Iron Bell Zen
First Day Basics
When to arrive?
It is important to arrive before the beginning of meditation (zazen). Please plan to arrive at least 10 minutes before the start of zazen to avoid disturbing others. If you arrive after our 9:00, please enter quietly and find an open spot to begin sitting. If you arrive late and it is your first time meditating, please wait until the second sitting and we can instruct you about sitting postures etc.
What to wear and bring?
What to do after you arrive?
How do I get ready to sit and what about all the bowing?
When you first arrive, prior to the start of the meditation session, please set up your pillow or zabuton and zafu in the sodo (meditation hall). A minute or two before 9:00 we enter the sodo find our cushions and prepare to meditate. Prior to entering the sodo, we ask that all participants make a small bow as a sign of respect and acknowledgement of the space in which we will meditate. If you wish to follow a more formal and traditional Soto approach you can bow in the following manner: When you enter the sodo, bow in gassho (hands held palms together) walk to your seat, without walking back and forth on the green mat. When you arrive at your seat, bow towards the seat in gassho, and then turn right and bow in gassho to the opposite seats. All bowing is done as sign of respect for the space and to acknowledge our fellow practitioners. In summary, when you first enter Iron bell, please make a small bow. When moving from our foyer into the area where we will begin to sit please bow again. When in doubt just follow what others are doing. Please take off your shoes before entering the sodo (where the wood floor meets the green mat). There is a wooden container to hold your shoes, purses and other materials. Please make sure the ringer to your phone is turned off. You may wear socks or go barefoot on the green mat.