Is there any charge associated with practicing at the CZC?
There is no charge to take part in the regularly schedule meditation periods here, though there is a per diem charge for sesshin, since lodging and meals are included. The Center is self-supporting through charitable contributions (there is a donation box near the door) and through membership dues. For more information on membership, see Membership.
What's with the robes?
As with dressing for work or sports, a change in clothing can help focus one's mind and adjust one's frame of reference. The brown sitting robes worn by many of the lay practitioners here help do just that. It is understood that one might not be comfortable donning a robe at first, and their use is entirely optional, except during sesshin, when the demands of a concentrated practice period free from unnecessary distractions warrant them.
How strict is the "no moving" rule?
In the course of a round of meditation, all manner of distractions arise that get in the way of one's concentration. Many of these are thoughts and are thus unknown to others in the zendo. Some of these are physical discomforts, and if we react to them by moving, adjusting, scratching, rubbing, etc., then our distraction now becomes a distraction for everyone else. Hence we encourage everyone to do the best they can to deal with physical distractions without physical responses. In time, one will become more and more able to sit through the distraction. That said, if one is experiencing a major cramp or something of the kind, then one my extend ones leg (or whatever body part) quietly to bring it under control and gain some relief.