Visiting the Sangha
We welcome new visitors to the Sangha. To make your first experience most pleasant, we would like to let you know ahead of time about how to conduct yourself at the Sangha.
Approaching and Entering the Sangha
For our meditation periods we always face the wall (Soto Zen practice of serene reflection meditation).
Approach your meditation place. Make gassho to your place; turn clockwise and make gassho across the meditation hall, whether anyone is there or not. Continue turning clockwise until you face your meditation place again, and then sit down. Meditators sitting near you will know when to turn and face into the room for services. Follow them.
When meditation and any service are over we process out of the meditation hall in a particular order. Everyone moves clockwise around the hall following the person on your left. The person nearest the door walks to the doorway and turns back to make gassho to the altar. The next person in the line makes gassho to the person leaving since s/he is making gassho. The second person then moves to exit the hall and the process continues until all have exited. The whole group will be gathering in the reception room for announcements from the guide.
Here are several instances where we always make gassho (bow)(see glossary):