by: WonjiDharma on Sep 29, 2010
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09/15/2013

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Many of the teachers of our lineage have used solo retreats
in remote cabins as an important part of their training. Following
this tradition, many of Sŏnsa–nim’s students find solo retreats a
valuable time to focus all their energy on formal practice. These
retreats traditionally last three days, seven days, twenty one days,
forty nine days, or one hundred days. The ideal times for retreats
are the cold months of late fall, winter, or early springs. The diet on
a solo retreat is kept simple. It usually includes a grain and perhaps
some dried fruit and tea twice or three times a day. Both complete
fasting and eating too much are discouraged because one can
become weak from lack of food or sleepy from too much. A
stomach that is one–fourth full helps to keep the mind alert.
A retreat is done without reading material or any kind of
communication with other people except for emergencies, such as
food shortage or illness. It is a time for complete self–reliance.
Retreat schedules usually follow the basic yongmaeng jŏngjin
schedule, sometimes with an extra half–hour added on to each of

Page 189

the periods of practice time and sometimes an extra period of
practice from 12:00–2:00 am. The schedule and style vary with
individuals and should be worked out with the Zen Master or a
Dharma Master.

Page 190

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