50th Anniversary

Rochester Zen Center

July 7, 2017

Funeral for Terryn Maybeck, Saturday, July 8, 11:00 am

Sangha member Terryn Maybeck passed away on July 1 after a nine-year struggle with ovarian cancer. Her funeral will be held tomorrow at 11:00 am here at Arnold Park. We recommend that members park along East Avenue, so that non-members can park along Arnold Park and in our lot. Also, there’s no need to wear your robe in the zendo for the funeral (many Sangha members have wondered about this over the years).

Roshi in Maine, July 8 – 16

Roshi will be away on vacation for all of next week. Dokusan will resume on Monday, July 17.

Photographs of the Work Retreat

Fresh off the press, here are photos of our annual Chapin Mill Work Retreat held last week. Our many thanks to the volunteers who showed up for all the work, zazen and afternoon fun; Chapin Mill wouldn’t look the same without the help of so many. You can see the album here.

June 27, 2017

New Dokusan and Private Instruction Schedule at Chapin Mill

There’s been a change in the schedule for the Work Retreat. Roshi will now give dokusan Tuesday and Thursday nights at Chapin Mill (no dokusans for the rest of the week at Arnold Park); private instruction will be available Wednesday and Friday nights (no private instruction at Arnold Park). Finally, at Arnold Park tonight, Tuesday, June 27, we will have the usual Beginners’ Night sitting with group instruction offered.

Center Closed Next Monday and Tuesday

We will have the regular sitting Sunday morning (the day after the Work Retreat), but no more until Wednesday morning, as the Center will be closed Monday and Tuesday, July 3 and 4. We’ll start back up with the morning sitting on Wednesday.

2017 Buddha’s Birthday Photos Are Posted.

Here’s a link to the album. Many thanks to our main photographer, Joe Marino, who took the lion’s share of the pictures.

Birth-and-Death Department

At 11:30 this morning, as hailstones were briefly falling, much of a large linden tree in front of the Center broke off, landing squarely on the bricked approach to the Center’s front door. Damage to the landscaping (other than the lovely Japanese maple) was minimal, and the falling tree also missed the cars that were parked on the street. Take a look! We were going to warn everyone that the main entrance to the Center was blocked, but a crew from the City of Rochester Forestry Division arrived within two hours and quickly cut up and removed the fallen part of the tree. (Unfortunately the linden has heart rot, and City will be removing the rest of the tree and replacing it with a new street tree.)

Staff members did hear the crash, so we don’t have to face that age-old, philosophical question….

June 22, 2017

All-day Sitting on Sunday, June 25

Three days from now, we’ll hold our monthly all-day sitting. As always, you can come for just part of the day, as long as you commit to stay for the two or three rounds of sitting in any block. Here’s the schedule:

6:15 am                 Zazen

7:30                       Breakfast

8:30                       Zazen & Teisho

10:30                     Tea break in the dining room

11:00                     Zazen

12:50 pm                Lunch break (bring your own)

1:30-3:00                Zazen

3:00                       The Four Vows

Chapin Mill Work Retreat, June 27 – July 1

Our annual four days of work, zazen, and community is right around the corner. We’ll begin with a sitting on Tuesday evening, and the retreat wraps up with lunch on Saturday. All members, trial members, family, and friends are welcome! Let us know whatever times you’d like to be there, and we’ll plan for you. If you’d like to stay overnight, you can count on a room and a bed.

There’s no fee for the work retreat (although donations for food are not turned away). The help we get from the Sangha during this yearly stretch is deeply appreciated!

Here’s a link to more information and the daily schedule.

Dokusan at Chapin Mill during the Work Retreat

There’s one scheduled dokusan on the calendar (Monday evening, June 26) before the Work Retreat starts up. For the rest of the week, Roshi will be doing his thing at Chapin Mill and will give dokusan out there on Wednesday and Friday evenings. (There will be no dokusan at Arnold Park next Wednesday morning and Thursday evening while Roshi is at Chapin Mill.)

Sangha Book Club Meets on Sunday

The Sangha Book Club’s next book will be The Wonder of Presence by Toni Packer. Join the discussion whether you’ve read the entire book or haven’t opened it at all. We’ll be meeting on Sunday, June 25 at 6:30 pm in Roshi’s library and will move outside, weather permitting. Snacks will be provided, and enlightening conversations are guaranteed.

We hope to see you there!

June 10, 2017

Finding Your Seat, Saturday, June 17

We’ll be having our third “Finding Your Seat” session, Saturday, 10:00 am, in Roshi’s Library. Roshi and John will be in sesshin, so this one will be led by some senior students. “Finding-Your-Seat” meetings focus on getting started at the Center and establishing a steady Zen practice, so bring your questions! We’ll unlock the front door at 9:30. After about an hour, you are welcome to sit in the zendo if you’d like. There won’t be any lunch available this time however, as the entire kitchen crew (and others) will be capping off sesshin at Chapin Mill.

June 7, 2017

Saturday Art Exhibition

The Zen Center will host an exhibition of Buddhist-inspired paintings this Saturday, June 10, from 4 – 8 pm. The painter is Tom Sommerville, a friend of the Center who has gravitated toward buddhas for much of his life. He will donate half of the proceeds from the exhibit to the Center. The paintings will be displayed in the dining room and Link, with most of the resident staff at Chapin Mill for sesshin.

Come one, come all.

CSA Shopping Run

The Center’s kitchen is wondering if anyone in the Sangha would be willing to pick up our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) order during the week of sesshin. The pickup is in Ionia, NY (about 30 minutes south of Rochester) and needs to happen on Thursday, June 15, between 4:30 and 7 pm.

If you think you might be able to help, contact Dené Granger (dagrange@syr.edu), and she’ll give you the details.

Trustee Winner

When all the ballots were counted at the Center’s Annual Meeting on May 28, Sensei Gerardo Gally was re-elected to a 3-year term as a Zen Center Trustee.

Japan’s Ancient Buddhist Pilgrimage Route

The Genesee Valley Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club will host an unusual presentation by Lisa Albrecht on Wednesday, June 14: “Trails to Enlightenment: Japan’s Kumano Kodo.” She’ll describe her pilgrimage to Buddhist and Shinto shrines on the Kii peninsula. See more at http://www.adk-gvc.org/outings/meeting. Note, too, that if you are looking for camping gear, the gear swap that precedes the talk is an excellent place to start.

9 Arnold Park for Sale

The Center’s next-door neighbor at 9 Arnold Park, Sangha member Jerry Vorrasi, has listed his house for sale. If you’ve always wanted to live next to the Zen Center, this is your chance! The listing realtor is Gar Lowenguth, (585)-218-6868.

An Invitation to Help

Our long-time receptionist, Alex Comardo, left staff in 2015 and married his girlfriend Sarah Mae Richens in August last year. A month before the wedding, Sarah Mae was diagnosed with cervical cancer, and she and Alex have been struggling ever since with treatment, side effects, and insurance denials.

Although we rarely, if ever, include a personal financial appeal in these Sangha e-mails, this ongoing battle seems like the case for an exception. If you’d like to read more, here’s a link to a GoFundMe page that tells the story: https://www.gofundme.com/sarahs-cancer-treatment-fund

June 2, 2017

Landmark Society: House and Garden Tour

A reminder that the Center is involved in the tour this weekend (June 3-4); we’ll be receiving a lot of visitors through our houses, and for many this may be their first contact with the Dharma, however superficial it may appear. Despite the heavy foot traffic through the Center, it will still be open for Sangha members to attend the Saturday and Sunday morning sittings (teisho on Sunday). Further information about the tour is posted on the Landmark Society’s website at http://landmarksociety.org/houseandgardentour/.

Dokusan Cancelled, Saturday, June 3

Because of the Landmark Society’s House & Garden Tour, Roshi won’t be giving dokusan tomorrow. The next scheduled Saturday dokusan will be July 2.

Meeting Sunday, June 4

The Seeing-through-Racism group will meet this Sunday, June 4, around 11 am, after sitting, teisho, and brunch.

Call for Zen Bow Submissions: Taking Refuge in Sangha

Sangha is one of the Three Treasures (or Jewels) of Buddhism, along with Buddha and Dharma. When we take refuge in Sangha, as recited in the Three Treasures, we express our faith and reverence for the immediate and wider community of Dharma (or Buddhist) practitioners – going all the way back to the immediate disciples and followers of the Buddha. Our practice depends on the support and inspiration of Sangha as the embodiment of the Way, and likewise through our own efforts we help bring the Buddhadharma to life for others. Readers are invited to submit essays and images that reflect on “Taking Refuge in Sangha” to the editors at zenbow@rzc.org. Submission deadline: Friday, June 23.

May 24, 2017

Buddha’s Birthday

Coming up in just a few days, we have our annual Big (Fun) Weekend. Everyone – you should come! Starting out on Friday evening, it’s…

… Temple Night

Our weekend kicks off with Temple Night and Jukai (taking of the precepts) on Friday, May 26. Before the Jukai ceremony begins and after it’s over, sitting and devotions are unstructured. You are free, on this night, to sit anywhere in the Buddha Hall and to make prostrations and offer incense at any of the altars, as you wish. If you have a figure of a Buddha or bodhisattva at home that you’d like to bring in and place on the main altar, please do so.

You can sit late into the night, if you like, after the Jukai ceremony ends. (For security reasons the door to the Buddha Hall is locked from the outside after 9:30, so if you leave after that, you won’t be able to get back in.) This is a nice chance to do late-night sitting outside sesshin with no wakeup bell looming at 4:10 the next morning!

We’ll continue as we did last year with stacking cushions in a few locations rather than setting them out. This way those who come to sit may feel a little freer to sit wherever and however they want.

Buddha’s Birthday on Saturday

Festivities continue on Saturday with music, story-telling, a parade, food, and games. The full schedule is here. And if you’d like an idea of what to expect, you can scroll through pictures from past years’ celebrations on the photo gallery page of the Center’s website.

For the vegetarian potluck picnic that follows the elephant parade, the Center will provide veggie burgers, drinks and dessert (and by dessert we mean ice cream as well as Lou Anne Jaeger’s amazing cupcakes). Please bring either a main dish or a salad (fruit salad counts). This year we’re asking people to take their dishes home with them when they leave – just to simplify cleanup. Please, no meat, poultry or seafood, and size it to serve eight.

If you’re a parade veteran and would be willing to miss it this year and help with food setup, let Dené Granger know (dagrange@syr.edu). You may free a staff member who’s never been in the parade before to follow in the footsteps of the Elephant!

One more note: it’s fine to park on East Avenue, and we also have permission to park in the lot of the Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word (entrance on Goodman Street). Just be sure not to park in the spots reserved for the Harry Bruno Salon. These are along the side of the lot closest to our Buddha Hall.

Annual Corporate Meeting on Sunday

We’ll start with an informal sitting from 8:30-9:30. Dokusan for out-of-town members will be available then. Afterwards, we’ll have our Annual Meeting in the Buddha Hall at 9:30 am.

May 12, 2017

Calendar Notes

Roshi will be gone this weekend, so rather than teisho on Sunday, May 14, John Pulleyn will give a Dharma Talk. Roshi will give teisho on Sunday, June 4. On that same Sunday, following teisho, there will be a meeting of the Seeing through Racism Committee.

Schedule for Buddha’s Birthday

Buddha’s Birthday weekend at the Center is two weeks away (May 26-28).

Here’s a link to the schedule. Take note that there are some significant changes in the schedule this year: for instance, the Annual Meeting is on Sunday morning instead of the usual Saturday.

“We’re Getting the Band Back Together!”

It’s our annual call for all musicians for the Saturday of Buddha’s Birthday (May 27). If you and your instrument would like to perform, e-mail John Pulleyn (john@rzc.org), and he’ll sign you up. We’ll be meeting in the Center’s library for a rehearsal on Saturday, May 27, at 9:00 am. Talent requirements are modest; the more musicians we have, the louder and more festive the parade will be.

Book Club Meeting

The Sangha Book Club’s next book will be The Wonder of Presence by Toni Packer. Join the discussion on Sunday, June 25 at 6:30 pm in Roshi’s library. We’ll move outside, weather permitting. Snacks will be provided and enlightening conversations are guaranteed. We hope to see you there!

Landmark Society: The House and Garden Tour

The Landmark Society of Western New York’s 47th annual House & Garden Tour is happening on the weekend of June 3-4, and this year our Center will a part of the eleven-stop tour. Tickets are $20.00 for Landmark Society members ($28.00 for non-members), and you can find more details about the tour on the Society’s website at http://landmarksociety.org/houseandgardentour/

Despite the heavy foot traffic that will occur during the tour, the Center will still be open for Sangha members to attend the Saturday and Sunday morning sittings (teisho on Sunday).