HI (I have computer problem so this is in sections)
- Bows - there are full bows (where you fold yourself down to the floor) usually done in threes, and standing bows (gassho). If you can't do full bows (bad knees or whatever), do not dispair, just do a deeper standing bow. A full bow begins with a standing bow, but you continue down to the floor. Full bows are done during chanting service (usually always in sets of three) and before and after having a private interview with a teacher. A note on interviews with a teacher, often at a large place, senior students, as well as the teacher, will give interviews (also called dokusan, sanzen, daisan, all various Japanese names).
- Interview (sanzen, etc) - someone will indicate that it is time for you to wait in line to see the teacher. It is good, before the retreart starts, to ask about how you sign up to see the teacher. So you are waiting, when you get to the top of the line (everyone ahead of you has gone in), when it is time for you, you will hear a bell rung inside the room (the teacher rings it). Stand up, wait for the door to open, go in, if the previous person is standing there, go stand next ot them and the two of you will do a bow together (usually a standing bow). Then shut the door, stand behind the empty zabuton, do a standing bow, a full bow, a standing bow, then sit on the zafu. Say "my name is Jinho and my practice is (counting, following my breathe, shikantaza, whatever". then wait for the teacher to say/ask something. When the teacher rings the bell, it is over (this will seem perhaps unfriendly or abrupt, please know it is just how it is done, no slight intended). Stand up and return to standing behind the empty zabuton, do the same bowing routine you started with (standing bow, full bow, standing bow), open the door and (if this is what happened when you came in) do a bow with the next person, then leave and close the door after you. Then return to the meditation hall ("zendo") and return to your place and resume sitting. This is the one time you enter during a zazen period.