Monday, June 13, 2011

Saturday Morning Breakfast Service

I was clearly feeling ambitious Friday night when I set my alarm for first bell (4:30) Saturday morning. It's not the first time I've attempted to make it to City Center for the early Saturday service but it was the first time I didn't hit snooze and roll back into bed.

And it was totally worth it, after surviving a one day sit last month, Saturday morning services were a real treat. With just one sitting, a chanting and bowing service, temple cleaning and breakfast in the zendo there's enough to get the feel of a full day but without the physical strain of nine sitting periods. After breakfast you can either stay for the 9:30 sit and lecture or go about your day, which is what I ended up doing since I mostly wanted to get a feel for how services and breakfast are run at City Center before sitting the three day Sesshin this weekend.

A couple of important lessons learned:
- Shoes that slip on and off are a must have at City Center to get between the Zendo and the Buddha Hall for services.
- My elaborate plan to bribe the Ino with chocolate in order to get the toilet cleaning job was completely misguided and unnecessary; the Ino does not hand out work assignments, and I got toilets anyway. Also, I forgot the chocolate.
- There isn't a good place to stash your oroyki bowls after breakfast, which makes using the guest bowls very convenient.