Kyosaku - the Big Stick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It doesn't hurt. It is great in the afternoon to wake you up. You have to ask to get hit (you put your hands in gassho as the person walking the kyosaku is almost in front of you). The person doing it is trained in exactly where to hit (on the fleshy parts of the upper back on either side of the spine). Some places will come round and give everybody one whack during the first zazen period, but if you have a bad back, stop the person. ZEN PRACTICE IS NOT ABOUT DAMAGING YOUR BODY. (sorry.....finished ranting now......)
- Most zen centers will have a list (on their website) of what to bring and what not to bring.
- Do not bring books, journals, (let alone ipods, cell phones, etc). It is a time to let all that go just for those few days. A time to experience the wisdom (and delusion) already inside oneself. Make sure your cell phone is off while you are there.
- You will be incommunicado for the retreat. Short of a medical emergency, no one should try to contact you. This is another aspect of being considerate to the other people at the retreat (including the hardworking staff who have organized the retreat).
- You will probably be sleeping in a room with other people. For those of us who snore, it is something you need to mention when your register (they often have a room for noisy sleepers). Bring earplugs.
- Mostly, just have a mindful time, be gentle, it's all ok.
your OCD yenta,