General Temple Rules and Guidelines

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Welcome to Su Bong Zen Monastery!

We welcome you to our center and to experience first hand the benefits of practicing Zen. The most important aspect of Zen meditation is together action, and in formal practice, we practice together as a group. We offer some simple suggestions for general etiquette and forms that will help all of us to practice together harmoniously.

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Coming to the Zen Center

If you are coming to join our meditation sessions, please note the following:

  1. Please arrive at the Zen Center at least 10 minutes before the session starts. If sitting has already begun, please wait outside the Dharma room (where seats are available) and join the group in the next session.
  2. Please take off your shoes before entering the Zen Center.
  3. Before sitting meditation, please switch off the beeping device of your mobile phones.
  4. To help the environment, we encourage you to refrain from using paper cups and paper towels but to bring your own cup and handkerchief.

Dress Code for Formal Practice

The following is a general dress code for practice:

For Precept Students:

  1. Wear bowing robe with long grey pants and socks in plain color during formal practice including bowing, chanting, sitting and Dharma talks.
  2. Wear bowing robe and kasa during morning and evening practice including chanting and bowing (no kasa for sitting), kido chanting, formal ceremonies and interviews.
  3. Working jackets are allowed for working periods and formal meals only.

For Other Lay Students:

  1. Wear clothes of non-bright, muted colour, relaxed fit with sleeves, long pants and socks during sitting meditation.
  2. Work jackets are allowed for formal practice.
  3. You may bring clothes to the Zen Center to change.
  4. If your hair is long, please tie it neatly.

Etiquette during Formal Practice

  1. When entering the Dharma room, hapjang (palms together) and do one standing bow to the Buddha.
  2. When meeting a monastic, bow to them.
  3. During formal practice, please keep silence as the Dharma room should remain quiet at all times.
  4. If you have to leave the Dharma room during sitting meditation, please wait outside in the hallway before joining the group again at the next session.
  5. Take your seat following the instructions of the monastic or head dharma teacher.
  6. When leaving your seat, please fold the towel neatly and straighten the cushion and mat.

Notes for Newcomers

If you are a newcomer and wish to learn how to practice Zen, we invite you to register for an Introduction to Zen Meditation course which will be held at our Zen center in Causeway Bay. The course is led by our Guiding Teachers, monastics and senior students who will introduce the way of Zen practice and the basic teachings of our school. Please contact our office for the course dates and to register for the course.

Once you have attended this introduction course, then you are welcome to join other practice opportunities, such as one-day re-treats at Su Bong and longer retreats at Gaksu.