Invitation to Become a Student at the Village Zendo
The Village Zendo"s next student initiation (“Tangaryo”) will be held on Friday, November 18. If you have not yet formally become a student at the Village Zendo, and wish to do so, please read the information below. To learn more about becoming a student, please e-mail Sensei Randall Ryotan Eiger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student Initiation (“Tangaryo”)
One of the requirements for becoming a Student Member of Village Zendo is “Tangaryo,” or all-day sitting. This custom dates to the earliest days of Zen when those wishing to enter into training would sit for long periods of time in order to demonstrate the sincerity of their aspiration. Tanga is a Japanese term meaning “staying until the morning.” It refers to the overnight stay in a Zen monastery of a wandering monk on pilgrimage. The room set aside for this purpose was known as the tangaryo.
At the Village Zendo we have continued this tradition. After discussing their wish to become a student with Roshi, student candidates devote a day to Tangaryo. The day begins with zazen that continues until mid-afternoon. The zazen is unstructured — no bells ring to mark the end of the period and there is no kinhin. Candidates may take short breaks, if needed, to go to the bathroom or refresh themselves for further sitting.
In the middle of the afternoon, Tangaryo ends and, shortly afterwards, the new students exchange bows and sit down to tea with Roshi who greets them on behalf of the Village Zendo teaching staff. It is customary at this time to present Roshi with a small monetary donation — there is no minimum or maximum amount required. Roshi and Joshin Sensei have asked that, due to the limited space in their apartment, students refrain from giving them gifts.
With the conclusion of this ceremony, student initiation is complete.