Rochester Zen Center

Formal Morning Sittings with Chanting

Tuesday through Friday: 5:45 – 7:00 a.m.

Saturday: 6:15 – 7:30 a.m.

Sunday: 8:30 – 10:45 a.m.

Formal morning zazen consists of an hour of zazen with a bell for change of posture at the half-way point (no kinhin), followed by a 15-minute chanting service. Dokusan is offered on Wednesday mornings.

On Saturday, sitting starts half an hour later than on weekdays.

On Sunday, there is a 50-minute sitting with a bell at the half-way point for change of posture, followed by kinhin, chanting and a talk (teisho or Dharma talk). Refer to the calendar for dates of Sunday sittings, which are always marked.

Formal Evening Sittings

Monday 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Tuesday 7:00 – 8:45 p.m.

Thursday 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Friday 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Formal evening zazen on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays consists of three 35-minute rounds with kinhin.

Dokusan is offered on Monday evenings, Wednesday mornings, and most Thursday evenings.

On Tuesdays, there are three 25-minute rounds, followed by a chanting service. Both daisan and Group Instruction are offered in the second round, and everyone is invited to stay for refreshments following chanting. On Fridays, daisan is also offered.

On Thursdays, there is sometimes a special ceremony following one or two rounds of zazen. These are always marked on the calendar. When there is no event marked, there are three rounds of zazen.

On Saturdays when a workshop is held, there is no formal morning sitting. Before a 7-day sesshin, there is no formal sitting in the zendo on Friday evening or Saturday morning. The normal sitting schedule continues during the week of sesshin although there is no dokusan or daisan. On the Sunday morning after sesshin, we have a special breakfast for sesshin participants, and sitting beforehand is informal. The regular schedule begins again on Monday evening following sesshin.

Informal Sitting

The zendo is open for members to come and sit informally at all times outside of formal sittings. There is an informal sitting from 12:00 to 12:30, Tuesday through Saturday. Robes are not worn for this sitting in the midst of the workday.

Daily Training Schedule

5:15 a.m. Wake-up bell (Saturday 5:45)

5:45 – 7:00 Zazen and chanting (Saturday 6:15 – 7:30)

7:30 – 8:00 Breakfast in dining room (signaled by 3 strikes on the han)

8:00 Work begins with brief meeting in dining room

10:00 – 10:15 Tea Break

10:15 – 12:00 Work

12:00 – 12:30 Zazen (Tuesday – Saturday)

12:30 – 1:30 Lunch and Break

1:30 – 3:30 Work

3:30 – 3:45 Chanting (Bell and Block on Tuesdays & Saturdays)

Leftovers are available in the staff kitchen for residents’ evening meals.

There is no work on Sunday, though attendance at sitting and teisho is required for all trainees (as are all sittings, ceremonies and other Center activities). Brunch is served following teisho; other meals are taken in the staff kitchen.

On full workdays lunches are sometimes formal – make sure the Head of Zendo or Zendo Assistant shows you what to do before you go to your first formal meal.

Monday is a day off until the evening sitting.

There is no wake-up bell on Sunday or Monday.