Our virtual zazen is conducted on the Web through the Zoom meeting system. The Zoom web browser client will download automatically when you join your first Zoom meeting, and is also available ahead of time for manual download here.
The weekday morning, Wednesday evening and Saturday morning practice have separate formats. Please read the introduction for each before joining. Chant sheets for all are available here; detailed instructions for other elements of the practice will soon be available here.
Saturday zazen will follow the same general pattern as our in-person practice. You may join any time after 7:15am; at 7:25 a large gong will begin to sound at one-minute intervals. The last strike of the gong will be followed by a series of increasingly rapid strikes and a final strong one. The next three strikes on a smaller bell 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.
We host a 30-minute zazen session every weekday morning (Monday-Friday). The bonsho (large gong) begins at 6:40 a sequence calling us to settle prior to zazen at 6:45. The final strike of the bonsho is echoed by three slow strikes of the large kesu bell, then three strikes on a smaller bell indicate 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.