What to Expect

The Henry David Thoreau Zen Sangha is open to the public. All who are interested in Zen meditation are welcome to come and practice with us. Our practice combines elements of Japanese Soto and Rinzai practice, Korean Seon, and the Haruda-Yasutani koan curriculum.

Every weekly practice meeting includes a briefing chanting service, two periods of zazen sitting meditation, and five or more minutes of walking meditation. One meeting in every three weeks includes a talk by a Zen teacher on some aspect of practice, followed by open discussion. Another meeting in every three weeks provides the opportunity for a voluntary individual meeting (in Zoom breakout room) with a teacher to discuss issues related to your practice.

If we are practicing on Zoom, think of the room in which you are practicing as the zendo (or meditation hall). Prior to entering the zendo, we silence our phones, remove our shoes, and leave them outside the room.

If you are new to Zen practice, please see the "Notes on Monday Night" page for more details about chanting, bowing, sitting meditation, walking meditation, etc. Please do not worry about memorizing all of these forms. You can just follow along with the other sangha members on Zoom, and our practice leaders will provide pointers or guidance as needed.

If you are comfortable with meditating in stillness and are familiar with zazen and with Zen liturgy, you are welcome to join us at any point. In any case, we do encourage even old hands to meet up with us for a short orientation, if only to introduce yourself and get acquainted.