In brief, Ango is a three-month period of intensified zen practice that began in Japan. It would sometimes be observed twice a year, fall to winter and spring to summer. Treeleaf annually observes a 90-day Ango from fall to winter, roughly September to December. This is my second Ango with them and I find it to be a lovely practice. In essence, everyone commits to intensifying their practice individually, and then we all support each other along the way.
Some examples might include longer daily meditation periods, donating to charity, letting go of a certain attachment, participating with sangha activities such as the annual precepts study, zazenkais, and so on.
This can be challenging for me, especially while in grad school! In fact, I had reservations at first… how am I going to fit this all in? Do I really have time for these commitments? These questions and reservations melted away as I actually began Ango this month. I find I am grateful for it once I do it. It gives me reason to pause and pull myself out of the rush I all too often get swept into. It opens doors for me to get to know the sangha better. Overall, it reminds me the importance of observing our practice that is beneficial in so many ways.