In Zendo, the term Master may refer to one of two things:
- Master as Role: The Master is the person who creates the secret rule and officiates the game.
- Master as Action: To call Master is to request that the Master mark one's koan. Compare: mondo
Master as Role
This role may change after each game, or less often at the group's discretion.
The primary task of the Master is to make the game enjoyable to the other players. In addition to ensuring that every koan is appropriately marked and impartially fulfilling player's requests, this means that the Master must first choose a secret rule of the appropriate difficulty for the group at hand.
The Master may alternatively be called Sensei, a term of respect meaning "teacher".
Master as Action
"Master" is the way to request that the Master simply mark your koan. The alternative is to request "mondo", where all students guess simultaneously before the Master marks your koan.