This is a Guide only, based on experience. Try always to think about those who will be attending the session and making it good for them. Always remember we are guests of Radnor Friends Meeting and wish to remain in a positive relation with them.
It is PBA Board Policy that the monitor has the right and freedom to conduct the session as he/she sees fit as long as it is in an appropriate manner for silent meditation within traditional Buddhist ways. A brief reading may be used but is not necessary. Length and number of meditation sessions is at monitor’s discretion (25-30 min is most usual). It is most skillful to see monitoring as a way to serve others, by providing the best sort of environment for meditation in an open and non-sectarian way.
- Begin on Time if possible. Ring Bell. Bell or clappers are used to signal that something is to be done, of a new movement. Clappers and Bell ringing should be done with a mind to let them speak rather than a mind to strike or hit them.
- Say, “We welcome you to the Meditation Practice of the Phila. Buddhist Assoc. at Radnor Friends Meeting.
- “Are there any Announcements?” Refer to Newsletter for upcoming dates. Mention free newsletter, books and tapes. Mention that PBA does not charge for any service or program but relies on the 2500-year-old custom of freely given donations. “Are there any other Announcements?”
- Tell what is going to happen. Example “We will have two sessions of meditation for 25 minutes each with walking meditation between sessions. ” Alternative is 3 at 20 minutes. Finish by 9:00 pm.
- Say “Perhaps you may wish to join us as we take Refuge” Ring bell once.
- Ring bell 3x to begin meditation. Monitor should be aware of what is happening in the room without looking around too pointedly. Might gesture to late arrivals who seem confused as to where to sit. Do what ever is necessary to preserve the silence without being obvious.
- End of first session of sitting meditation. You will want to rise with clappers and timepiece. Bell ringing is often 3x but 1x or 2x at monitor’s discretion.
- Walking Meditation sequence: Ring bell. “We will now stand to do walking meditation clockwise around the room. Please take your time standing and do not stand on a leg that has fallen asleep. We will wait until you can safely stand” (Very important to say)
- When all are standing: Clapper, bow in respect to each other. Now announce how you wish them to do walking meditation. Walking is done in a clockwise movement outside the cushion area.
- At end of walking use clappers. Return to cushion. Stand and clappers. “We will now continue sitting meditation” Ring Bell.
- Continue until end of sitting. Ring bell 3x . Make dedication of Merit. See sample pages. Yours is OK, too.
- Ring bell 1x “Please take your time…” Stand with clappers. Say, “It is our custom to turn and bow in respect to the original teacher.” Turn, Sound clapper, bow and say, “And now a final bow to the Sangha, the spiritual community gathered here.” Clappers and bow.
- Say, “Thank you for coming here tonight.”
I go for refuge to the Buddha
I go for refuge to the Dharma
I go for refuge to the Sangha (three times)
For Radnor Friends
Before The Session:
- Secure key.
- Lights on in room. Dimmer lever is by each light switch to adjust brightness of lights.
- In cold weather turn on heaters. Note: leave on lower settings so as to not overload circuits. Circuit box is on wall just in the area by the restrooms.
- Put out three PBA signs. You will be shown where to place.
- In winter, clear steps of snow and ice. Shovel and ice melt is behind coat rack.
- Place meditation mats and pillows.
- Set up altar. Basket for these items near where cushions are kept. Buddha figure, lights, incense in sand, water offering in desired. We use lighters rather than matches as they may present a slim chance of fire.
- Check literature table at doorway for all appropriate materials.
- Retrieve the 3 PBA signs from our doors.
- Walk around room for final inspection.
- Go up and lock restroom area doors. Call in so as to not make sure area is clear.
- Lock door and replace key under ledge.
- Secure all three gates as you leave