campana

CHANGE WITHIN TRADITION
A LIFE OF COMMUNION AND SALVATION



The worshipful silence
of a pentecostal companionship
is lived in quiet emptiness,
waiting for what cannot be anticipated
through mystery and in
communion of spirit,
meets the truth of man
that is
Buddha




Every time we delve deeply into a tradition we discover a wellspring of clear, cool water that is perpetual, daily and ordinary change. This is referred to as ‘The Pure Standard’. In our case this standard lies in accordance with a certain style, a subtle aroma that is the Buddhadharma, its doctrine and discipline, and through which the spiritual and material life of each of us falls, returns, and reveals itself. This is made manifest in how we live, eat and dress.

It is beholden to every generation to rewrite and relay this particular awareness, because it is thus that the spirit is maintained unaltered. That spirit through which our faith and religious observance is acknowledged, and that unique event happening at the foot of the tree of enlightenment at the dawn of insuperable knowledge and compassionate love.

It is still common in many cultures, for young adults and elders alike, to consider participating in retreats dedicated to spiritual regeneration and renewal.

In pre-Buddhist India this fell in line with the long rainy season, which lasted for around 3 months. Under the watchful eye of teachers and in the company of elders, these retreats were a means to renew and deepen communal spirit, personal resolve and awareness.
These retreats proved indispensable not only for the training of the ministers heading the faith, but also for members of the secular population.
Application and research are therefore considered core requirements and are fostered through participation in short, medium and longer term retreats. Priority is given to the life of the Sōdō, the monastic environment within which we learn to live, meditate and renew ourselves, in continual conversion and with a communal spirit.

Fudenji is open to both Italian and foreign practitioners who would earnestly like to experience life within a traditional Sōdō, practising the Pure Standards of the Founding Fathers: Dōgen Zenji, 1200-1253 (Eihei Shingi) and Keizan Zenji, 1268-1328 (Keizan Shingi).

Founded in 1984 by Narita Shūyū Roshi, already the 28th Abbot of the Toden Temple in the Akita Prefecture in Japan, Fudenji is to be found in the hills at the beginning of the Appenine Mountain range in Parma - Italy - 6 km (about 4 miles) from Fidenza and Salsomaggiore Terme and 100 km (about 60 miles) from either Milan or Bologna.
Four monastic retreats take place at Fudenji every year:

There are two Ango retreats (SEICHU) - one in summer and one in winter - and two retreats that take place during the intermediary periods (GEIA).

The summer Ango starts on the 10th of June and finishes on the 20th of September, the winter Ango starts on the 20th of November and finishes on the 15th of February. Both comprise of two distinct phases:

An introductory phase: 10 days (Tangaryo)
During this period practitioners follow a special introductory training programme in monastic practice.

Seichu phase
20 June – 20 September, 1 December-15 February
This is the period of traditional Ango training known as Seichu, during which practitioners follow the Seichu programme, participating and collaborating in all monastic activities.
In addition to daily practice there is also:

Takuhatsu
Once or twice a month ritual mendicant begging is practised.

Fusatsu
Twice a month practitioners take part in the solemn ceremony of the chanting of the Bodhisattva precepts (Ryaku Fusatsu) and observe the ritual of public confession.

Shikunichi
Every 5 days (4/9/14/19/24/29) practitioners have some free time to attend to their personal needs.


APPLICATION


a) In order to be considered for the Ango or other retreats, applicants must meet the following requirements:

-Commit to stay for the entire period required

- Understand/speak some Italian, French or English

- Present a reference letter from his/her Teacher or Zen Centre

- Supply a medical certificate

- Provide a photocopy of passport, identity card or drivers licence containing personal details (date of birth, nationality, etc.)

b) Given the limited number of places available, the selection committee will give priority to those ordained (monks or Bodhisattvas)


c) Documents required:

1. Reference letter
2. Completed application form
3. Signed affirmation form
4. Medical certificate confirming sound health
5. Copy of passport, I.D. card or drivers licence

All documents must be submitted to the following address by the beginning of the month preceding the Ango:


Fudenji Comitato di gestione
Bargone 113
43039 Salsomggioe T. (PR) – ITALIA
Tel: 0524 – 565667
Email: fudenji@tiscalinet.it

d) The committee will inform applicants of their decision at least 2 weeks before the beginning of the Ango.
e) To participate in the Geai retreat or for partial participation, applicants should send their request to Fudenji’s selection committee at the aforementioned address.


GENERAL GUIDELINES


Sitting in Zazen with one’s whole body and mind, everything in the entire universe becomes the self, our body-mind. Considering them as a whole, we avoid intoxication of our body and the contamination of nature.

1. We give up prejudice and discrimination between ourselves and others
2. All practitioners should be treated with due respect, and called by their
Dharma name
3. Resolved to fully realise the way of the Buddha, we avoid speaking about things that may generate ill-will (gossip, politics, etc.)
4. All communal property is treated with utmost respect, especially water, which we take great care not to waste.
5. We diligently observe silence in the Sōdō and environs, toilets (Tosu) and baths (Yokushitsu) – in order to cultivate an atmosphere of concentration. Therefore, we also avoid talking or laughing in a loud voice.
6. At all times our actions are respectful:
- we sit in seiza or crossed-legged. We do not sit with our legs straight. We do not lean against things when we sit or stand.
- we walk in sasshu, especially around the Sōdō and Hatto
- we eat and drink at appropriate times and in appropriate places.
- smoking is only permitted in certain places and at certain times
- we do not use drugs or alcohol.
- we wear loose, modest clothing that covers the body, avoiding bright colours and eye-catching designs.
7. We wear no jewellery, rings, necklaces or wristwatches. To consult the time there are clocks in the Shuryo, the reception, the refectory, the entrance to the Sōdō , the Hatto and in the kitchen.
8. It is thanks to the generosity and charity of others that we receive, prepare and eat our food. We therefore take the utmost care to eat all the food that we ask for. Any food that is left over is re-used.
9. At Kaichin (Bedtime) we attend to our personal hygiene, go to bed and go to sleep. We do not stay up to work, play or talk.
10. If we need to leave the monastery for some reason other than Takuhatsu - a visit to the doctor for example - it is preferable to go accompanied by someone and to return as soon as possible. While out, we do not indulge in frivolous conversation, buy inappropriate things or indulge in trivial pursuits.
11. Under normal circumstances it is not permitted to make or receive telephone calls. We advise participants to let their friends and families know this well in advance.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

In the case of illness, participants will need to pay for their own medical expenses. We therefore advise you to have adequate medical insurance.
Participants are expected to cover their own travel expenses.
The cost of participating in the Ango is the same as the amount of the annual subscription.


STAFF


Founder: Narita Shūyū Roshi
Abbot: F. Taiten Guareschi Roshi
Gōdō – Ino: Rev. M. Myōkō Agnoli
Tenzō - Fusu: Rev. B. Wakō Flach
Library and Communication: V. Myōsen Rovesti
Boutique and Communication: P. Taisen Antonicelli