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” to our hearts and minds and provide benefit. A series of Dharma Talks on these texts is available here. Reciting sutras is also understood in Buddhism to generate merit. Following chanting, a dedication (Japanese eko) is 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). 

  • 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.
For online practice all three roles are combined into one.

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. See the Doanryo Training Guide for a deep dive into the world of doan, tenken and kokyo.

Doan scripts

You may download the color coded scripts which assist the doan ryo in striking bells and leading the chants here. Note that service scripts linked in below are hosted in Ananda, our online repository of Sangha documents.

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

Thursday evening practice - Alternating Services

Morning Service - Rotation of Four Services

  • Morning Service A - Heart Sutra, Hymn, Enmei Jukku Kannon Gyo, and Merging of Difference and Unity
  • Morning Service B - Heart Sutra in Japanese, Hymn, Shosaimyo Kitchijo Dharani, and Fukanzazengi
  • Morning Service C - Heart Sutra, Dai Hi Shin Dharani, and Genjo Koan
  • Morning Service D - Heart Sutra, Hymn, Shosaimyo Kitchijo Dharani, and Song of the Jewel Mirror Samadhi

Sunday Service - for our Sunday morning “Zen Alive!” program

Noon Service (during One Day Sits and sesshin).

  • Noon Service A - Metta Sutta (Mahayana inflected translation, chanted in the Zen style).
  • Noon Service B - Sutta on Loving Kindness (More literal Theravada translation, sung in a 3-tone melody). Listen to an example.
Evening Service (during sesshin)

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