In the Zen school, Rohatsu - the anniversary of the Buddha’s Enlightenment – is traditionally celebrated in early December by meditating through the night to the dawn. It is said that the Buddha sat down beneath the Bodhi tree and made the great resolve, “Though only my bones and sinews remain and my skin and flesh wither away, I will not leave this place until I realise complete enlightenment”. He practised through the night.
In the Denkoroku (The Transmission of the Light) Zen Master Keizan picks up the story: "Shakyamuni Buddha realized enlightenment on seeing the morning star. He said, “I and all beings on earth together realise enlightenment simultaneously.” " After this great realisation, he spent the forty years of the rest of his life helping others to find what he’d found. This is the essence of Zen - to find the happiness that doesn’t depend on external conditions and to be a useful person in the world.
At Zen Yoga Camberwell, London, we’re celebrating the anniversary of the Buddha’s enlightenment with all night zazen meditation, December 7th-8th, 9pm-8am. There will also be sanzen (private practice interviews) with Daizan Roshi. The night of intense, focused practice is beneficial to both experienced Zen practitioners and beginners.
Please bring cold vegetarian food to share for breakfast, tea will be provided.