Rochester Zen Center

September 26, 2014

Bodhidharma’s Death Day

On Thursday, October 2, Roshi won’t give dokusan, and instead we’ll have two rounds of sitting followed by the annual ceremony that commemorates the death of Bodhidharma, who came from India to China and founded the Zen school of Buddhism. The “Western barbarian” shows up on the zendo altar just once a year, so come check him out!

Seeing Through Racism

The next committee meeting is scheduled for this Sunday, September 28, after teisho.

New Pictures on the Website

We have a new photo gallery program that can actually handle captions, and new pictures from this year’s Work Retreat and Buddha’s Birthday were just uploaded. Here’s a link, or just go to our home page, www.rzc.org, and click the link there.

September 10, 2014

Dokusan

Since Roshi will be leaving for Cleveland tomorrow, Thursday, September 11, to work with the Cleveland Zazen Group, the next dokusan in Rochester will be on Monday evening, September 15.

No Formal Sitting Friday Night

With the two-day sesshin beginning, there won’t be a sitting at Arnold Park this Friday evening, September 12.

Workshop Date Change

On the paper calendar that went out in the summer quarterly mailing, we had a workshop scheduled for Saturday, September 20. However, in order to allow Roshi and some of the staff to attend the People’s Climate March in New York City that weekend, the workshop was moved to September 27th. (In this, as in all things, the online calendar is always the most up-to-date!) We will have the usual Saturday morning zazen and workday on the 20th.

The Life of Gautama Buddha

On the evenings of September 19 and 20, the Indian Community Center (ICC) will present a production of “The Life of Gautama Buddha” at the Nazareth College Arts Center.

Here’s what they’ve written about it:

Presented by the ICC, “The Life of Gautama Buddha” was originally staged by Theatre World for the president of India and has been performed internationally, for the Dalai Lama, and throughout the United States.

Documenting his spiritual transformation, “The Life of Gautama Buddha,” choreographed by Santosh Nair, is unique: a fusion of music, dance, and language which creates a visual work of art that takes the audience on the journey of Prince Siddhartha’s path to Enlightenment and eventually Nirvana. It is the hope of the ICC that this exceptional creation will have a broad appeal with the culturally and spiritually diverse audiences in our area.

And here’s a link to their poster:

http://www.rzc.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Life-of-Buddha-email-poster.pdf

Ticket prices vary by seat location, but you can get a discount on any seat with the Center’s discount code: ICC20

September 4, 2014

Teisho on Sunday

Although it wasn’t listed in the calendar (until now), Roshi will give teisho this Sunday, September 7.

All-day Sitting Sunday

On Sunday we’ll also have our first all-day sitting of the fall. Here’s the schedule for the day. You can come to any or all of the four blocks of sitting.

6:15 am        Zazen

7:30             Breakfast (Center will provide)

8:30             Zazen and Teisho

10:30           Brunch in the dining room

11:00           Zazen

12:50 pm      Lunch break (bring your own)

1:30-3:00     Zazen

Climate Crisis Talk This Sunday

Here’s a repeat of an earlier announcement of Susan Spencer’s upcoming talk. She’s a doctoral candidate in microsystems engineering who specializes in design and fabrication of organic solar cells. She was personally trained by Al Gore to give presentations on solutions to the climate crisis. In her own words: “As a scientist, I am morally obligated to make ethical choices when presented with factual data. As a citizen of the human race, I believe that we have what it takes to solve the climate crisis, which will be the defining challenge of our generation. Join me!”

Susan will give a talk in the Center’s library on the third floor of 5 Arnold Park this Sunday, September 7, at about 11 o’clock, following the brunch. Note that we’ve moved the location from the dining room to avoid disturbing those sitting in the zendo.

Poetry Workshop Postponed

With both the all-day sitting and Susan Spencer’s talk going on this Sunday, the scheduled poetry workshop will be postponed. Stay tuned for a later announcement when we’ve settled on a new date.

Upcoming Mindful Practice Workshop for Medical Practitioners

Dr. Ron Epstein and Center member Dr. Mick Krasner will be leading a four-day workshop retreat for medical practitioners at Chapin Mill from May 7 to 10. The retreat is hosted by the Center for Experiential Learning, University of Rochester Medical Center. Drs. Epstein and Krasner are both faculty members at the University of Rochester. If you’d like to learn more, click here.

August 19, 2014

End-of-Summer Break

This evening, August 19, is our last formal sitting before the annual two-week break that ends our summer. Some staff will be here holding down the fort, and members are welcome to stop by anytime during the break to sit in the zendo or use the library. We resume on Wednesday, September 3, with early-morning zazen and dokusan.

Earth Vigil in New York City

On Sunday September 21, what promises to be the largest protest march ever in response to climate change will snake through downtown Manhattan. In the midst of it, the Zen Center’s Earth Vigil group, including Roshi, will be staging an open sitting in conjunction other like-minded groups. Buses will leave the Center early on Saturday morning, the 20th, and then we’ll sit all day Sunday and return that night.

If you’d like to reserve a seat on the bus ($20 round-trip) and free lodging in NYC, or have any questions, send an email to Earthvigil@rzc.org or call the Center at (585) 473-9180.

Climate Crisis and Renewable Energy Solutions

Susan Spencer is a doctoral candidate in microsystems engineering who specializes in design and fabrication of organic solar cells. She was personally trained by Al Gore to give presentations on solutions to the climate crisis. In her own words: “As a scientist, I am morally obligated to make ethical choices when presented with factual data. As a citizen of the human race, I believe that we have what it takes to solve the climate crisis, which will be the defining challenge of our generation. Join me!”

Susan will give a talk in the Center’s dining room on Sunday, September 7, at about 11 o’clock, following the brunch.

August 6, 2014

July ‘64

The “Seeing Through Racism” group will be screening the movie “July ‘64” this coming Saturday, August 9, at 7 pm in the Center’s library, with a discussion afterwards. This film tells the story of a historic three-day race riot that erupted in Rochester on the night of July 24, 1964, when frustration and resentment brought on by institutional racism, overcrowding, lack of job opportunity and police dog attacks erupted in violence. The uprising, which later came to be known as the Rochester Riot, sparked a series of summertime riots in other small and mid-sized northern cities. We are also hoping to have a chanting service soon in remembrance of this event.

No Dokusan Tomorrow Evening

There will be no dokusan tomorrow evening, Thursday, August 7.

Dharma Talk this Sunday

This Sunday morning, August 10, starting at 8:30, we’ll have the usual sitting and chanting, followed by a Dharma talk by Eryl Kubicka.

Rescheduling Highway Cleanup

Due to a scheduling conflict, we’re moving our Interstate 490 cleanup operation to Saturday, August 16, leaving the Center at 11 AM.  What hasn’t changed is the promise of pizza for lunch.

BGAG News

The Board Game Appreciation Group plans to meet (and play board games) after the Sunday morning sittings on August 10 and September 28.

Sesshin Fees

The Trustees decided at their meeting in May to institute an increase in the charge for sesshin (the first increase in 14 years).  Member rates are going up from $40 to $45/day and rates for non-members will go up to $65 from $55.  We’ll make the change starting September 1, so if you want to apply early and save money, you’re welcome to do that.  Roshi reminds members that they can apply to him for assistance from the Abbot’s Fund if they need financial help to get to sesshin.

July 31, 2014

Picnic on Saturday at Chapin Mill

Our annual Sangha picnic is scheduled for this Saturday, August 2. Arrive at Chapin Mill any time from 11 AM on, and lunch will be served from 1:00 to 2:00. Scattered showers are possible, but should be manageable. If there’s too much rain, we’ll move the picnic to Sunday. Call the Center Saturday morning if you’re in doubt. Please bring a vegetarian main dish or dessert to pass (enough for eight people), and the Center will provide corn-on-the-cob, fruit, beverages, and ice cream. It will help a lot with cleanup if you label your dish and serving utensils and take them with you afterward if you can. You may want to bring clothes for swimming, volleyball or kickball, and hiking. Bring blankets or folding chairs if you’d like to sit in enhanced comfort. A map and directions on how to get to Chapin Mill are posted on the Center’s website here.

The board game aficionados of BGAG (Board Game Appreciation Group) have asked us to mention that they’re hoping to get their game on after the picnic winds down.

Park Avenue Summer Art Fest This Weekend

If you’re coming to the Center on Saturday or Sunday, allow some extra time to negotiate traffic. Arnold Park will be blocked off at the Park Avenue end, so cars will come and go from East Avenue. (Additional information is posted on the festival’s website here.

Seeing Through Racism

The next “Seeing Through Racism” meeting will be this Sunday, August 3, after brunch.

Car for Sale

In preparation for his move next month to Chengdu, China, where he’ll be teaching mathematics and physics, Center staff member Catalin Carstea is looking to sell his car. Here are the details:

  • Year, make & model: 2010 Toyota Yaris
  • Body: 2 door hatchback
  • Color: red
  • Transmission: manual
  • MPG: 39 on the highway, 36 in the city
  • Mileage: 22,000 miles
  • Condition: good (one dent on the right side, some scratches)
  • Asking price: $8,000 (Blue book value: $8,225)

If you’re interested, contact Catalin at jon.carstea@gmail.com

Another Clean-up on Our Highway

We’ll be driving out to our section of I-490 for another round of limited-access takuhatsu on Saturday, August 9. Cars will leave the Center at 10:45, and we’ll be back for lunch at 12:30. You’re welcome to join us. Gloves, hard hats, vests, bags, and gloves provided.

Volunteer for Free Feedback!

Center member Josh Kjolhede is working to complete his certification in ISPI (Innovation Strengths Preference Indicator) and needs to give group feedback to three people “who might have interest in self-discovery and how we interact in the world. This is a bit like the Myers-Briggs personality indicator, but far more comprehensive.”

If you’d like to participate, email Josh at jkjolhede@innovating.com. Here are a couple of websites with more information: http://www.innovating.com/  http://myhumangrid.com/