Bend Zen Group Meditation Format
We sit for three 25-minute meditation periods. You are welcome to stay for one, two, or all of the periods.
We begin with a short reading followed by a chant. Three strikes of the meditation bell will begin the first 25 minute period of meditation.
The period ends with two strikes of the bell. Stand in front of your cushion/chair. At the sound of the wooden clappers being struck, bow; turn to your left. At the sound of the two wooden clappers being struck again, drop your hands, loosely clasp them at the waist and begin a four minute period of slow walking meditation. At the end of slow walking meditation the wooden clappers will sound, bow and begin a four minute period of fast walking meditation. If a bathroom break is needed, this is a good time to go. Rejoin the group, in sitting order, during the period of fast walking. At the end of the fast walking, the clappers will be struck again as a signal to return to your seat. For new meditators unused to three periods of sitting, this is a good time to leave. We will see you next week. Stand with palms together. At the sound of the wooden clappers, bow and return to your chair, bench or cushion.
Repeat the above sequence two more times to complete the three periods of meditation. If you get lost in the process don’t worry about it. Just follow along as best you can. The important thing is that each meditation period is separated by a short period of slow and fast walking meditation.
After the last period of sitting the bell will sound and you are invited to join us in repeating the Four Great Bodhisattva Vows (below; repeated three times) or continue sitting with compassion for all beings:
Beings are numberless, I vow to free them
Delusions are inexhaustible, I vow to end them
Dharma gates are boundless, I vow to enter them
The Buddha way is unsurpassable, I vow to embody it
Please help by returning cushions to the storage area and replacing the chairs in the sanctuary.
Note: The formality of the format helps ensure silent transitions in movement while maintaining an attitude of mindfulness