The suggestion is that where possible, we maintain our usual schedule (summarised below). We must be realistic, though, and adapt this if necessary to the changed circumstances of our sitting.
|7.30 - 8.00pm||Seated meditation|
|8.00 - 8.10pm||Kin-hin (walking meditation)|
|8.10 - 8.40pm||Seated meditation|
It is always advised to have a quiet place to sit (preferably one dedicated to the purpose, even if only in the corner of a room... but that's not always possible). You might want to set up an altar - the basic elements are a 'rupa' (Buddha-figure or alternative... even just an interesting-looking rock if it has some meaning for you!), a candle, flowers and incense. Or whatever works for you.
I'll be starting by offering incense and three full bows at 7.30pm, and ending by reciting the Four Vows (three times as usual). It's not necessary, but it sets the intention for the coming practice. Here are the Vows if you want to chant them:
Sentient beings are numberless, I vow to save them all;(Yes, it's impossible to keep these vows...! Ask me about them some day and we can chat perhaps after Zen one evening...!)
Desires are inexhaustible, I vow to put an end to them;
The Dharmas are boundless, I vow to master them;
The Buddha Way is unsurpassable; I vow to attain it.
Even if you don't usually (or often, or recently...!!) sit with us, I'd encourage you to set this time aside and do some or all of the time with us each Wednesday evening. If you've not sat before but want to take advantage of the pandemic to try it for the first time, I'd be very happy to chat with you about it. Usually, I'd spend about 20mins or so chatting face-to-face before your first sit, but as an alternative, give me a call (number below) a day or so beforehand and we can talk. If I can't take the call, leave a message and I'll call back.
I've set up a WhatsApp group for anyone who's keen to join in - send me your phone number (email@example.com or text me at 07807 753 781) and I'll add you to the group. We'll check in with each other just before the start of the session at about 7.20pm, and say thanks and goodnight at the end. Do feel free to use it to keep in touch more generally for the rest of the week.