How We Meet
Kintsugi Sangha meetings are designed to foster focused individual awareness and support within our community of seekers, which includes anyone who sees fit to attend. A typical meeting consists of six phases: opening, recitation, meditation, check-in, dharma talk, and closing.
The opening is the formal opening up of the zendo to prepare it symbolically for use. This act consists of lighting incense and a candle while someone recites the opening sutra—which is a Sanskrit word meaning “a writing that reflects the teachings of a particular tradition.”
Once the meeting has been opened, we proceed to recitation—a group activity that involves the reading, out loud and sometimes in unison, of a series of short writings from the Hollow Bones sutra booklet, a non-sacred text that draws from both traditional and contemporary writers.
After recitation comes meditation, which consists of two parts—zazen (sitting) and kinhin (walking)—both of which are designed to promote a focused awareness of the moment and deepen our understanding of our individual selves and how we relate to the world at large.
During zazen, we sit quietly on cushions or chairs arranged in a circle and meditate, with our eyes fully open, the goal being to experience the present moment fully. During kinhin, we walk single file, silently, slowly, and deliberately—the goal being to fully experience the act of walking.
Meditation is followed by the “check-in”—a practice unique to Kintsugi Sangha—in which we each introduce ourselves and share what is going on in our individual lives and meditative practice. This sharing is conducted in an open, caring, non-judgmental environment, and neither preaching nor advice-giving is allowed.
What is said during check-in stays within the group and is considered confidential.
When the check-in has ended, we move on to the dharma talk. This typically constitutes a 10–20 min presentation on a subject drawn from Zen teachings, followed by a robust-and-respectful discussion—sometimes made lively by questions and dissent, both of which we invite heartily.
After the dharma talk and ensuing discussion have concluded, we proceed to the closing—which consists of a few minutes of zazen and the extinguishing of the candle that was lit during the opening.