April 18 – May 3, 2017

Please join us for a visit to Tiantong Monastery where the great thirteenth-century Japanese
Zen Master Dogen was trained by his teacher Rujing and had an enlightenment experience. We will also visit Putoushan—the island of Avalokiteshvara, Ayuwang Monastery—and other important Chan (Zen) monasteries visited by Dogen, including ones in Hangzhou on West Lake, one of the most beautiful cities in China.

Dogen in Tiantong Monastery

Dogen wrote to Rujing: “Even though I am only a humble person from a remote country, I am asking permission to be a room-entering student, able to come to ask questions freely and informally. Impermanent and swift, birth-and-death is the issue of utmost urgency. Time does not wait for us. Once a moment is gone it will never come back again, and we’re bound to be full of regret. Great compassionate reverend abbot, grant me permission to ask you about the way, about the dharma. Please, I bow to you one hundred times with my forehead humbly touching the floor.”

Rujing wrote back: “Yes, you can come informally to ask questions any time, day or night, from now on. Do not worry about formality; we can be like father and son.” And he signed it, “Old man at Mt. Taibo.”

In addition, we will go to the renowned Tiantai Monastery, the center of the Tiantai School of Buddhism (Japanese Tendai), and the nearby cave where the legendary hermit Hanshan (Cold Mountain, circa eighth to ninth century) lived, using the cave walls to write his poems. 

Hanshan Cave

Hanshan Cave

Hanshan Cave.jpg

The legendary recluse poet, Hanshan (Cold Mountain), is one of Buddhism’s most intriguing and lovable figures. While, from time to time, most of us may wish we could get away from our crazy, busy lives by retreating to a romantic cave in the mountains, Hanshan did exactly this! He lived the dream many only long for. What he found there, deep in the mountains, included both the peace he sought and profound realization, but amongst the quiet beauty of his retreat, he also discovered and expressed a depth of what it means to be a human being that all the noise of city life may well have prevented him from knowing. Hanshan’s poems are a treasure trove of human feeling, knowing, and deep understanding. Always insightful, sometimes he is wise and enlightened, sometimes he is funny, sometimes he rails against those who only pretend, and sometimes he yearns for companions or friends he remembers from decades past. In his heart, the vast capacities of humanity will be found.


I see Tiantai peak
solitary above the entire range. 
Pines sway in the wind, bamboos rustle,
the moon rises, tides flow out and in.  
Scanning the green slopes below,
I discuss the profound principle with the white clouds.
Though the feeling of the wild is in the mountains and waters,
truly, I long for a companion of the way.

Dogen's Picture, Tiantong Temple.jpg

Day by Day

Day  1  April 18    
Arrive in Shanghai, meet at the airport and transfer to hotel. (D)
Hotel: Riverview Hotel Shanghai http://www.riverview-hotel.com
Tel: +86-21-6330-6060, Fax: +86-21-6330-6057  Add: 36, Zhongshan South Road, Shangha

Day  2  April 19    
Jade Buddha Temple, Yuyuan Garden, the Bund (B,L,D)

Day 3  April 20  
Fly to Putoshan Island via morning flight MU5205 (11:35-12:30), take ferry to Putuoshan Island and then bus to hotel. (B,L,D)
Hotel: Putuoshan Hotel http://www.putuoshanhotel.com
Tel: +86-86-580-6092828  Add: 93, Meicin Road, Putuoshan, Zhejiang Province
 Visit Puji Temple, the Guanyin Statue, Purple Bamboo Grove Temple

Day 4  April 21
More visiting on the island: Dharma Rain Temple, Huiji Temple (B,L,D)

Day 5  April 22
Ferry to Ningbo, visit Ayuwan Temple, stay in Tiantong Monastery. (B,L,D)
Tiantong Monastery Address: Yinzhou District, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province.

Day 6  April 23
Time in Tiantong Monastery, stay in Tiantong Monastery (B,L,D)

Day 7  April 24
Time in Tiantong Monastery, stay in Tiantong Monastery (B,L,D)

Day 8  April 25
Go to town near Mount Tiantai, check in hotel. (B,L,D)
Hotel: Tiantai Hotel http://www.ttbghotel.com/en.php
Tel: +86-576-8398-8999  Fax: +86-576-8398-8995  Add: near Guoqing Temple, Tiantai, Zhejiang Provinc

Day 9  April 26
Visit Hanshan cave, Mount Tiantai (B,L,D)

Day 10  April 27
Visit Guoqing Monastery, Mount Tiantai (B,L,D)

Day 11  
April 28
Go to Hanzhou, check in hotel. (B,L,D)
Hotel: Haihua Hotel Hangzhou http://www.ramadahz.com/
Tel:+86-571-87215888  Add: 298, Qingchun Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Provinc

Day 12  April 29
Visit Linyin Monastery, West Lake (B,L)

Day 13  April 30
Visit Rujing’s tomb, Hanzhou(B,L)

Day 14  May 1
Back to Shanghai, check in hotel. (B,L)
Hotel: Riverview Hotel Shanghai http://www.riverview-hotel.com/
Tel: +86-21-6330-6060, Fax: +86-21-6330-6057  Add: 36, Zhongshan South Road, Shangha

Day 15  May 2
Free day in Shanghai (B)

Day 16  May 3
Transfer to the airport and fly back (B)

Meal Codes: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

$3900 double occupancy (+$805 for single supplement).
Air fare to and from Shanghai, five meals (lunch/dinner), and gratuity to the national guide are not included in the price. 

Peter Levitt

Peter Levitt

Sensei Peter Levitt

Authorized as a Zen teacher within the Suzuki-roshi lineage, Peter Levitt is the founder and guiding teacher of Salt Spring Zen Circle on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, where he resides with his wife, poet Shirley Graham, and their son, Tai. 

Known for the warmth, humour, clarity and depth of his teachings, Peter is also the author of fourteen books of poetry and prose. Recently, he served as Associate Editor of the Zen classic, The Treasury of the True Dharma Eye: Zen Master Dogen’s Shobo Genzo, edited by Kazuaki Tanahashi, and collaborated with co-editor Kaz Tanahashi on The Essential Dogen: Writings of the Great Zen Master. 

Peter’s poetry books include One Hundred Butterflies and Within Within, which Canadian Governor General Award recipient, Robert Hilles, called, “master works that reveal the interconnected fabric of it all in ways that will leave you stunned.” In the same vein, legendary poet Robert Creeley wrote, “Peter Levitt’s poetry sounds the honor of our common dance.” In 1989, Peter received the prestigious Lannan Foundation Award in Poetry.

Kazuaki Tanahashi

Kazuaki Tanahashi

Sensei Kaz Tanahashi

Kazuaki Tanahashi, born and trained in Japan and active in the United States since 1977, has had solo exhibitions of his calligraphic paintings internationally. He has taught East Asian calligraphy at eight international conferences of calligraphy and lettering arts. Also a peace and environmental worker for decades, he is a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science.