Practice with Us Virtually
When the Covid-19 Pandemic began, our community came together as did so many others via Zoom. Today will still offer a wholly virtual zazen practice each morning Monday to Friday and a hybrid in-person/virtual zazen practice on Saturday morning.
Saturday zazen online tracks with our in-person practice. You may join any time after 7:45am; at 7:53 a large wooden sounding board will begin to be struck at one-minute intervals. The last strike will be followed by a series of increasingly rapid strikes and a final strong one. Then three strikes on a bowl gong indicate the beginning of zazen.
A single bell 30 minutes later ends the meditation period and starts chanting of the O-kesa Gatha, the Robing Chant. This is followed by three prostrations, keyed to bell strikes. Next comes chanting of Identity of Relative and Absolute, followed by a brief dedication of merit. A final set of three prostrations, followed by the departure of the priest or head student, draws the service to a close--indicated by a final set of bells.
After a brief pause to resettle comfortably, and retrieve whatever food and drink we've prepared for ourselves, one of the leaders will propose a topic to set off the discussion, which can continue until 9:15.
Monday to Friday Morning Zazen
We host a 30-minute zazen session every weekday morning (Monday-Friday). We ask you to settle in starting at 6:40, and not later than 6:45. The bonsho (large gong) begins at 6:40 a sequence calling us to settle. The final strike of the bonsho at 6:45 is echoed by three slow strikes of the large kesu bell, then three strikes on a smaller bell, indicating the formal start of zazen.
The zazen concludes with a single strike on the small bell, followed by chanting the O-kesa Gatha, the Robing Chant. Each of three measured strikes of the large kesu signals the start of a seated bow, which is ended by a damped strike on the same bell. Those bows (which would be prostrations in the zendo) are followed by a strike on the smaller kesu, indicating the start of a seated bow; that bow ends with the second strike of the small kesu. A final seated bow with hands clasped at the chest concludes the session.