These rules are being read by the Roshi in Japanese and in English by the head monk while the sangha sit in seiza with the head bowed down onto the tatami.
Doing Sanzen is of the utmost importance in following the way. At any time Sanzen may be requested. Always inform the jikijitsu and or jisha or your coming and going.
Enter the Zendo with Gassho, when leaving the hands should be in shashu. When moving in the Zendo observe the set rules. Do not pass back and forth in front of the altar of Monju-Bosatsu and do not walk near the tan in a way that will disturb people’s meditation.
There should be no coming and going during a period of zazen except for the times of sanzen. Going to the toilet is only to be done in the intervals between zazen. Refrain from unnecessary coming and going in and out, absolutely no speaking unless necessary.
There will be no absence from Kinhin, dragging of Zori or detaining of the walking. If Kinhin is impossible due to injury or illness, report it to the jikijitsu and stand in front of your tan during Kinhin.
The keisaku is to be used without fail, when someone is sleeping, but also if they are not sitting correctly even if they are awake. When receiving the keisaku, gassho and do teito. To raise even one egoistic thought from the person with the keisaku or to have thoughts of anger from the person receiving the keisaku is forbidden.
The two daily sareis may not be refused. Food remaining from the sareis must never be thrown away.
To make your tanbuton, tatami or desk untidy is forbidden. Nor may writing materials be kept out. Never crumple up your zazen clothes on your tanbuton and leaving through the back door in an improperly dressed condition is forbidden.
Even at times of unsupervised sitting it is forbidden to purposely sit sleepily of to sit leaning against the wall.
Even if your back and shoulders become tired from sitting it is forbidden to use the keisaku personally.
Going into town or unnecessarily spending time in the administrative quarters is forbidden. If there is some unavoidable business, report first to the jikijistu or jisha. Going into town is only permitted on free days.
During morning sutras the keisaku may be used one hit on the right shoulder to those who are continually sleeping.
After Kaichin yaza should be begin quickly with no unnecessary turning on of lights or wandering around visiting. This is not a time for anything but yaza. Do not read the sutras or do prostrations out of unison. And there is to be no whispering at these times
No travelling to far places is permitted during the time of training except to a parent or parent priests funeral.
When a new arrival enters the Zendo he will do his prostrations before Monju Bosatsu, then go and do gassho and bows to the head of the tan and the head monk. After that the new arrival goes to the jisha`s place and waits, following the jisha’s announcement of the enw arrival, he goes to the place assigned him.
During takuhatsu, don’t let your hands dangle or warm them inside your koromo. Also forbidden is dragging your zoris, talking among each other and interrupting those who intend to give offerings to monks of good deportment. If you meet traffic on the way allow it to go by, following the traffic rules for stopping an going without forgetting monk like behaviour at any times.
If you become sick, tell the head monk and jisha. Leave the Zendo and retire to the sick room until you recover. While in the sick room, no reading, writing, telling jokes or extraneous business is allowed. 3 days are given for recovery after which the entry to the Zendo must be made once again as a new arrival with prostrations to Monju Bosatsu and bows to the head of the tan and head monk and announcement by the jisha.
Keep these rules in complete detail- if there is any person who does not observe them, he will be considered an obstruction to the Zendo and interrupting other’ purifying training. A meeting should be held immediately to decide what to do about him.
Therefore it is for the everlasting preservation of this monastery’s training that these rules be continued and valued accordingly.
These rules are for the administrative quarters, yet also read before each Osesshin in Sogenji by the Jishary.
Sanzen is the matter of utmost urgency in our practice. Yaza practice should be observed the same as in the Zendo. It is said from ancient times that the state of mind of Zazen in action brings us more that 10.000 times that of sitting Zazen. Even when we feel tired and have difficulty concentrating, we should continue with this in mind.
Above everything else take extremely good care of all fire.
Never be late to any of the sangha´s activities. Zazen, morning and evening sutras, samu and other group ceremonies. If you are busy and can´t be on time for meals, always eat without fail at the second sitting. Noisy jihatsu use, noisy soup eating and loud pickle crunching are not allowed. The tenzo´s actions should be careful and considered without unnecessary activities.
Takuhatsu and samu should be done as a group and in unison. When there is some reason why participation is impossible, the Roshi should be told.
No coming and going into other´s rooms is permitted, nor is unnecessary conversation of things other than the training schedule. Don´t interrupt other´s Zazen in action. Each person’s room is an extention of the Zendo. If you have to discuss something return as soon as the business is finished without spending unnecessary time.
Going to town is generally forbidden. If there is some unavoidable reason tell the Roshi when you leave and return. Activity, which is not appropriate is careless, and distracts from or is absent of concentration, should not be displayed in public. Wherever you go your deportment should be the same as that during practice in the temple.
Always tell the Roshi when unable to practice because of sickness.
Don´t lose your concentration, interrupt other´s Zazen or concentration at work, or go in and out of other´s rooms.
After Kaichin go directly and quickly to your room and get ready for yaza. Don´t linger or put on lights for no special reason. No other work or conversation should go on at this time. Always keep your futon and clothes clean and tidy.
Tools of the administration area, kitchen and samu, all tools of Sogenji including buildings and tatamis should be treated with great care and after every use returned to their original place. People of old taught us that tools and other things of the group should be protected as our own eyes.
Footwear should never be left untidy. Always line up shoes like departing ships, sop that they can be put on and moved in immediately. Don´t walk around noisily inside or outside.
Please pay attention to each of these details, carefully and sincerely observing your own activity and behaviour. Doing this we can understand each other´s minds compassionately and develop our practice in the great way.
Rules, reminders and information
These words are given to guests who come for the first time to train at Sogenji.
Tenzo Clean up
Here the list to remember all the detailed cleaning needed at the end of your shift as daily cook.
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