7-DAY NYOHO-E SEWING GATHERING
Buddha’s Robe for Nyoze's Shinsanshiki (Mountain Seat Ceremony)
The Buddhadharma connects us through the thread.
In honor of our incoming abbot Nyoze Kwong, our sangha is getting together to sew his okesa by hand. Sewing Buddha’s Robe stitch by stitch is a way for our sangha to connect with each other, to learn from and to encourage each other’s practice. This special sangha gathering explores the Self through the traditional practice of sewing called nyoho-e. Taking the backwards step with each stitch, we manifest the mind-to-mind transmission of our ancestors going back to Shakyamuni Buddha.
About the Fabric
The special fabric was hand-picked by Hoitsu Suzuki-roshi—the son of Shunryu Suzuki-roshi and abbot of Rinso-in, Shunryu Suzuki-roshi’s temple in Japan. He has recently held Tanto (Head of Practice) at Eiheiji, the main Soto Zen temple in Japan. He will be visiting SMZC as an honored guest to officiate the Shinsanshiki on September 2.
Learn the traditional way of sewing Buddha’s robe in the lineage of Eishun Yoshida-roshi, Tomoe Katagiri-sensei’s teacher. In 1994, Katagiri-sensei led a sewing sesshin, transmitting the lineage of sewing to Shinko Kwong at Sonoma Mountain Zen Center (SMZC). We will learn to hand-sew panels of cloth together stitch by stitch to create the Buddhist Okesa in support of Nyoze Kwong who will become the 2nd abbot of SMZC this fall.
Participants will learn in the group sewing of okesa for our incoming abbot Nyoze Kwong. Two periods of instructions from the sewing teacher and hands-on sewing will be scheduled in the morning and afternoon blocks. Our whole sangha is encouraged to participate in this sewing practice in various ways: come for morning zazen, sign up for morning or afternoon sewing practice throughout the week, join us for one to seven full days, or however this practice fits your daily schedule.
Kashin Kwong has been leading SMZC’s sewing practice for many years and will be giving instructions and guiding us throughout this gathering.
Day or Overnight Practice by Donation
Morning sewing (9:00–12 noon) plus informal lunch (12:05pm)
Afternoon sewing (2:00–5:00 pm) plus informal dinner (6:00pm)
Evening sewing (7:30–9:00 pm) plus informal dinner (6:00pm)
Everyone is welcome: No sewing experience is necessary. Materials and sewing instructions will be provided. Overnight lodging provided by donation. RSVP to attend each day and make a donation: