Glossary of Zen Terms

Chiden: The steward who cares for the altars.

Doan:  The person who keeps time in the zendo and plays instrumentation for service.

Dokusan:  A formal, face-to-face interview with a teacher. (Not practice discussion; see below)

Doshi: The priest offering incence during srevice; the officiating priest during a dharma event.

Fukudo:  The person who hits the han to announce zendo events and the mokugyo to accompany chanting during service.

Gassho:  A mudra or bow with palms together, signifying gratitude.

Han:  The hanging wooden block struck with a mallet to announce zazen.

Ino: The Ino takes care of people within the zendo, and maintain the forms of practice.

Jundo:  Morning greeting by a teacher, at the beginning of morning zazen. As they walk behind you, raise your hands in gassho.

Kinhin:  Walking meditation, usually between two periods of zazen.

Kokyo:  The individual who leads the chants for services.

Mokugyo:  The wooden drum played during Japanese chants.

Mudra:  Hand or body position or gesture with symbolic meaning.

Okesa:  Buddha's robe; a patched robe worn by priests.

Oryoki: Formal style of eating in the zendo using three bowls.

Pracice Discussion: An informal, one-on-one discussion about practice with a priest.

Rakusu:  Buddha's robe; patched 'bib' robe, worn by laypeople who have received the precepts.

Samu: A longer period of mindful work.

Sesshin: 'To unify or touch the mind.' An intensive schedule of zazen, dharma talk, work practice and oryoki meals, lasting from one to seven days.

Shashu:  Mudra used in standing or walking meditation.

Shika: The guest manager at the temple.

Shuso: The head student for a practice period.

Soji:  A brief period of mindful work; temple cleaning.

Sutra: A scripture attributed to the historical Buddha.

Tenzo: The head cook and person who oversees kitchen practice.

Zabutan: A rectangular, flat cushion used for zazen, underneath the zafu.

Zafu:  A round cushion used for zazen.

Zazen:  Total awareness in an upright posture.

Zendo: The meditation hall.