Upon entering the front door, remove shoes. Socks or meditation slippers are worn indoors.
When the candle is lit, silence is observed.
||Entering and Exiting
Enter quietly, depart quietly. Should it be necessary to enter or leave
once the practice period has begun; be as unobtrusive as possible.
During kinhin (walking meditation between sitting periods) is the preferable opportunity to enter late or depart early.
||Respect the Cushion & Mat
Approach and handle the zafu and zabuton in a mindful way. When moving cushions and mats, carry them mindfully.
With hands in Gassho, bows upon entering the zendo, before the zafu,
and to the sangha members opposite, prepares the mind for zazen. Bows
are offered at other transitions, such as as the beginning and end of
periods of sitting and walking meditation, periods of chanting, and at
the end of the practice period. Why bow?
"When we bow
to the zafu and the wall we are bowing inwards to our own heart, our
own Buddha Nature, the true reality of our being, rather than our narrow
sense of personal identity. When we bow to the person opposite us, we
are bowing outwards - expressing appreciation for the Buddhist community
we are practicing with and for the world beyond it. We are bowing to
one another's Buddha Nature."
Bells mark transitions in the practice period.
quick series of tones calls one to the cushion and signals one to
prepare for zazen; after bows to the cushion and the sangha opposite,
become seated, facing the wall. Three long tones signal the beginning of
a sitting period; two long tones signal the end of a period. Bells
similarly mark periods of kinhin (walking meditation) and Bodhisattva
Wear clothing that is comfortable for sitting practice, and non-distracting to others.