Zen room or hall. This is the main room, whether it be in a monastery, retreat center or residential home, where zazen and other Zen practices are observed. An altar is not essential but usually one is present. If possible, the room should be private and quiet, free from distractions such as television, music and noise from nearby automobile traffic or pedestrians. (However, it’s important to note that quiet, isolated locations are not the only place to practice! Zen should be taken out into the real world as well, and sometimes a little traffic noise is a good reminder of that.) As with the English word “hall,” zendo is sometimes used to refer to an entire building or teaching center.