Temporary Virtual Zendo
This is our temporary online zendo, to support Mid City Zen with some virtual offerings in this difficult, confusing and hectic time, until we can meet again in person.
We will be having virtual zazen at the regular time Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings 8-8:30am. Essentially, you can set yourself up at home, click the link a few minutes early and sit together (the han wooden bell starts at 7:45am). The doan will ring 3 bells to begin and 1 to end. We will close with the refuge prayer (see below).
Sunday zazen, dharma talk and discussion will be 9:30-11am
10:05 Study group, current text: Not Always So by Shunryu Suzuki
Participants join the online zendo by accessing the internet a few minutes before the scheduled time; click this link to open Zoom Video Conference:
Or connect by phone:
Dial in number
+1 312 626 6799
Meeting ID: 692 088 788
How does a virtual zendo work?
Please join sittings a few minutes before the scheduled time, so as to be seated and settled in place before the period of zazen begins. If this is your first time using Zoom, give yourself a few minutes to download the software on your computer. If you are on a tablet or mobile device, be sure to add the Zoom app, available on both Android and Apple. If you have problems or questions, please reach out to Jon Voss for support.
At 8:00 AM (CST), the moderator will ring three bells to begin zazen. At 8:30, there will be one bell to end. Then, there will be a pause while we keep our microphones on mute and chant along with the closing Refuge Prayer (in Pali), after which time feel free to unmute.
The Refuges in Pali
Buddham saranam gacchami
Dhammam saranam gacchami
Sangham saranam gacchami
Dutiyampi buddham saranam gacchami
Dutiyampi dhammam saranam gacchami
Dutiyampi sangham saranam gacchami
Tatiyampi buddham saranam gacchami
Tatiyampi dhammam saranam gacchami
Tatiyampi sangham saranam gacchami
Guidelines and Online Zendo Forms
(thank you to San Francisco Zen Center for the following guidelines and tips)
Traditionally, to help facilitate a calm and settled space so that practitioners can attend to the moment-to-moment unfolding of experience in meditation, there are Zendo practices, or forms, agreed upon and practiced with harmony in mind:
Minimize visual distractions
If using a desktop computer, shift the space from a workstation to a practice space by clearing or covering work papers. Please be sure to not have pictures with text or light sources directly in front of the camera.
One recommended way to sit is in profile, facing away from the computer screen. This allows participants not to be distracted by the movement of other sangha members, mirroring our formal practice of facing the wall during zazen. Some choose to sit off-camera; that's also fine.
Minimize visual distractions for others:
Please face the camera away from any direct light sources, including candles. Many members position the camera to face an altar or incense.
Minimize audible distractions for yourself and others:
Care well for silence in the online zendo until the closing recitation.
As a chime sounds when sangha members enter and leave the online zendo, to cultivate the harmony of practicing together, please join on time.
Best practices include muting the microphone upon entering the online zendo. At the bell to end zazen, feel free to unmute the microphone and join in the closing recitation.
Before zazen let the body and mind know:
Bow in by bowing towards and away from cushion/chair. This is traditionally done with palms together.
Bow out, while seated, at the end of the closing recitation. Upon standing, fluff the meditation cushion, or otherwise care for the seat of practice.
Tips for using Zoom
The online zendo often opens a few minutes before zazen is scheduled to begin. New attendees, please take 10 - 15 minutes before the first sitting to become familiar with a few of the common functions. Practitioners tend to settle into the online zendo more easily after having oriented themselves.
Here are step-by-step instructions for exploring a few common functions in Zoom, the home of the online zendo.
To adjust the audio:
We do recommend muting microphone during zazen (to limit the background sounds that are heard by others). To do this, click on the microphone icon (conveniently labelled Mute/Unmute) found in the lower left corner of the Zoom screen. The image of a microphone with a slash indicates mute.
To adjust the video:
The two most commonly used controls to adjust video in the online zendo are Start/Stop Video (bottom left) and Enter Full Screen Click (top right).
Other common controls:
Chat: connects listeners with the moderator, and shows the closing recitation.
Participants: allows attendees to see who else is in the online zendo.
***Note: Please, do not click share screen.
And here are some more tips on getting started with Zoom.