Zendo Guidelines

Guidelines For A Harmonious Zendo & Practice

“Why do we have regulations and rules? We have them in order to be well-balanced and harmonious with ourselves and within a group. When we really establish such harmony, that is what the sangha is; that is what the Sangha Treasure is. If you were in harmony and the group were in harmony, then maybe we wouldn’t need rules and regulations. But since we aren’t, well, maybe we have to follow them. . So please, really observe these very simple things.”

–Taizan Maezumi Roshi

Please wear clothing that is comfortable and not distracting in color or style.

Please do not socialize or make casual conversation in the zendo.

Please make a standing bow toward the altar when entering or leaving the zendo except when going to dokusan (private interview with the teacher).

Except during kinhin (walking meditation), please make a standing bow when crossing in front of the altar.

When taking your seat in the zendo, bow to your cushion, then turn and bow to the assembly.

If you need to change your position during sitting, bow and quietly assume another zazen position. Do not squirm, scratch or fidget during zazen.

In order to foster an attentive mind, we recommend that when you walk in the zendo, you walk in shashu with your hands folded at your waist and your gaze lowered at a 45-degree angle with the floor.

Leave your place neat and your cushion centered on the zabuton (sitting mat) before leaving the zendo. Return seiza (sitting) bench to the place where you got it and replace with the cushion.

If you arrive during service, first leave your shoes, coat and bag in the coatroom, take a seat on a cushion in the outer area, and wait until service is over to join the assembly for zazen. Should you arrive during zazen, take your shoes, coat and bag to the coatroom, wait on a cushion in the outer area until kinhin, then join us for the next period.

Please don’t talk in the zendo anterooms during zazen or kinhin—use the hallway outside the door.

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