The Jisha acts as the attendant to the Teacher. He/She accompanies the Teacher, supports the Teacher in ceremonies, and manages Dokusan.

The Jisha prepares the teacher’s dokusan room and sets chairs in the dokusan waiting area.

The Jisha helps the priest with offerings (either incense or flower pedals) at these times:

  • Opening the zendo at all four sessions. (early morning, mid-morning, afternoon and evening).
  • At all services. (two offerings at early morning service and one at noon and in the afternoon).
  • Before Dharma Talk. The Jisha will also see that the teacher’s notes etc are in place.

If someone is allergic to incense, the teacher will offer flower petals instead. The Jisha will provide a supply of flower petals.

The Jisha will bring people to the teacher for dokusan and provide instructions on the dokusan form to those who need it.

The Jisha will exit behind the teacher whenever he/she leaves the zendo with the exit bells.

Some additional details:

  • Before the teacher enters the zendo, meet him and walk into the zendo with him.
  • Light a stick of incense at the back of the room, bring it with you as the teacher approaches the altar.
  • When the teacher goes to the altar to light incense, you follow slightly behind him on his right.
  • When you get to the altar, holding the incense with both hands, in the middle of the stick, hand it to the teacher.  He/She will take it at the bottom of the stick.  Step back a step.
  • When the teacher bows, you bow with him.
  • When the teacher turns to go back to the bowing cushion, return to your own zabuton, sit on his right, facing out.