Morning Practice/Bell & Mokugyo

Morning Practice Instructions for Bell and Mokugyo*

BELLMASTER IN RED:  O=RING BELL

MOKUGYO IN BLUE:  X=TAP MOKUGYO

Start of Morning Practice

(start when room is quiet and settled)

Wake, O O O, Stop

Incense Ceremony

Please rise for the incense ceremony.”  (bell master holds small bell)

(Done by the Mokugyo/Incense offerer) Light incense, bow to the Buddha, place in tray, step back from altar.

In gratitude, we offer this incense to all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas throughout space and time. May it be fragrant as Earth herself, reflecting our careful efforts, our wholehearted awareness, and the fruit of understanding, slowly ripening. May we and all beings be companions of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. May we awaken from forgetfulness and realize our true home.
Small bell O as a half bow is made

Three Refuges

Please remain standing for the three refuges.
We will make a full bow after each refuge.
I take refuge in the Buddha, the one who shows me the way in life.
Small bell O, full bow, O to rise, stop
I take refuge in the Dharma, the way of understanding and love.
Small bell O, full bow, O to rise, stop
I take refuge in the Sangha, the community that lives in harmony and awareness.
Small bell O, full bow, O rise, stop, O, half bow,
Please be seated.

Sutra Chanting

We will now recite the Heart Sutra which can be bound in your folder.
(pause)
Wake, O O O , Stop
X  XX  (3 Refuges)
O (6 Paramitas)
X
O
X
O
X
X  XX    X (Four Noble Truths)
The Heart of Perfect Understanding

The Sutra is recited to the rhythm of the Mokugyo and the bellmaster ringing the bell once after each verse (indicated on Heart Sutra sheet.)
O O,  Stop (indicates the end of chanting)

The Five Precepts

We will now recite the 5 precepts.
Wake, O O O , Stop
The bell is invited and stopped in between each precept.  The bellmaster reads the first precept and then people take turns.
(After the 5th precept) Wake, O O O, Stop……)
Please pass the red folders to the front.

Om Mani Padme Hum Chanting

We will now recite the Om Mani Padme Hum mantra, three times, slowly
Wake, O O O , Stop
Each syllable of the mantra is slowly (5-10 seconds) chanted. The bell is invited at the start of each syllable.
 O O O,  Stop (indicates the end of chanting)
Let the mantra sit with you as we prepare for meditation

(pause)

 Meditation 

(Morning Practice Instructions Continued)

Wake, O O O, Stop
Breathing in, I calm my mind, breathing out, I smile.
O (do not stop the bell)
Fifteen minute meditation. (timed by the bellmaster)
Wake, O O O, Stop
Resettle
Wake, OOO, Stop
Sitting bow
Please rise and bow to the Buddha and then to the Sangha.
Rise (small bell) O (half bow to the Buddha)
O (turn to face each other and half bow to the Sangha)
Please proceed to the table and remain standing by your chair.

Before Sitting at the Table For Discussion

Standing at the table (small bell)   Wake, O, bow, Stop
Please sit.
Sit (large bell)   Wake, O O O, Stop…..Ask if there are any announcements.

After Discussion (approximately one hour)

Large bell    Wake, O O O, Stop
Please stand.
Small bell   Wake, O, bow, stop bell
We will now have a break, and when you hear the bell, please gather for walking meditation.

Walking Meditation

(Led by the walking meditation leader)
Small bell   O, bow to the center and turn to the left,
O, bow in the direction you will be walking,
O start to walk.
Walk one full circle. (approximately 15 minutes)
Small bell   O stop walking,
O bow in direction you are walking, turn to the center of the circle,
O bow center and return to stand by your chairs awaiting the bell.

Before Sitting at the Table for Discussion

Before sitting, please wait for the bell to be invited.
Small bell   Wake, O, Bow, Stop bell
Please sit.
Large bell   Wake, O O O, Stop
We will now begin the discussion portion of the class, (sometimes the group divides into small “family” groups and sometimes the group stays together).
Five minutes before class ends, the bellmaster rings the small bell to signal the end of discussion and people go to the cushions for closing meditation.

Closing Meditation

Big bell   Wake, O O O, Stop.
O (don’t stop the bell)
Ten to fifteen minute meditation.
Big bell   Wake, O O O, Stop…Resettle
Wake, O O O , Stop
Please rise and bow to the Buddha and then to the Sangha.
Small bell… O before half bow to Buddha, O before half bow to Sangha.

*A mokugyo is a wooden drum. It is frequently fish shaped