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Form Guide

Keizan Sensei on form

Our Form Guide is intended as a template that can be used by all StoneWater Zen Sangha members and groups associated with StoneWater such that we can, all together, maintain a uniformity and continuity of practice.
The form that we use in the zendo and for Zen ceremonies is an important part of our practice. Ceremony, from the Latin meaning ‘to cure,’ acts as a reminder of how much there is outside of our own personal concerns and allows us to reconnect with the profundity of life and to show our appreciation of it. Form is a vehicle you can use for your own realisation rather than something you want to make fit your own views.

To help with this it is useful to remember that the structure though fixed is ultimately empty. Within meditation and ceremony, form facilitates our moving physically and emotionally from our usual outward looking personal concerns to the inner work of realisation and change.
The form we use is not right or wrong or better or worse than other forms, it is just what we do. By following the same procedures day after day and giving each action our full attention and care we can develop a way of being that illuminates that we are all Buddha in essence. We can then take that into all our daily activities.

May your practice go well.

Keizan Sensei
September, 2012.

NB. Thank you to John Suigen Kenworthy, other members of StoneWater and
Yugen at Yokoji Zen Mountain Center for their contribution to the creation of
this guide.

Download the form guide here.