BZC Online Practice Guidelines and Etiquette

Please observe these guidelines (adapted from the San Francisco Zen Center) in order to facilitate an undisturbed and mutually beneficial experience during online practice sessions:

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 do 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 minimizes distraction from movement of other sangha members.
  • 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:

  • Please join on time.
  • The BZC Zoom “room” is set up such that your microphone will be muted as you enter. You will need to unmute yourself for events that require talking, such as a group dharma discussion. Please put your microphone back on mute after you’re done speaking.

Before and after zazen:

  • We’ll bow in by bowing towards each other facing the screen.
  • A bell will be rung 3 times to begin zazen.
  • When the first period is over, two bells will be rung.
  • Bow once, while seated.
  • There will be a 10-minute interval. During this time you may take a restroom break, do kinhin, or stretch. People are welcome to enter or exit the Zoom “room” during this interval.
  • Three bells will be rung to begin the next period of zazen.
  • One bell will be rung to close zazen. Please fluff the meditation cushion, or otherwise care for the seat of practice, and then turn to the screen again to all bow out together.

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