Zenshinji Tassajara Zen Mountain Center Zen Mind Temple

Guidelines of Conduct &Precepts for Summer Practice

Each of us has come to Tassajara to practice the Buddha Way as it has been handed down through the Zen school. These Guidelines of Conduct, along with the Schedule, and the Precepts are the Body and Mind of Zen Buddhist training and practice. Please follow them completely and wholeheartedly.

Our great Ancestor Dogen Zenji taught that “decorum” – the respectful and sensitive manner in which we conduct ourselves – “is the Buddhadharma.” and: “There may very well be differences between those who have been practicing over many years and those who have just begun. Even so, all are the treasures of the community.”

Revised December, 2005

TYPICAL SUMMER SCHEDULE OF ZEN TRAINING
5:00 a.m. 5:30 5:50 6:50 7:15 7:30 8:30 12:00 p.m. 1:00 3:30 4:30 5:00 5:50 6:00 7:45 8:40 10:30 Informal zazen (optional) Wake-up bell Zazen Morning Service Soji (temple cleaning) Breakfast Work Meeting Lunch Work Meeting Dharma class (as announced) Resident & student bathing (silent) Informal zazen (optional) Evening Service Supper Informal zazen (optional) Zazen/Dharma Talk/Small Groups Firewatch (lights out)

2

PRIMARY REQUIREMENTS FOR PRACTICING AT TASSAJARA
• The Schedule, the Guidelines of Conduct, and the Precepts are the essence of our community life and training at Tassajara. Every resident and work-study student is required to keep them. The inability or unwillingness to follow them often indicates that this is not the right time to be at Tassajara. The Training Schedule at Tassajara: ‒ Morning and evening zazen ‒ Morning and evening service ‒ Soji (temple cleaning) ‒ Work practice ‒ Dharma talks ‒ Special classes (as announced) ‒ Special ceremonies (e.g., monthly renewal of Bodhisattva vows) ‒ Meetings of your small group ‒ Community meetings Please stay in touch with the Ino (head of the meditation hall), Tanto (head of practice), or a Practice Leader if any difficulty arises which might interfere with your following the Schedule, the Guidelines, or the Precepts.

ZENDO PRACTICES • All students are asked to make a commitment to follow the training schedule completely. Please attend morning and evening zazen, morning and evening service, soji (pre-breakfast temple cleaning), Dharma talks, and any special zendo events and ceremonies. Be on time for all events: allow yourself enough time to be able to arrive and settle before any event begins. If you are unable to attend any part of the schedule, communicate the reason to the Ino. This may be done by writing a note on the tenken pad in back of the zendo. Maintain quiet in and around the zendo. Do not talk on the zendo walkway. Walking, bowing, sitting, and rising from your seat should all be done silently. Muffle sounds such as coughing, sneezing, nose blowing, yawning, and clearing the throat. Feet should be clean.

• •

• • • •

3

• •

Do not place your feet on the meal boards. In addition to the required zazen schedule you are encouraged to attend early morning (5am), afternoon (5pm) and evening (7:45pm) informal zazen periods, especially if you are applying for practice periods.

ZENDO ATTIRE • Wear clean clothes to the zendo. Appropriate zendo clothing is neutral in color, and extends beyond the shoulders and below the knees. • It is traditional for priests to shave their heads with a razor; lay people are requested not to do so (hair may be buzzed with clippers). BOWING PRACTICE • When passing residents and other work-study students, stop and bow in gassho (palms together) – except in the courtyard, on the zendo walkway, and in the Bathhouse. SILENCE PRACTICE • Silence is an integral part of Zen training and many guests come to Tassajara to experience the silence and stillness that we cultivate here. We all contribute to the contemplative atmosphere of Tassajara. • Observe silence from evening zazen through the breakfast silent period. If it is necessary to speak during this time, do so in a way that supports the communal silence and doesn’t disturb others. • At breakfast and lunch there is a short period of silence after the meal chant, ending at the double hit of the clackers. • The “back door” snack area of the Kitchen is a silent area. • Be silent in the Bathhouse during residents’ bathing time (4:30 – 5:45pm). • Do not call to others from a distance. • Musical instruments should not be played at (or within hearing distance of) Tassajara. This practice of silence includes not singing or whistling within Tassajara. PRACTICE DISCUSSION • The Tanto (Head of Practice) and other Practice Leaders are available for private formal or informal practice discussion about Zen practice or any aspect of your life at Tassajara and any difficulties that may arise for you. • You may set up an appointment through the Tanto’s Jiko (ceremonial attendant), or directly with a Practice Leader, or ask the Ino for help in arranging a meeting. WORK PRACTICE • Work, supported by our zazen practice, is an important focus of Zen training during the summer. We practice working mindfully, carefully, efficiently, and 4

• • • • •

safely, cultivating an attitude of generosity. We work as silently as possible during the morning work period. Work Meeting is signaled twice a day (8:25am and 12:55pm) with a drum rolldown. Come on time, in work clothes, and ready for work. If unable to work for any reason, notify the Work Leader or your Crew Head. Do not bring food or drinks to work meeting. Always clean and return tools and equipment at the end of work.

KITCHEN / FOOD / MEALTIME PRACTICE • The Kitchen is one of the most important practice places of the temple. • Do not enter the working area of the Kitchen without permission. Never use the Kitchen as a passageway. • The walk-in refrigerator and the Upper Shack are off limits. • The “back door” snack area is a silent area. Fruit and leftovers are available for snacks. Snacks should be taken outside and eaten while seated in the student eating area and the stone office back porch. • If you become ill and need food brought to you, please notify the Ino. • If you have special dietary needs, speak with the Tenzo. • Wash your hands before doing any Kitchen work. • Meal times are signaled by the umpan (gong). When you hear it sound, go the Kitchen to help bring food to the student eating area. BATHHOUSE PRACTICE • Bathe during scheduled bath time (4:30pm – 5:45pm). • On your day off, you may bathe at any time up to 8:40pm. • The Bathhouse is closed to residents and work-study students after 8:40pm. • Before bathing, do three standing bows at the altar and recite the bath gatha (verse) silently. When leaving the baths, bow once to the altar. • Observe silence at the Bathhouse during student bath time. • Shower thoroughly before entering the “plunge” or steam room. • There is no mixed bathing for residents and work-study students, so men and women bathe only on their respective sides of the Bathhouse. PRACTICING WITH SEXUALITY • If you are part of a couple, please maintain behavior that supports our monastic practice. Do not isolate yourself from the community, respect silent times, and be sensitive about how affection is expressed in the presence of others. • Do not begin a new relationship at any time if you or the other person has not practiced at Tassajara for at least 6 months, or if you or the other person is under 18 years of age. • Do not engage in non-committed sexual relationships. 5

If you find yourself drawn into a relationship, either within or outside of these guidelines, it is important that you speak with a Practice Leader.

GENERAL GUIDELINES
DIVERSITY & MULTICULTURALISM • Tassajara welcomes people of every race, nationality, class, gender, or sexual orientation. Anyone who believes that this policy has been violated is encouraged to speak with the Director, the Tanto, or a Practice Leader. HARASSMENT • Harassment: It is the policy of Zen Center to prohibit verbal, physical and sexual harassment. Anyone who believes that this policy has been violated is encouraged to speak with the Director, the Tanto, or a Practice Leader. • For a detailed discussion, see the booklet, Ethical Principles and Procedures for Grievance and Reconciliation, and the “San Francisco Zen Center Work Practice Policy for Employees,” available from the Director. CLOTHING • Please dress modestly in a manner that is appropriate to and supportive of our life of practice. For example, do not wear short-shorts or thin-strapped tank tops, or go without a shirt or go barefoot. • Bathing suits are required at the swimming pool and at the narrows. Wear additional clothing to and from these areas. INTOXICANTS • Possession or use of alcohol, illegal or other inappropriate drugs by residents or work-study students is not permitted at Tassajara. FIRE • •

Due to great fire danger, never leave a burning lamp unattended. Candles in rooms are not permitted. Extinguish burning incense before leaving your room.

SMOKING • Because of health issues to self and others, the use of tobacco is discouraged at Tassajara. If you do smoke, use the smokers’ area. • Do not smoke inside buildings. U.S. Forest Service regulations absolutely prohibit smoking on trails or anywhere in the Ventana Wilderness Area.

6

HIKING • Trails in the Wilderness Area surrounding Tassajara are not always well marked or maintained, and it is very easy to get lost. • If you plan to go for a hike, consult with someone who knows the trail and tell someone at Tassajara the time that you are planning to return and your route. • If you do get lost and it is nearing evening, find shelter for the night. Do not deviate from your planned route. • Be aware of poison oak, rattlesnakes and ticks. Wear close-toed shoes, not sandals. Take plenty of drinking water. THE NARROWS • Because there is no mixed bathing for residents and work-study students, you are asked not to be at the narrows when guests are likely to be there. Students should always wear bathing suits there. DAYS OFF • On students’ day off (every 3rd or 4th day, depending on workplace) the Schedule is optional. • To support a stable practice, first-summer and short-term work-study students are not to leave Tassajara during their entire stay, except for vacations, medical emergencies or local hikes. • Those who have been at Tassajara for 6 consecutive months or more may go out on their day off (returning that evening) once every 5 calendar weeks and must check with the Director each time. TELEPHONE USE • The telephone in the booth near the Stone Office is for personal calls. • This is the only telephone at Tassajara available for personal use. Please limit your calls. If someone is waiting to use it, limit your call to 10 minutes from the time you started. • Use a phone card (available in the Stone Office) or credit card. • All calls to Tassajara residents and work-study students come in from Jamesburg and are posted on the message board in the mailroom. ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT • In keeping with our monastic lifestyle and because Tassajara generates its own electricity, do not bring any electrical equipment to Tassajara – including computers – without express permission from the Director. • Tassajara computers are not available for personal use. There is no Internet access. • Portable tape players may be used with headphones. Please listen in private or away from the central areas of Tassajara. 7

YOUR ROOM • Take care of your living space, keep it clean and orderly. • Clean your room thoroughly before you leave for the person who will be moving in after you. If you have questions about, or difficulties with any of these practice guidelines, please speak with a Practice Leader.

8

THE TEN CLEAR-MIND PRECEPTS
1. 2. A follower of Buddha does not kill, but cherishes all life. A follower of Buddha does not take what is not given, but respects the property of others. A follower of Buddha does not misuse sexuality, but practices faithfulness and self-restraint with others. A follower of Buddha does not lie, but communicates the truth. A follower of Buddha does not intoxicate mind or body of self or others, but cultivates clarity of body-mind. A follower of Buddha does not slander, but takes responsibility for one’s own life and practice. A follower of Buddha does not praise self or blame others, but cultivates understanding and humility. A follower of Buddha is not possessive of anything, but cultivates generosity. A follower of Buddha does not harbor hatred or ill will, but transforms anger into compassion.

3.

4. 5.

6.

7.

8. 9.

10. A follower of Buddha does not abuse the Three Treasures, but honors the Buddha, unfolds the Dharma, and nourishes the Sangha.

“Just sit and see what happens…. Following the rules lets you find yourself…. The rules are not something to restrict you, but something to support your practice.” -Suzuki Roshi

9

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.