(Student Initiation)
Invitation to Become a Student at the Village Zendo

7:30 am to 5:00 pm

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 Enkyo Roshi, the Zendo’s abbot and spiritual director, 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 heads 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 has asked that, due to the limited space in her apartment, students refrain from giving her gifts. With the conclusion of this ceremony, student initiation is complete.

Tangaryo Schedule
7:30-12:00 zazen
12:00-1:00 lunch
1:00-3:30 zazen
3:30-4:00 break
4:00-5:00 tea with Roshi

To learn more about becoming a student, please e-mail Sensei Randall Ryotan Eiger: membership@villagezendo.org

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