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[Last updated: 30 March 1992]
This document describes organizational details of sesshin (a Zen meditation
retreat) as practiced by members of the Sydney Zen Center of the Diamond Sangha
The following are notes for the Jisha about interview procedure & times.
Sosan (pronounced SHOSAN), happens Day l, 4 and 7 during sesshin. It is done
strictly in dojo order, Jisha tapping each person on the shoulder, taking about
6 at a time. Jisha sits at head of line, and hits bell for everybody during
sosan, whereas at other times, Jisha only hits bell for first person. To start
sosan, or any block of interviews, teacher rings bell, Jisha replies with an
accelerando, teacher rings again, then Jisha rings 2 open bells. Jisha
indicates that first in line actually waits on verandah edge with shoes on to
save time crossing to hojo.
Jisha has to establish with teacher what time he wants to finish, so that Jisha
can estimate when to close the line. Maintain communication.
Closing the line: to signal all have completed interviews for time being, ring
3 open bells, then l mute, l open. Jisha then returns to dojo.
Ordinary dokusan/interviews happen other days at 5.l0 a.m., 3.00 p.m. and 7.00
p.m. These are done in blocks, or as upstairs and downstairs dojos, when
sitting at Gorrick's Run. Before they begin, Jisha announces "Block l for
dokusan/interviews" or whatever is appropriate. When a block is coming to an
end, Jisha announces "Last call for block l", then "Block 2 for dokusan."
IF YOU NEED TO MAKE ANY ANNOUNCEMENTS
It is best to make these after meals, before the break.
NOTES ON SITTING UP ON LAST NIGHT - YASA
Teacher announces "sitting up late" on the last night, and then Jisha goes
into details about what the guidelines are.
Prepare beds first, so as to minimally disturb others when you decide to
finish your yasa. People not sitting up have priority.
Don't use any incense, bells or candles.
Last person remember to turn off light, close doors.
Additional explanatory notes for Jisha during sesshin.
Make sure Roshi has list of sesshin participants and seating plan in dojo.
Jisha should ensure hojo altar is set up, bell, incense/candles, ready.
May need lamp on hojo steps for early morning and evening dokusan.
4.55 a.m. After Kentan, when Roshi leaves the dojo,
follow him out after he has bowed. Go into
dokusan room, light candle and incense,
check water. Check Roshi on when to start
dokusan. Set up dokusan line.
SOSAN: Tanto goes first on Day l. Except for
sosan, Jisha always goes first to dokusan.
6.l5 a.m. Stop the dokusan, noting down in order those
returned to dojo unseen. Jisha goes in to
Roshi after last person, then returns to
8.30-ll.30 a.m. Unless otherwise mentioned by Roshi,
usually no dokusan in this block.
(Dokusan is pronounced with short 'o' as
l.55 p.m. Jisha sees Teisho area (chestnut tree) is organised with Roshi zabuton/zafu
water, tape recorder standing by.
Tanto waits with incense. Jisha picks up
incense from Tanto and goes and waits
outside Roshi's door.
2.00 p.m. When Jiki beats drum 3 times, Jisha knocks
fast on Roshi's door 3 times, enters,
bows, picks up teisho notes, bows, then
Roshi to dojo. Bow at dojo door, follow
Roshi in. Bow to altar. Place teisho notes
on mat and come down right hand side of dojo, hand over incense, and return to
seat near lectern.
approx 2.30 p.m. After teisho, follow Roshi out with notes.
Bow, turning book so that arrow on cloth
faces Roshi, give it to him and bow.
Return to dojo.
3.05 p.m. approx. (Check Roshi for dokusan time)
Enter dokusan room, light candle, incense,
pick up people left over from morning in
correct order. Then announce BLOCK1 FOR
(or whatever) after morning people have
left, then go to dokusan line.
Roshi rings handbell. Jisha accelerando (l0
secs). Roshi rings bell. Jisha ring twice,
then go yourself. (Remember for Sosan,
Jisha rings bell for people)
ends 4.45/4.50 p.m. TO FINISH OFF DOKUSAN:
3 open bells, l closed bell, l open bell
AFTER Roshi's bell. Put bell & cushions
away and return to dojo.
6.55 p.m. Kinhin Jisha sets up line, lights incense, candle,
lamp, checks Roshi's water and start time.
7.00 p.m. approx. after bells Jisha picks up any leftover people and then
announces X BLOCK FOR DOKUSAN
8.50/9.00 p.m. approx. Nobody in to dokusan after 8.45 p.m.
(check with Roshi).
Close dokusan line (bells as above) return
end of file
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