The very first visit to a zendo is often an experience of not-knowing. Even when you have read books bout Zen and sat zazen alone, it will be different from what you might expect. Most of us are accustomed to western religious traditions and Zen Buddhism is a new experience. Usually we are more alert on this evening of practice than on any other. Whatever your reason for coming, trust it and be lead by it. Enjoy the whole experience.
Arrive between 6:20 and 6:30 pm if you wish instruction in zazen. Wear modest and comfortable clothing of muted colors. You may sit on a cushion, a sitting, bench, or a chair. A Sangha member will greet you, offer zazen instruction, and tell you a little about zendo ritual. It is helpful if you e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know that you are coming. We ask that all be seated at their space by 6:55 pm.
We begin the evening at 7:00 pm with a short Zen Buddhist service of bowing and chanting. Sutra, or chant, books will be given to you. the page numbers will be announced. Follow along as well as you are able.
After service, we begin zazen. Our sitting schedule varies depending on the activity of the evening. When a talk will be offered, we sit one 35-minute period followed by kinhin, or walking meditation. The talk follows. When a private meeting with the guiding teacher is offered, we sit three 25-minute periods with two periods of kinhin.
The evening ends with the chanting of the Four Bodhisattva Vows, three bows, and the chanting of the Evening Gatha. We finish by 9:00 pm.
We ask that, if they are able, practitioners offer a donation. This goes directly to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation who allow us to use their space for our Wednesday Evening Zazen. $5.00 is a suggested amount. More is always welcome as the space is a great gift to us. We ask that you give as you are able. Your presence with us is the greatest gift. All are welcome. A basket will be on the credenza at your left as you enter.