Work Practice: Zendo Jobs

Work practice cultivates both concentration and mindfulness refining our personality and character while giving to the Sangha. 

Sangha "regulars" may receive training in performing zendo work. Once trained in a job (or are in-training), you may volunteer upon arriving for a sitting at IBY or HPWZ. Some of the instruments and jobs anyone can be trained to play or do. Others require particular skill sets. Talk with the group leader if you'd like to take a stab at training in any of these jobs:


  • Set-up – helps set up the IBY zendo before the Sunday sitting begins; might also greet and orient newcomers.
  • Shut-down - helps shut down IBY after Sunday sittings.
  • Chant Sheets – passes out and collects chant books or chant sheets.
  • Incense and Candles – lights candles and/or incense, as needed, for sittings and services.
  • ​​Block - strikes the han (wooden block) to signal the start of zazen, a formal Zen talk, or chanting.
  • Mokugyo Player - plays the mokugyo (fish drum) during chanting services.
  • ​Lead Chanter - introduces chants and strikes bells during services and other ceremonies.
  • Timer – rings zazen warning bells, strikes the clappers, and keeps time during zazen.
  • Monitor – ensures the sitting schedule flows smoothly and the zendo atmosphere (silence, stillness) is maintained; ensures zendo jobs are completed by inviting volunteers or doing the work oneself; sets the pace for kinhin; faces "out" during zazen. Might also correct the posture of other sitters during zazen, answer basic sitting questions, or offer encouragement talks or the encouragement stick.