Today we will look at how to enter, walk through and be seated in the ”Zendo‘ ( ‘Sitting Hall’ ) …

For our Retreat, it is suggested that one find a quiet, isolated space at home, where one can be alone with just a Zafu (and one’s computer too! Of course, your computer will be dedicated to our Retreat that weekend, not any other web surfing!). A bare or uncluttered room is suggested, but if that is not possible, remember that true “clutter” is found in the mind.

There should also be a single Buddha Statue (although a “Buddha Statue” need not be a “Statue of a Buddha“, and can be a flower, stone, rubber ball, coke bottle or any item in the whole universe … we will talk about that in a later ‘sit-a-long‘). Place the ‘Buddha Statue’ on a small, raised table, preferably in the center of the room … not against the wall. We place the ‘Buddha Statue’ in the center of the room, not against the wall, as we wish to avoid passing in front, but always pass behind if we need to cross the room. (However, if one must pass in front, then that is alright … but it is nice to offer a little apologetic bow when passing. 🙂 )

When entering the Zen Hall, hold your hands in Shashu position and step forward with your left foot at the left side of the entrance. When leaving the Zen Hall, step out with your left foot at the other side of the entrance. After entering the hall each time, bow in Gassho toward the Buddha Statue and go to your seat. DO NOT cross in a diagonal ‘short cut’ across the room if needing to cross, but walk the ‘long way’ following the length of the walls, crossing behind the Buddha Statue (if in the center of the room). At all times when walking, please keep one’s hands in Shashu (see picture below)

shashu delete.jpg

When you arrive at your seat, face the Zafu cushion and bow in Gassho. Fluff your Zafu while rotating it clockwise, then Gassho again to the Zafu. Next, turn around to the right (clockwise) until your seat is behind you, and Gassho to the open room. Sit down on your Zafu, spin around to the right (clockwise), and sit facing the wall. (If you cannot easily spin around, it is alright just to sit down facing the wall).

At the end of Zazen, the procedure is reversed … Spin to the right (clockwise) until again facing the room, and carefully (especially after a long sitting) stand up. Turn again to the right (clockwise) to face the Zafu, fluff it again while rotating, and replace it (or for Kinhin, place it out of the way). Gassho toward the Zafu. turn again right (clockwise) to face the room, Gassho toward the room. If beginning Kinhin turn to the left. If leaving the Zen Hall, retrace your steps to enter. Bow in Gassho toward the Buddha Statue before exiting.To the degree possible, we will maintain silence during our two day Retreat. Keep all talk to a minimum, and avoid to speak unless truly an emergency.

… Jundo will now demonstrate:

(you should set the video to “FULL SCREEN” with the button at the right)

Press on arrow for ‘play’


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