About a Zazen meeting that I’m participating in

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I practice Zazen regularly at a Buddhist temple close to my house.

That Soto sect temple has a hall for practicing Zazen called, Zendo.

The temple holds Zazen meetings early in the morning twice a month, and a chief priest gives us guidance for Zazen.

Surprisingly, it’s free of charge, and the participants need not be followers of the Soto sect.

Most Zazen meetings held by the Soto sect are free of charge. Even if there is a fee, it costs next to nothing.

This time, I will write about a Zazen meeting that I’m participating in.

Participants gather at a main hall of the temple at six o’clock.

I always go there earlier.

The tranquil atmosphere in the temple refreshes me.

The chief priest appears before us on time.

We head for a Zendo hall following the chief priest.

We have to squeeze our left hands around our thumbs and cover the left hands with our right hands. This is called “Sasyu”.

By the way, there are detailed manners in Zazen. But I won’t mention them because it will take a while to explain.

We face a wall in the Zendo hall and sit in the Zazen position.

At first, we practice Zazen for 20 minutes.

After that, we walk around the Zendo hall in a certain way. This is called, Kinhin.

We practice “Kinhin” for 10 minutes.

To tell the truth, I’m not good at Kinhin because matching my breathing with my movements is difficult.

After Kinhin, we practice Zazen for 20 minutes again.

The Zazen meeting takes about 60 minutes, but the time flies so fast for me.

Zazen changed me in a good way, so I want to keep learning it more and more.

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