When I light incense before I sit I get on my knees and bow like I was taught before, then I put the stick of incense in a wine glass filled with salt. Before I eat I say a meal verse. Before I go to bed I say a chant. When I wake up (usually) I say a chant. When I leave a room I bow. When I am standing in the kitchen perhaps waiting for something to cook, I put my hands in the mudra that we use for kinhin and pay attention. I chant the Heart Sutra sometimes before I sit. I sometimes say to myself: may all being be happy, be peaceful, be free.

We run through our day and rarely take the time to stop and bow or just stop. I think these things are here for a reason. They help practice. As to the actual effect of them I can't say. I just think they help. Perhaps they help us change along with our Zazen.

What do you guys think?

Gassho Will