Red Cedar Zen Community, 1021 N Forest, Bellingham Washington

Chants & Doan-ryo

Reciting sutras out loud at home or with the support of sangha is a deeply centering process. Even when we don’t have intellectual understanding of all of the contents of the sutras, dharanis and poems chanted they “get in there” into our hearts and minds and do provide benefit. Classes and study retreats are periodically offered. Studying a sutra that has been chanted frequently and memorized can be a wonderful experience. Reciting sutras is also understood in Buddhism to generate merit. Following chanting a short dedication (Japanese eko) is always recited to direct the positive energy of this practice to those who need it.

We do use some Japanese words and chants. For information about how the Japanese language works and how to pronounce the words we use please see: Japanese Pronunciation Basics.pdf created by Desiree Webster.

The Red Cedar Zen Sutra Book

Our current sutra book can be downloaded as a PDF or you make take one home from Red Cedar Dharma Hall on your next visit ($5 donation requested).

Download the chant book as a PDF.  Or click on our most common chants below.


Doan Ryo

The Doan Ryo: the ceremony work group

The Doan ryo are the orchestra of the meditation hall in the practice roles of tenken, doan, and kokyo (see below). Training is conducted by the Ino (head of meditation hall). It takes place during our work period on the first Wednesday of each month, and by arrangement at other times.

  • Tenken – Bells and clackers for zazen and kinhin, and during the service plays the wooden mokugyo drum.
  • Doan – Rings the bells during the service.
  • Kokyo – Leads the chanting during the service.

Participating in zendo services in these roles enriches and deepens practice. Taking responsibility for our practice together strengthens our community. If one feels nervous or self-conscious, working with these feelings in a supportive environment can be quite helpful.

Doan scripts

You may download the color coded scripts which assist the doan ryo in striking bells and leading the chants here. Use these for home practice or services in other zendos. The doan and kokyo book in the Red Cedar Dharma Hall zendo have a complete set.

Monday - Thursday morning practice - brief dedication with well-being and memorial lists and precepts verse

Wednesday evening practice - Alternating Services

Morning Service - Rotation of Four Services

Noon Service - two versions of the Metta Sutta

Evening Service (during sesshin)

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