Retreat rules

Zen Forest Retreat Rules
1) Please observe complete silence at all times. Silence helps not only your practice—by being silent you also help others cultivate their practice. There will be functional announcements made as needed by the Head Dharma Teacher.
2) All communication should be by note. Pens and paper for notes are in the head dharma teacher’s box on the kitchen counter. Direct all comments and suggestions about the retreat to the head dharma teacher. If you need to send a note to the Providence Zen Center office, leave it in the head dharma teacher’s box; all notes to the office are first checked by the head dharma teacher.
3) Be on time for all practice periods and meals. Go to the dharma room right after the moktak is hit.
4) Everyone should come to all practice periods, including meals and work period. If you are sick and cannot attend, or have any problem with practice, please notify the head dharma teacher in advance.
5) Do not shift positions during meditation, including your hands. If you are sleepy or your legs hurt, please bow quietly and then stand behind your cushion.
6) Please do not leave the dharma room during practice unless it is your turn to have an interview. If you need to use the bathroom, wait until walking meditation to do so. If you must leave during sitting (other than for an interview) or are late, when you return sit in the hall area until the next walking meditation.
7) Walking meditation is a part of practice. It is not a break time. Leave the dharma room only to use the bathroom or get a drink of water. When re-entering the dharma room, do so at your proper place in the line. When we do walking meditation outside, don’t break off branches or pick up anything.
8) Please use your hands, not your feet, to adjust your cushions or mats. Always bow to the Buddha when passing in front of it (except when serving meals or during walking meditation).
9) Please walk softly at all times on the stairs and in the dharma room. At night and during breaks, be aware that others may be resting in the bedrooms below.
10) If you are doing extra practice at night or during breaks, please use the hallway behind the altar at the head dharma teacher’s side, the hallway outside the kitchen, or the deck.
11) Do not go into the Zen Center buildings unless assigned to. Do not hang around the outside of the Zen Center buildings. Do not interact with Zen Center residents. These rules apply to you even if you yourself are a Zen Center resident. Always stay on the Zen Center grounds during retreat. Please respect our neighbors’ privacy; the stone walls to the east and north mark the property line.
12) If you need any emergency shopping done, put money and a note describing what you need in an envelope in the head dharma teacher’s box. Purchases may take up to a week, so please plan ahead.
13) There is no reading during the retreat, except selected copies of Zen Master Seung Sahn’s books, which will be provided.
14) There will be no mail or phone communication during the retreat, except essential communication arranged with the head dharma teacher. If you have brought a cell phone with you, please turn it off and keep safe.
15) Do not wear jewelry or scents. If you use any ointments, please use the odorless varieties.
16) In the dharma room, with your robe please wear ankle length pants in subdued, neutral colors. Please do not wear bright colors, pajama bottoms, or shorts.
17) Cameras, tape recorders, MP3 players, CD players, PDAs, laptops and smart devices are not permitted. No diaries or journals may be kept during the retreat.


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