Our Practice

Shining Window Zen holds our weekly services remotely via Zoom. Here is the link.

Shining Window Zen holds regular Zen Buddhist services Tuesday nights at 6:30 pm central time. Every other week, we hold a full liturgy and zazen service, with an initial series of chants, two 25-minute sessions of seated meditation (zazen), and two 5-minute sessions of walking meditation (kinhin).

More or less monthly, we host special services. For example, once a month the service’s second zazen session is modified to include a dharma talk by Living Vow Zen practice leader Chris Amirault, followed by a dharma discussion among attending sangha members. Similarly, each month a Living Vow Zen teacher, Mike Fieleke or Bob Waldinger, hosts teacher interviews (dokusan) during the zazen sessions. These invitations provide opportunities to discuss your practice in a one-on-one, confidential zoom room.

Our service is shortened monthly to one zazen session so that the sangha can engage in a practice reflection discussion about the meaning of our Zen practice in our work, community, and personal lives. We chant three special elements of our liturgy that you can find here, and we hold a single zazen session after kinhin so that the sangha can subsequently engage in conversation. That discussion is informal (feel free to bring a cup of tea!) yet focused on the Zen practice we share, allowing members to engage in supportive reflection on an aspect of practice as it applies both on and — especially — off the cushion.

Finally, in 2023, we will offer four extended opportunities to practice online on Saturday mornings. These three-hour zoom zazenkais are held at our usual practice link from 8:00-11:00 central, 9:00-12:00 eastern, and there is no registration required: all you need in order to attend is a way to sign into Zoom and a quiet space to practice. There will be chanting, a dharma talk and discussion, followed by dokusan. The dates are February 11, March 4, June 10, and September 16.

Here is the calendar for the first half of 2023.

  • February 7: Full Service with Dokusan (Mike Fieleke)
  • February 11 (Saturday), 8-11 central, 9-12 eastern: Online Zazenkai (contact practice leader Chris Amirault if interested)
  • February 14: Service & Dharma Talk
  • February 21: Full Service
  • February 28: Practice Reflection Service
  • March 4 (Saturday), 8-11 central, 9-12 eastern: Online Zazenkai (contact practice leader Chris Amirault if interested)
  • March 7: Full Service
  • March 14: Service & Dharma Talk
  • March 21: Full Service with Dokusan (Bob Waldinger)
  • March 28: Practice Reflection Service
  • April 4: Full Service with Dokusan (Mike Fieleke)
  • April 11: Service & Dharma Talk
  • April 18: Full Service
  • April 25: Practice Reflection Service
  • May 2: Full Service
  • May 9: Service & Dharma Talk
  • May 16: Full Service
  • May 23: Practice Reflection Service
  • May 30: Full Service
  • June 6: Service & Dharma Talk
  • June 13: Full Service
  • June 20: Practice Reflection Service
  • June 27: Full Service

During our services, we use the Boundless Way Zen liturgy book. (Printed, bound copies of the liturgy book are available for a small donation; contact practice leader Chris Amirault if you are interested in obtaining one.) During our practice reflection services held every four weeks, we chant these three additional chants, one of which (Norman Fischer’s excerpt on vow) is unavailable in our main liturgy book.

Shining Window Zen seeks to create an inclusive, intentional community of Buddhist practitioners. Our community values guide our efforts as a sangha, including agreements about engaging in online practice.

All are welcome to join us for services! If you are interested, please contact practice leader Chris Amirault for a one-on-one orientation prior to your first visit. During that discussion, we’ll use this orientation document to review the structure of the service, share your experience with Zen and other Buddhist practices, and ask any questions you have.