Re: Zazen necessary for training
Zazen as a practice is not something you can pull off by sitting for 5 minutes before the start of class. This is more akin to 'quiet time' , and laying one's head on the desk in kindergarten. That doesn't make it bad. I would use the word 'ideally' to say that one should sit with a group in seated meditation before they can find significant effect from Zazen before class.
Aside from western prayer, I want to hear about other forms, Michael(Riehle) (don't want anyone thinking I'm talking to myself). Walking, and guided meditations are interesting once in a while.
But I agree, with the idea, Mike. At the very least if it doesn't impart whatever O Sensei found for himself in meditation, it will at least empty the brain pan and make the subsequent experience much more significant.