Archive for February 10th, 2014


Feb. 10, 2014 - Posted in: Events - Comments Off

May 16, 2014
7:30 amto5:00 pm
November 14, 2014
7:30 amto5:00 pm

Invitation to Become a Formal Student at the Village Zendo

The Village Zendo’s next student initiation (“Tangaryo”) will be held on Friday, May 16, 2014. If you have not yet formally become a student at the Village Zendo, and wish to do so, please read the information at For further information, please e-mail Sensei Randall Ryotan Eiger at

Why Become A Formal Student?

You should become a Formal Student at the Village Zendo if you wish to make an ongoing commitment to Zen training and to enter into a formal teacher/student relationship with Enkyo Roshi and the VZ teaching staff. You do not need to become a Formal Student in order work with Roshi and the VZ teachers. You can do this on an informal basis by becoming a Member of the Village Zendo.

Becoming A Formal Student at The Village Zendo

Since the beginning of Zen in China more than 1,500 years ago, entering formally into training under the guidance of a teacher has been the traditional path for seekers of the Way. In todayʼs world of spiritual marketing and religious quick-fixes, the need for skilled guidance through many years of oneʼs training is as great as ever.


One of the requirements for becoming a Student Member of Village Zendo is “Tangaryo,” or all-day sitting. This custom dates to the earliest days of Zen when those wishing to enter into training would sit for long periods of time in order to demonstrate the sincerity of their aspiration. Tanga is a Japanese term meaning “staying until the morning.” It refers to the overnight stay in a Zen monastery of a wandering monk on pilgrimage. The room set aside for this purpose was known as the tangaryo.

At the Village Zendo we have continued this tradition. After discussing their wish to become a student with Roshi, student candidates devote a day to Tangaryo. The day begins with zazen that continues until mid-afternoon. The zazen is unstructured—no bells ring to mark the end of the period and there is no kinhin. Candidates may take short breaks, if needed, to go to the bathroom or refresh themselves for further sitting. In the middle of the afternoon, Tangaryo ends and, shortly afterwards, the new students exchange bows and sit down to tea with Roshi who greets them on behalf of the Village Zendo teaching staff.

It is customary at this time to present Roshi with a small monetary donation. There is no minimum or maximum amount required. Roshi and Joshin Sensei have asked that, due to the limited space in their apartment, students refrain from giving them gifts.  With the conclusion of this ceremony, student initiation is complete.

Tangaryo Schedule

7:30-12:00 zazen

12:00-1:00 lunch

1:00-3:30 zazen

3:30-4:00 break

4:00-5:00 tea with the teacher


If Mind Comes First: Talk By Neil Soten Theise

Apr. 14, 2014 - Posted in: Blog, Events - Comments Off

May 16, 2014
7:00 pmto8:30 pm

Standard, contemporary approaches to explaining the “hard problem of consciousness”start with assumptions about matter, energy, space and time. These are then proposed to organize our world, our bodies, our brains, in turn creating the experiences of our minds.  However, these approaches, so far, have all completely failed. What if our starting assumption is wrong?   What if matter and energy, space and time don’t give rise to mind, but, instead, arise from mind?  What if it all starts with mind?

In this latest talk, Soten will continue to describe his most recent insights into the implications of the universe as a self-organizing, complex system.  In doing so, he will show how changing this starting assumption reveals more and more detailed alignments between contemporary sciences and insights from sources such as Mahamudra, Dzogchen, and Zen Buddhist traditions and Jewish and Hindu mysticisms.  And perhaps the hard problem will turn out to be a bit easier than we thought…

$15 suggested donation at the door.


Neil Theise MD is a diagnostic liver pathologist and adult stem cell researcher in New York City, where he is Professor of Pathology and of Medicine at the Beth Israel Medical Center of the Mount Sinai Health System. He is considered a pioneer of multi-organ adult stem cell plasticity and has published on that topic in Science, Nature, and Cell.

Beginning with applications of complexity and emergent self-organization to stem cell behaviors, his work has expanded into include cross-cultural models of biology and medicine, quantum behaviors in biological systems (biological complementarity, uncertainty), and parallels between contemplative insights into reality and contemporary scientific understandings. Most recently, his efforts have focused on the nature of consciousness and the role of sentience to the development and organization of the universe.

His teaching efforts regarding all these themes (text and video, for lay and academic audiences) can be found on his blog, and additional writings can be found at his website.

More links:

This is his Facebook page

Article Psychology Today 

And, with Deepak Chopra

For more information or to volunteer to help at the event contact Musho.