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Harada Roshi

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Why is the bell hit 4 times at the start of the zazen period? Does the number hold any significance?

One has to have the experience of being in a Japanese sodo, that this becomes obvious. If there are 200-300 monks sitting together, the signs given have to be clear. One clapper and one bell mean, that there will be a Junkei, a round with keisaku, and during this time it is still possible to move and adjust one's posture, the Junkei person also correcting postures as well. After the fourth bell, there is no movement allowed at all.

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