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zen practices

daisan

DAISAN is a brief formal face to face interview with a Zen teacher. There are many reasons why you may wish to go to daisan. You may have a serious question about your life, perhaps the same that made you decide to enter a spiritual practice in the first place. You may have questions about your practice like: How do I take this practice deeper? I’m a beginner, where do I start? How do I work with the feelings, thoughts and emotions I’m noticing during meditation?

Daisan is an opportunity for a private confidential interview with someone who has done his/her spiritual work, has been empowered to teach by the lineage, (The White Plum Asanga) and is sanctioned to teach and offer interviews by an authorized teacher.

Daisan is brief. It lasts usually only five minutes or so; therefore you should be direct and to the point. It is not a social chat or psychotherapy. It is primarily about spiritual questions.

Procedure

The procedure for coming into daisan is quite simple. On the right when entering the zendo is the daisan book. Write your name next to your assigned number listed from 1 – 6, and remember where you are on the list. When the person ahead of you returns, quickly stand, bow to the altar and enter the daisan room. After entering, do a standing or full bow to the teacher and take your seat, then state your name and tell him what your practice is. For example, “My name is Mary Smith and my practice is counting my breaths.” Or, “The koan I’m working on is _____________.” And then let the dialog unfold.

Sensei will tell you when the encounter is over. At that time, do a sitting bow, and before leaving, at the door offer either a standing bow or a full bow. Return to your seat or cushion and resume zazen. If you have any questions, see the Practice Leader, Michele Daniels, or another senior student.

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