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Rituals and Worship

Sacred Time

In Chan/Zen, there is no need to transcend time or escape to another dimension of reality to experience the sacred. Because everything has Buddha-nature, all time is sacred time.

Sacred Space

Because everything has Buddha-nature, all space is sacred space. The divine exists in everyday places, and everyday activities are manifestations of the sacred.

Rites and Ceremonies

The rituals most often performed by Chan/Zen monks are funerals. There are also many elaborate rituals associated with monastic training, including koan study and prolonged periods of meditation.

Worship and Devotion in Daily Life

Chan/Zen Buddhist monks in training live austere lives. They follow strict rules and a strict regimen of daily activities. A few lay followers will visit a temple regularly to pray or volunteer.


Specific styles of painting, poetry, and gardening are often associated with Chan/Zen. Chan/Zen temples also have a symbolic structure that some say represents the body of the Buddha, or the human body.