After sitting together for evening or morning zazen we often do some sutra recitation. Chanting sutras is not a form of prayer in Zen. We are not chanting to anyone or for anything. We are ultimately offering up the activity itself for no reason at all as a vocal form of zazen. Sutras are an expression of the gratitude and intimacy we experience and it is in that spirit that they are chanted.
Sutra books are offered for each sutra service. Please feel free to take one and use it to follow along and participate. When not in use, the sutra book should be placed on the mat rather than the floor. When using the book just simply hold it up without folding it back on itself. There is no need to hold the hands in a particular way when using the sutra book.