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Newcomers

Orientation: We offer monthly orientation for newcomers on a Saturday morning from 9am to noon (see the Orientation to Practice page). Even if you have never done zazen, this orientation will teach you everything you need to know to get started. If, on the other hand, you have experience sitting zazen, an orientation will be valuable to teach you the forms that are particular to our temple. Therefore, we encourage everyone to attend an orientation.

When: Check the calendar for the sitting schedule. If you have any questions please introduce yourself and ask for the Jisha or Tanto who will help you get settled.

Where: We are at the back of Palolo Valley in Honolulu on the island of Oahu. Our address is 2747 Waiomao Road. Drive carefully because Waiomao Road is narrow and winding. Approximately a quarter mile before you reach the Palolo Zen Center, there is a large ornate Korean temple on the right. Don’t stop there. Our temple is on the right-hand side of the road and is marked by a small sign on the mailbox. Pass the first driveway, and enter the second driveway to the parking lot. For more specific driving directions, go to the Directions page.

Clothing: We wear comfortably loose, dark, solid-colored clothing that covers the shoulders and legs. Shorts and beach wear, for instance, are not appropriate. This is to make sure that you are comfortable during sittings, and to minimize distractions for yourself and others.

Donations: Everyone is welcome to come free of charge. However, we will gratefully receive your offering to support our temple and programs, and provide a donation box for that purpose.

Forms:

  • It is alright to quietly enter the zendo when zazen is already in progress. Please take any available seat.
  • Sit quietly without moving for the duration of the round of zazen (25 minutes).
  • Please wait until the kinhin (walking zazen) if you need to leave or use the bathroom. Always use the main door as you pass it.
  • At the bell ending the round, if your foot has fallen asleep be very careful standing on it. If you cannot stand, that’s alright. Change your position and stay on your mat until feeling returns. When the end of the line passes you, join in if you are able. So you don’t end up in the wrong order, potentially causing confusion at the end of kinhin, exit at the main door and wait outside the door on the deck until kinhin ends. Bow with everyone and return to your seat.
  • If the teacher is offering dokusan (face-to-face teaching), a series of bells will ring in the middle of the round and a number of people will get up and leave the zendo. If you do not have an existing student/teacher relationship with Michael Kieran, just continue with your zazen.
  • At the end of most community sittings (Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings) we have tea together as a sangha. Please plan to stay and join us as we want to meet and get to know you. This is also an opportunity for you to find out who we are.