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1-2:30pm – Zendo Officer Training

October 10, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 1:00 pm on Saturday, repeating until January 16, 2021


One effect of the corona virus restrictions and our life on Zoom is that the regular six-month rotation of the five zendo officer positions (jikijitsu, shoji, densu, mokugyo, and tenzo) has been suspended. This means that interested sangha members have not had the opportunity to learn the form and responsibilities of the officer positions.

This also delays those who are interested in taking the precepts class and receiving the precepts, since eligibility for the precepts class requires completion of training for and service in all five officer positions.

To mitigate this situation, PSZC will offer a series of mini-classes in the officer positions this winter.

Here is a brief explanation of the officer positions:
•    The shoji takes care of the zendo and the practitioners; serving tea, keeping the altar and zendo fresh and clean, seeing to the comfort of the practitioners.
•    The jikijitsu, or jiki, is responsible for holding the space and order of the zendo so that people can practice at their best. He/she is the time-keeper and sounds the structure of the practice time with bells and clappers.
•    The densu leads the chanting practice, indicating the chant by declaiming the first line, and may chant solo ekos to dedicate merit or show gratitude to predecessors.  During sesshin the densu may have additional responsibilities.
•    The mokugyo is the wooden fish drum that accompanies the chanting. The mokugyo player sets the rhythm and speed of each chant.
•    The tenzo is the cook.  He/she may be called upon to provide a lunch for a day sit or to prepare three meals a day for a multi-day retreat.

For each of the five positions, two training classes will be offered (densu and mokugyo training will be combined).  The first session will be on Zoom, and will cover the background and the basics of the position. Since physical practice is so necessary to learning the positions, the second class will be in-person, if possible outdoors, with plenty of room for social distancing (locations to be announced).

Each month we will cover one position (one Zoom class and one in-person), as follows:

October: Shoji, (led by David), (Zoom Oct 10; in-person Oct 24)
November: Jikijitsu (led by Sissel), (Zoom Nov 14, in-person Nov 21)
December : Densu and mokugyo (led by Koshin) (Zoom Dec 12, in-person Dec 19)
January:  Tenzo (led by Sissel) (Zoom Jan 9, in-person Jan 16) [Tenzo training is full]

The classes will be held on the second and third Saturdays of each month, from 1:00-2:30 in the afternoons (the in-person classes may run a little longer, depending on the number of participants). (The exception is October. The in-person class will be held Oct 24th rather than Oct 17, to avoid conflict with the fall sesshin).

The in-person classes will be held outdoors if weather permits, otherwise in a sheltered location to be determined.

Sangha members who are interested in learning the officer positions, or those who have trained and served but would like to refresh their skills, can sign up.

Unfortunately, we must limit each class to five people, in order to be able to maintain social distancing during the in-person portion of the classes. Sign-up will on a be first-come-first-serve basis, although priority will be given to those interested in qualifying to take the precepts.

When we get back together as a sangha, those who have completed the pair of classes for an officer position may serve a three-month period as that officer (instead of the usual six months), to fulfill that officer requirement.

In this way we hope to keep moving along in officer training and allow those interested in taking the precepts to work towards their officer qualifications.

To register, or with questions, please email The email will be forwarded to David and Sissel.


October 10, 2020
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


Puget Sound Zen Center

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