Forms and Etiquette
Open Mind Zen Forms and Etiquette
Etiquette in the Zendo (Meditation Hall)
By following these procedures as a sangha (group of practitioners), we will create reverence and respect for our Zen practice. If we all do this together, it will deepen our experience and create an environment of quiet and stability.
- When you enter, please remove your shoes and silence your cell phone. Even if your phone is on vibrate, we will hear it in the zendo, so please turn it all the way off. Phones, shoes, and other personal items can be stowed in the cubbies. This keeps the zendo clear of clutter and distraction.
- Before meditation, greeting others and any socializing takes place in the front room. When we enter the zendo, we bow and enter silence. You can enter the zendo any time you wish to begin meditating. We have cushions, chairs, and benches for sitting. When we arrive at our seat, we bow to our cushion or chair, then turn and bow to the seat across from you.
- The bell to start meditation rings promptly on the hour, so please be settled in your seat by that time.
- Dokusan/Daisan: Optional private interviews with the teacher take place outside. They begin with a bell. We proceed clockwise, starting to the left of the teacher. If you would like dokusan, give the person to your right a few moments. If they don’t get up, you may bow and proceed quietly out to meet the teacher. For a more detailed explanation of dokusan, see below.
- Kinhin: Walking meditation is practiced between periods of seated meditation. This is an opportunity to maintain mindful awareness, and also give the body a chance to move. Instructions will be given as needed in the zendo.
- Please assist in clearing the space at the end of our meeting. Wipe off your cushions and stack in the back of the zendo. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions that may arise.