The custom of Tangaryo dates to the earliest days of Zen when those wishing to enter training would sit for long periods of time to demonstrate the sincerity of their aspiration. During Tangaryo, those who wish to become VZ Formal Students sit 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, as needed, to go to the bathroom or refresh themselves for further sitting.
At the conclusion of Tangaryo there is a brief ceremony during which Enkyo Roshi welcomes the new students on behalf of the Village Zendo teachers. Following the ceremony, there is an informal tea that provides an opportunity to chat and ask questions.
It is customary, following Tangaryo, to make a donation to the Zendo. The donation, known as “incense money”, should be an amount that you can easily afford. There is no minimum or maximum amount for this donation.
3:45 – Formal Student ceremony followed by informal tea