Guidelines for Beginners

The Basic Guidelines for Beginners


Dress neatly, modestly, and discreetly. Your clothing should cover your legs and shoulders. Long pants, skirts, and dresses that are clean, loose-fitting, and of subdued colors, are appropriate. Slip-on shoes are suggested, since they are more easily removed for entering the Zendo, the Buddha Hall and the Dharma Hall.

Do not wear:

  • jeans, shorts, or short skirts/dresses
  • noisy jewelry
  • tank-tops or shirts with messages
  • perfume or cologne
  • anything ripped or torn
  • hats

Your attire should in no way call attention to itself or disturb the spirit of silence and harmony in the Zendo.

Do not bring into the meditation hall any device that can make sounds (such as phone, alarm watch, pager, tablet). If at all possible, leave it in your car. If you must bring it with you, leave it with your shoes and ensure that it will not ring, beep, vibrate, or attract attention in any way while in the building.

Sitting apparatus

We use a variety of furniture for zazen and are always searching for new items. Zazen is not meant to be torturous. Please find the item that allows you to sit with stability and comfort. You may use a round cushion (zafu), a square cushion (gomden), a low or tall bench, a stool, a chair, et cetera. In all cases, the basics of zazen posture apply: back upright to allow for proper breathing and hands in the zazen mudra.

Basic Guidelines

Silence. When we enter the zendo, we maintain Great Silence. We are silent in and around the zendo, especially during zazen and sesshin. There is no unnecessary talking in the zendo at any time.

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