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An ango (安居), or kessei, is a Japanese term for a three month long period of intense training for students of Zen Buddhism, lasting anywhere from 90 to 100 days. They are typically held twice a year, the first period from spring to summer and the second period from fall to winter. The word ango literally translates as "dwelling in peace"; the summer ango is referred to as ge-ango and the winter period is u-ango. During an ango practice consists of zazen, study, and samu (work). Concerning Zen practice in the United States, author Ellen Birx writes, "Many centers now allow members to attend retreats on a part-time basis. Many have ango, a three-month long period of intensified practice, that members can participate in while continuing to go off to work during the day." Taigen Dan Leighton writes a more traditional definition, "These are ninety-day training periods of concentrated practice without leaving the monastic enclosure (except for monks going out for necessary temple business). They date back to the summer rainy season retreats of Shakyamuni's time. In Japan, they have been held twice a year, summer and winter." Additionally, some monasteries and Zen centers hold just one ango per year.
- Birx, Ellen (2005). Waking Up Together: Intimate Partnership on the Spiritual Path. Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0861713958. http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=0861713958&=Search&qt=owc_search.
- Fischer-Schreiber, Ingrid; Schuhmacher, Stephan; Woerner, Gert (1994). The Encyclopedia of Eastern Philosophy and Religion: Buddhism, Taoism, Zen, Hinduism. Shambhala Publications. ISBN 0877739803. http://www.worldcat.org/search?qt=worldcat_org_all&q=0877739803.
- Ford, James Ishmael (2006). Zen Master Who?: A Guide to the People and Stories of Zen. Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0861715098. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/70174891&referer=one_hit.
- Hakeda, Yoshito S.; Bankei; Haskel, Peter (1994). Bankei Zen: Translations from the Record of Bankei. Grove Press. ISBN 0802131840. http://www.worldcat.org/search?qt=worldcat_org_all&q=0802131840.
- Leighton, Taigen Dan; Okumura, Shohaku; Dogen (1996). Dogen's Pure Standards for the Zen Community a Translation of the Eihei Shingi. State University of New York Press. ISBN 0585046239. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/42854986&referer=brief_results.
- Maezumi, Taizan; Glassman, Bernard (2002). On Zen Practice: Body, Breath, Mind. Wisdom Publications. ISBN 086171315X. http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=086171315X&=Search&qt=owc_search.
- Prebish, Charles S (1999). Luminous Passage: The Practice and Study of Buddhism in America. University of California Press. ISBN 0520216970. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/39299808&referer=brief_results.
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