Soto Zen Liturgical Forms: A Small Miscellany of YouTube Videos

Soto Zen Liturgical Forms: A Small Miscellany of YouTube Videos March 5, 2021

 

I’ve captured these mostly for our small community, but it occurred to me that others might find these videos helpful, as well. I include links to the communities producing the videos.

Also, if this subject is of interest, an invaluable resource for Soto Zen liturgy in English is the Soto Zen Scriptures for Daily Service & Practice.

Thanks to Sensei Sanshin Oberholtzer, here’s a brief script for the Eiheiji style basic morning service.

clappers once
clappers once
clappers once
Doan seven times followed by a ring down (first five at equal times, the next two speeded up somewhat followed by ring down) last ring loud
Doan five times followed by a ring down (first five at equal times, the next two speeded up somewhat followed by ring down) last two medium loud
Doan three times followed by a ring down last three in ring down medium soft loud (during this, doshi goes to altar and offers stick incense and chip incense) There can be echo with hand bell
Doshi returns to mat and, as the inkin signals preparation for bows, lays out the zagu
Three bows
Ino announces the sutra and, during that announcement the doshi goes to altar and offers chip incense then returns to mat
At the first bell in the Heart Sutra, the doshi goes to the altar and offers chip incense. They return to their position and do three bows. With the next bell, doshi approaches altar and offers incense, returns to mat with the second bell.
When the eko starts, doshi does a full bow and remains down with head on the mat, standing with “What we pray for is the flourishing of the true dharma, harmony among all nations, tranquility within the temples, Zen centers and sanghas, ……“ Doshi remains standing through “All buddhas …. “ at which point doshi goes to offer incense. Returns, and does three bows. Doshi then bows with hands in gassho to the buddha and then with hands in shashu, to the assembly.
Doshi leaves

***

One of the most useful basic instructions of a morning service was recorded by the residents of the Yokoji Zen Mountain Center in Southern California.

Yokoji Basic Service Instruction

 

The Japanese Soto Zen missionary Gyokei Yukinori Yokoyama Sensei has started experimenting with instructional videos.

Basic Service Forms

Liturgy at Daihonzan Sojiji (in Japanese)

The first nine minutes and thirty seconds are the relevant parts of this video.

Continuing with contributions from Sensei Yokoyama.

Service Form Part 1

Service Form Part 2

Sutra Chanting

Greeting

The Robe Verse

The use of the zagu

Oryoki instruction from Austin Zen Center

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