An ango (安居), or kessei (結制), is a Japanese term for a three-month period of intense training for students of Zen Buddhism, lasting anywhere from 90 to 100 days. The practice during ango consists of meditation (zazen), study, and work (samu(作務)).
Ango is 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. Additionally, some monasteries and Zen centers hold just one ango per year.
The training format of the traditional three-month Ango has a long history. It started at the time of the Buddha, when he and his disciples would gather together during the rainy season. In today’s Japan all monks have to participate in a number of Angos in order to receive their licenses as bona fide priests.
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