Online Zendo Forms and Etiquette

Please join sittings a few minutes before the scheduled time, so as to be seated and settled in place before the period of zazen begins.


For Zazen:
The Jikido will ring three bells to begin the first period zazen.
The Jikido will ring two bells to signal the end of first period of zazen.
Please feel free to face the wall during zazen.



Please mute your microphone and join the sangha in a chanting service led by the Ino and Doan.



Guidelines and Online Zendo Forms
Traditionally, to help facilitate a calm and settled space so that practitioners can attend to the moment-to-moment unfolding of experience in meditation, there are Zendo practices, or forms, agreed upon and practiced with harmony in mind:



  • Minimize visual distractions
    -If using a desktop computer, and if possible, shift the space from a workstation to a practice space by clearing or covering work papers. Please be sure to not have pictures with text or light sources directly in front of the camera.
    -One recommended way to sit zazen is in profile, facing away from the computer screen. This allows participants not to be distracted by the movement of other sangha members, mirroring our formal practice of facing the wall during zazen. Some choose to sit off-camera; that’s also fine.
  • Minimize visual distractions for others:
    Please face the camera away from any direct light sources, including candles. Many members position the camera to face an altar or incense.
  • Minimize audible distractions for yourself and others:
    -To cultivate the harmony of practicing together, please join on time.
    -Care well for silence in the online zendo until the closing recitation.
    -Mute your microphone upon entering the online zendo (if it is not already muted).
  • Before zazen let the body and mind know:
    -Bow in by bowing towards and away from cushion/chair. This is traditionally done with palms together.
    -Bow out, while seated, at the end of the closing vows.

Tips for using Zoom
The online zendo often opens a few minutes before zazen is scheduled to begin. New attendees, please take 10 – 15 minutes before the first sitting to become familiar with a few of the common functions. Practitioners tend to settle into the online zendo more easily after having oriented themselves.
Here are step-by-step instructions for exploring a few common functions in Zoom, the home of the online zendo.


  • Mute Your Audio:
    Please mute your microphone during zazen if it is not already muted (to limit the background sounds that are heard by others). To do this, click on the microphone icon (conveniently labelled Mute/Unmute) found in the lower left corner of the Zoom screen. The image of a microphone with a slash indicates mute.
  • Adjust Your Video:
    The two most commonly used controls to adjust video in the online zendo are Start/Stop Video (bottom left) and Enter Full Screen Click (top right).

Other common controls:

  • Chat: connects listeners with the moderator, and shows the closing recitation. Click the “Chat” button on your control bar at the bottom of your zoom window to launch the Chat box
  • Participants: allows attendees to see who else is in the online zendo. Click the “Participants” button on your control bar at the bottom of your zoom window to open the Participants box.

*** Important Note: Please, do not click the Share Screen button in the middle of your control bar.


Add your info below to get our free monthly email with upcoming events, featured podcasts and special content on Zen and contemplative caregiving.

By submitting this form, you are consenting that you have read and agree to our privacy policy.