Welcome to week three of the Online Orientation to Zen Course! You have completed two weeks of daily sitting. You should now have established your routine and begun building a solid foundation for your practice. This week we will continue with the sitting and increase the time you sit by five more minutes so you will sit a total of fifteen minutes each time. We have provided a 15 minute practice session below for you use to use help time your sits, if you wish to use it.

The course material for week three includes three videos, an outline of practice goals, and supplementary materials on chanting and zendo form. We also provide a new practice journal for week three.

Watch Videos:

Instructions for Week Three

By now your bodies should be acclimatized to daily sitting and you should feel the start of a solid practice foundation. We will increase the sitting duration by five minutes to fifteen minutes this week. This week we will challenge ourselves a little bit and change our practice of counting the breaths to better explore the in-breath. We will also start chanting this week as part of your practice.

Emotions in Practice

As we sit more and more, the distractions of the mind become more and more quiet. Often, we distract ourselves from difficult emotions by covering them up with thoughts and distractions to avoid what is uncomfortable. But as our thoughts and distractions begin to drop away, we become more and more aware of what is actually going on in our life. This can result in uncovering underlying emotions and difficulties with which we are struggling. This video will look into this in more depth so you are prepared when emotions come up in practice.

Timed 15-Minute Practice Session

You have been sitting for ten minutes a day for the last week. Do you feel like you are starting to establish a sitting habit? Record your thoughts in your practice journal. This week we will increase the length of the sits to fifteen minutes. The video below will take you through a fifteen minute sit, with bells to indicate when the sit begins and ends. Feel free to use this video for all of your ten minute sits this week, or sit in silence without the video if you prefer.

Practice Schedule:

  • Fifteen minutes of zazen each day
  • Chanting
  • Complete “Week Three Training Journal” each day
  • Three fifteen-minute periods of zazen on day seven with four minutes of kinhin or rest kinhin between

Remember to update your practice journal each day so you can keep track of your progress through this program.

Chanting Practice:

You will be chanting this week. Try to chant five times this week as part of your practice. You can chant using the Heart of Perfect Wisdom Sutra when you begin sitting, and close your session by chanting the Final Instruction of Daito Kokushi.


Supplementary Training Videos:

Zendo Form

In this supplementary video, we will expore the Zendo form that we use at Zenwest.