50th Anniversary

Rochester Zen Center

September 15, 2017

Flu-Vaccination Clinic at the Center

As we did last year, the Center will host a flu clinic, tomorrow, Saturday, September 16, at 10:30. It’s a quick and timely way to get your flu shot for this year. There’s information in this flyer, including a list of accepted insurance plans.

September 8, 2017

Sittings This Weekend (September 8-10)

The sitting tonight (Friday) is cancelled since Eryl and staff will be out at Chapin Mill to begin the two-day sesshin. There will still be the usual Saturday and Sunday morning sittings. Also, Roshi will give dokusan Saturday morning at 10:00 am for members who can’t attend dokusan during the week.

August 23, 2017

Sangha member Susan Roebuck will be moving back to Rochester from Colorado in September along with Bella, her 11-year-old pug-terrier mix. Susan is looking to rent a room or studio apartment near the Zen Center where Bella would be welcome. If you know of a possible rental, please contact Susan at ssn.roebuck@gmail.com.

August 22, 2017

End-of-Summer Break

Tonight (Tuesday, August 22) is our last formal sitting before our annual two-week summer break. Some of our residents 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 6, with early-morning zazen. The first dokusan after the break will be Thursday evening, September 7.

Connect with the Sangha on Social Media

The Sangha Engagement Committee has two new ways for Sangha members to connect online. First is a new Facebook group. This is an informal group for Sangha members to connect socially, organize activities, and share information. We hope to build community, get to know each other better, and support each other on the path. Find us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RZCSangha/

Second is a group on the “Insight Meditation Timer” app. This is a nice app to use as a meditation timer at home or when traveling (also, don’t forget the RZC live audio streaming – https://www.rzc.org/publications/streaming-audio/). You can see who’s meditating with you and send notes to each other. Download the app then search for RZC Sangha under Groups. You’ll also see the group listed under “Nearby” groups if you’re in the Rochester area. The group’s purpose is to connect Sangha members sitting at home and help them support one another.

Anyone affiliated with the Center is welcome to join both groups.

August 17, 2017

Annual Picnic This Saturday

It’s that time of year again! This year’s potluck picnic is set for Saturday, August 19, (reminder: no formal sitting Saturday morning). Come and enjoy Sangha, great food, and Chapin Mill; it’s wonderful to connect with other members – and their families and friends and pets. Also, if you’re worried about ticks (safety note below), Eryl has reported that there’s been a significant decrease in tick activity recently.

Everyone is invited – Sangha, friends, children and dogs! Plan to arrive anytime from 11:30 a.m. on, and lunch will be served from 1:00 to 2:00. Bring a vegetarian main dish or dessert to pass (enough for eight people). The Center will provide sweet corn, fruit, beverages, and ice cream. Bring clothes for swimming, volleyball, and hiking. Also bring blankets or folding chairs if you’d like. If you need a ride or can offer one, give us a call at the Center (585-473-9180), and we’ll make it happen.

Request from the Kitchen: Bring your dish directly to the Mill House once you’ve parked in the Barn lot. If you don’t know which house that is, follow the signs. Please label your serving utensils and container(s); this will greatly help with cleanup. Finally, label your dish, particularly if it’s vegan and/or gluten free.

Safety note: If you’re planning to hike in the woods, please be aware that Lyme disease, a serious tick-borne infection, has become a problem in our area. Information is available online from the federal Centers for Disease Control: www.cdc.gov/lyme/.

Founder’s Day This Sunday (And All-day Sitting)

There’s a lot going on this coming weekend besides the Saturday picnic. On Sunday, we have Founder’s Day and an all-day sitting. We’ll be listening to an audio recording of one of Kapleau-roshi’s teishos (we’ll also have a photo of Roshi on the altar). After teisho, during brunch, there’s an opportunity to visit our annual photo exhibit, which will be displayed in the Oak Room. The schedule for the all-day has been slightly altered so that there’s time for folks to have brunch and see the photo exhibit.

6:15 am                 Zazen

7:30                       Breakfast (Center will provide)

8:30                       Zazen & teisho (recording, Roshi Philip Kapleau)

~10:30                   Special brunch

~11:10                   Zazen

12:50                     Lunch break (bring your own)

1:30-3:00                Zazen

3:00                       The Four Vows

Private Instruction

Due to rentals and picnic preparations, Eryl won’t be coming in tomorrow night (Friday, August 18) for private instruction; instead, she’ll be here Tuesday night, August 22. This will be the last private instruction (and formal sitting) before the Center closes for its annual 2-week break (Wednesday, August 23 – Tuesday, September 5). During the break, there will be a few staff members staying at the Center who will check for telephone and e-mail messages, and Zen Center members are welcome – as always – to sit on their own in the zendo.

A Donated iPhone

Last week, an iPhone was found in the donations rack at the Center. Sangha member Dwain Wilder gratefully picked it up and plans to ship it to a friend in Africa who will put the phone to good use. There’s just one catch: the iPhone is locked and the password wasn’t included when it was dropped off. If you’re the donor of the phone, please call Dwain (585-288-5031) and give him the password.

August 10, 2017

Guest Dokusan

Amala-sensei, who is residing at Chapin Mill until she returns to New Zealand on August 22, has agreed to give dokusan tomorrow evening, Friday, August 11, at Arnold Park. 

Introductory Workshop Cancelled

Due to low attendance, the August 12 workshop has been cancelled. The good news is that we’ll now be able to have the regular morning sitting this Saturday at 6:15 am.

A Problem with Sesshin Applications

If you applied online between July 25 and July 27 for any sesshin, please notify Trueman Taylor (trueman@rzc.org or 585-473-9180, ext. 14). We had a problem with our server during that period, and we fear that some applications may have been lost in cyberspace. We don’t want to miss any applications!

July 28, 2017

Streaming during Sesshin

Although there are no formal sittings at Arnold Park this coming week of sesshin (since we don’t have even the usual skeletal crew to run them), we will be streaming all the formal sittings from sesshin at Chapin Mill. You can tune in through the website at https://www.rzc.org/publications/streaming-audio/.

Call for Zen Bow Submissions: “Starting Over”

“I love the outsets, despite the fear and uncertainty that attach to all beginnings … begin to what? I begin – period. I have already begun a thousand lives this way.” 

—Rainier Maria Rilke

In the course of Zen practice, from time to time we may find ourselves stalled, caught in a web of dry routines, and even feeling discouraged enough to quit practice altogether. Yet, at any moment we can take a different course, shaking off the narratives that have defined us, and begin anew. Beyond the continuous efforts we make to renew ourselves breath by breath, some practitioners refresh their practice in more tangible ways – for example, attending a “refresher” introductory workshop, resolving to sit more frequently at the Center, participating in a term intensive, adopting a yoga or exercise routine, or devoting time to community service. There are a multitude of ways to hit the reset button and free ourselves from habit patterns. Readers are invited to submit essays and images that reflect on “Starting Over” to the editor at zenbow@rzc.org. Submission deadline: Friday, September 1.

GoFundMe for John Botsford

Long-time Center member and inveterate volunteer John Botsford is facing a second back surgery that will leave him unable to work for three months. Once again, this is a situation where we feel Sangha members who know John would appreciate knowing what he’s facing and might want to help out financially. If that’s you, here’s a link that lets you know how you can help.

July 22, 2017

All-Day Sitting, Sunday, July 23

This month’s all-day sitting happens tomorrow. As always, you can choose to attend any of the four blocks throughout the day, as long as you commit to the entire block of two or three rounds. Here’s the full schedule:

6:15 am          Zazen

7:30                Breakfast (Center will provide)

8:30                Zazen & teisho

~10:30            Brunch

11:00              Zazen

12:50              Lunch break (bring your own)

1:30-3:00        Zazen

3:00                The Four Vows

An Update on Wayman Kubicka

As many of you know, our Caretaker and Head of Zendo at Chapin Mill, Wayman Kubicka, underwent major back surgery this past Tuesday. The surgery went so well that he was released from Unity Hospital the very next day. He’s doing well and recuperating at home, where he can be seen walking (though not yet running) the Chapin Mill grounds (a daily exercise encouraged by his surgeon).