Guidelines for Conduct at the Head Temple
The Head Temple, Taisekiji, is a solemn place where the Dai-Gohonzon of the High Sanctuary is enshrined. While on Tozan, with a heart focused on personal Buddhist training, one should make a careful note of the following:
General Guidelines during Your Stay
- Strictly observe all instructions and directions made by the Overseas Bureau.
- Be on time for all activities.
- Please refrain from any selfish conduct that will disrupt the unity of the group.
- Please refrain from smoking except in designated areas. No smoking allowed inside building. You may smoke at the chairs just outside building.
- Please avoid loud or excessive noise on the Temple grounds.
- Please walk on the right side of the paths on the Temple grounds.
- The drinking of alcoholic beverages or use of illicit drugs during Tozan is strictly prohibited.
- No Cameras, video or audio recording devices are allowed in the following ceremonies: Ushitora Gongyo, Gokaihi and General meeting. Only persons authorized by the Overseas Bureau prior to Tozan will be exempt.
The Lodging temple (Bo)
- Please do not drag suitcases with wheels on the tatami.
- Please place your shoes on the shoe shelf and do not bring them into the room.
- Please take off your shoes when you enter the carpeted area or tatami room.
- Please do not walk with bare feet in the hallways.
- All valuables are the sole responsibility of the owner. The Head temple can take no responsibility for any articles lost during Tozan.
- Please do not point your feet at the altar if you are sleeping in the Gohonzon room. Please also clear the room before Gongyo every day.
- Each Tozan participant is responsible for maintaining neatness within the lodging temple and cleaning the lodging temple at the assigned time, which has been set at 7pm April 16th.
- Please be strict about lights out time. Have consideration toward people who are trying to sleep. Getting enough sleep is an important health factor while on Tozan. Please do not wake people up before the morning wake-up time. Take care with personal alarm clocks.
- When you are leaving the room, do not forget to close the windows, turn off the lights and the air conditioning system.
- Dispose of wastes properly according to the labels on the wastebaskets: A) Burnables B) Cans C) Bottles
- We ask that everyone help in the preparation of meals. One person is to be selected for every five participants to take charge of helping in the setting up of the tables, distributing the meals and setting the table, preparing the tea and cleaning up afterwards.
- If you are unable to use chopsticks please bring your own eating utensils.
- Clean up afterwards by cleaning the tea kettles and tea cups and wiping the tables off before putting them away.
- If you wish to eat at a time other than meal time, do so at the designated area so as to avoid dirtying the tatami.
- Please keep the lodging temple area neat. Make sure you vacuum the room after supper since you place bedding on the tatami in the same room.
- Please use the plastic sandals provided when entering the bathrooms.
- Please keep the bathrooms and toilets clean.
- Do not wash your hair or body in the bathroom sinks. Please go to the shower during the specified hours.
- Every participant is responsible for setting up and putting away his or her own bedding.
- You are allowed only one set of bedding per person. There will not be enough bedding to go around if you use extra.
- On arrival you will collect your own bedding which will consist of one futon mattress, one or two sheets (depending on the temple instructions), a blanket, a futon comforter and one buckwheat pillow.
- Sheets may not be used for wiping or drying off.
- Do not take pillows to use as cushions when kneeling to chant.
- Lay the sleeping mattress on the tatami. Do not lay the mattress down before allocating enough space.
- Cover the mattress with a sheet and put the pillow under the sheet. If a second sheet is provided this is your top sheet.
- Put the blanket directly on the top sheet.
- Then lay the futon comforter on top of the mattress.
- For each ceremony a gokaihi ticket is required. Bring this ticket with you to the Hoando. We will depart as a group from the lodging temple. In this way we can all proceed to the Gokaihi ceremony together and support each other.
- Prior to the ceremony refrain from talking or making noise and be sure not to rub the juzu beads. After the High Priest leads Gongyo he will deliver a sermon. Please listen to the High Priest’s sermon with your hands held in a gesture of prayer.
The following guidelines are to be followed during Ushitora Gongyo.
- After entering the Kyakuden, please be quiet and wait for the High Priest to enter.
- The High Priest will chant three Daimoku to the Gohonzon then turn east and chant three Daimoku before beginning to recite the Hoben Chapter. This Daimoku is only chanted by the High Priest and no one else.
- When you hear Daimoku from the loudspeakers you should chant along with the Daimoku.
- Hiki Daimoku (prolonged Daimoku) is not chanted over the loudspeakers only the High Priest’s voice is used. Therefore, listen carefully while following the Hiki Daimoku with the High Priest.
- Do not rub the beads.
- After the completion of the five prayers of Gongyo, the High Priest will move to the Yohaido that is located on the left side of the Kyakuden and perform Gongyo. You should move your body in the direction of the Yohaido and do Gongyo with the High Priest.
- After the Ushitora Gongyo the High Priest will move to the Mutsubo located next to the Kyakuden to perform morning Gongyo. For this reason do not make any noise or talk while departing the Kyakuden and returning to the lodging temple.
Morning Gongyo on Day of Departure
If we will collectively attend Ushitora Gongyo -which will also be our morning Gongyo - there will be no other morning Gongyo at the lodging temple on the day. If we do not attend Ushitora Gongyo collectively, you will need to do morning gongyo at the lodging temple.