2020-09-04

Home Practice

Practicing every day, or nearly every day, is a crucial aspect of the Zen path. Other central aspects include sangha (meeting weekly or so to practice with a group), and sesshin (going on occasional week-end or week-long Zen retreats).

Home practice ideally includes Zazen, study of zen text (or listening to a recording or podcast of a dharma talk), and chanting/reciting some of Zen's central texts.

Recommended:
  • Sitting supplies: A zabuton (mat) and either a zafu (round cushion, usually of kapok or buckwheat hulls), or a seiza bench (kneeling bench); or a chair that is your meditation chair
  • A dedicated space: A corner of a room that is used only for Zen practice, where your sitting supplies and a small altar reside
  • An altar: a small table with a Buddha statue and maybe an incense holder, candle, or sacred items.
There are many ways to structure home practice. Here's one:
  • Light a candle, stick of incense, or both, on your altar.
  • Standing in front of altar, facing it, make three bows (protrations or standing bows) to Buddha.
  • Recite "Gatha of Atonement" (odd-numbered dates) or "The Three Refuges" (even-numbered dates);
  • Recite Dedication; Opening Verse (use Sutra Book and audio below)
  • Zazen (25 mins)
  • Recite the Sutra Service Readings for the week (use Sutra Book and audio below)
  • Dharma Study time: reading a dharma book or listening to a dharma talk recording (15-30 mins)
  • Recite Closing Verses (use Sutra Book and audio below)

Summer Week 13: Sep 14-20

Sutra Book for printing (double-columned pages):
CLICK HERE.
Sutras for reading on your computer screen (single-column pages):
CLICK HERE.
Page references below are to the two-column version.

Opening: Odd-Numbered Dates
7th Fourweek since Vernal Equinox: Mon Sep 7 - Sun Oct 4
  • Gatha of Atonement, p. 1
  • Dedication 1, p. 1
  • Clear Mind, p. 5
Audio player below or CLICK HERE.


Opening: Even-Numbered Dates
7th Fourweek since Vernal Equinox: Mon Sep 7 - Sun Oct 4
  • The Three Refuges, p. 1
  • Dedication 1, p. 1
  • Clear Mind, p. 5
Audio player below or CLICK HERE.


Zazen
  • 25 mins.
Sutra Service
Week 13: Sep 14-20, section 13B
  • Heart Sutra, p. 11
  • Facing Everything, p. 36
  • The Field of Boundless Emptiness, p. 37
  • Guidepost for Silent Illumination, p. 37
Audio player below or CLICK HERE.


Dharma Study
  • Book or podcast, 15-30 mins. (Check out "A Quarterly Study Plan" on the Reading/Videos page.)
Closing Verse
7th Fourweek since the Vernal Equinox: Mon Sep 7 - Mon Oct 4
  • There Is No End, p. 40
  • The Four Bodhisattva Vows, p. 42
Audio player below or CLICK HERE.


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