Welcome to New York Zendo
At your first visit to our temple, please attend one of our weekly Thursday evening Introduction to Zen Meditation classes. This weekly program is open to all and will provide you with basic instruction in our sitting meditation technique, an introduction to the ritual form of the temple, and a chance to meet some of our regular practitioners. Additionally, there is an online Introduction to Zen Meditation offered most Wednesday evenings. After attending either of these introductory programs, you are welcome to attend any of our other recurring weekly practice meetings. Check our calendar here.
Our meditation practice works best in an environment in which distractions are minimized; many elements of our form and etiquette are intended to create an atmosphere of mutual respect and non-distraction. We try to always behave inconspicuously to avoid calling attention to ourselves, allowing us all to focus on our breath and our concentration practice. When visiting the Zendo, please consider the following guidelines for temple etiquette:
Before coming to the temple:
- Attire should be clean, dignified, and low-key (please leave shorts, tank tops, distracting patterns or colors, and skin-tight clothing at home).
- Avoid wearing perfume, aftershave, or other fragrances.
- Arrive early, allowing enough time to transition to the dynamic stillness of the zendo.
- If you do bring food to the temple, please be sure it’s vegetarian.
Once you’re here:
- Silence your cell phone.
- Leave any valuables in the dressing room, not in the Zendo entryway.
- Remove watches, noisy jewelry, and any electronic accessories before entering the zendo. Leave these in the dressing room.
- Observe silence. Moving during zazen not only disturbs others but also hinders your concentration and creates more discomfort.
- Participate! You’ll find that the more you give yourself to the practice, the deeper your understanding grows.
- It goes without saying that our practice takes place in accordance with our sangha’s ethical guidelines.