50th Anniversary

Rochester Zen Center

July 14, 2016

Free Gokhale Workshop Tomorrow, Friday, July 15

It’s worth repeating our announcement from last week: Esther Gokhale will give a free workshop tomorrow focusing on posture for sitting and walking meditation. We’ll begin at 10:00 am, in the 7 Arnold Park zendo. Here’s what she has in mind:

Has your sitting practice been negatively impacted by physical pain? Distracted by posture problems during sesshin? In this custom-tailored workshop, Esther will touch on the finer points of meditation posture, both sitting and walking. Good posture is critical for meditation practice, but can also transform aspects of daily living, including increased energy, decreased stress, and reduced back and neck pain. It also helps prevent future injuries by rehabilitating and protecting your joints. Contact Gokhale Method employee and Sangha member Alex Comardo at Alexc@gokhalemethod.com with any questions.

Pictures on the Website

We’ve posted pictures from Buddha’s Birthday and from the Work Retreat in June. Check them out in the photo gallery (https://www.rzc.org/about/photo-gallery-new-version/). Also, we’re nearly done sorting through all the pictures from the 50th Anniversary weekend. Big thanks to everyone who sent in their pixels! An album will be posted very soon, and we’ll also post a digital version of the 56-foot timeline that was hung in the wooden walkway.

Attendant Needed Friday, August 5

Sangha member Lee London needs an attendant to take him to and from a medical procedure at the Outpatient Surgery Center on West Ridge Road. His appointment is at 10:30 am. For safety reasons, because he will be sedated for this procedure, someone needs to remain with him in the office while he recovers. This will take at least three hours on the part of the attendant. If anyone from the Sangha can help, please contact him at 585-647-2175.

July 7, 2016

Correction to Today’s Dokusan Schedule

We “misspoke” in our e-mail of yesterday. Roshi will give dokusan this evening (Thursday, July 7) and never planned to this morning. The next dokusan after tonight’s is scheduled for Monday evening, July 18.

Talk this Sunday, July 10, on Home Funerals and Green Burial

Lynn Barnett is a home funeral guide who extensively volunteers her time educating the community about home funerals and green burials in the Rochester area. She’ll give a talk, hosted by the Zen of Living and Dying Group, this Sunday, July 10, after our regular sitting, chanting, and the brunch that follows. Here’s a brief summary Lynn wrote for us:

What is a home funeral? A home funeral happens when a loved one is cared for at home or sacred space of choice after death, giving family and friends time to prepare the body, gather and grieve in the most natural and healing way. The National Home Funeral Alliance (NHFA) has the mission to educate the public to their choices and provide clear information about all things relating to home funerals. It empowers families to care for their own dead by providing educational opportunities and connections to resources that promote environmentally sound and culturally nurturing death practices.

July 6, 2016

Calling all 50th Anniversary Photographers!

Did you take any good photos during our 50th anniversary celebration weekend? If so, we would love to get copies for the Center’s archives. This past weekend was a phenomenal success, and we hope your photos captured some of that sublime atmosphere at Arnold Park and Chapin Mill.

If you’re sending one or two photographs, it’s fine to e-mail them to John Pulleyn at john@rzc.org (please do not e-mail photos to the address from which these announcements were sent.) However, in order to avoid overloading the somewhat limited capacity of the Center’s e-mail system, we ask that you send larger numbers of photos on a CD, DVD, or thumb drive to Rochester Zen Center, 7 Arnold Park, Rochester, NY 14607.

No Dokusan and Teisho (July 17) Next Week

Roshi will be away on vacation from this Saturday, July 9, until Sunday evening, July 17. Dokusan will occur tomorrow morning, Thursday, July 7; the next one after that will be Monday evening, July 18. Concurrently, the scheduled teisho for Sunday, July 17 is cancelled.

Free Gokhale Workshop Friday, July 15

Esther Gokhale, author of 8 Steps to a Pain Free Back, is returning to give a free workshop on posture for sitting and walking meditation at 10:00 am, in the 7 Arnold Park zendo. Here’s what she has in mind for this particular workshop:

Has your sitting practice been negatively impacted by physical pain? Distracted by posture problems during sesshin? In this custom-tailored workshop, Esther will touch on the finer points of meditation posture, both sitting and walking. Good posture is critical for meditation practice, but can also transform aspects of daily living, including increased energy, decreased stress, and reduced back and neck pain. It also helps prevent future injuries by rehabilitating and protecting your joints. Contact Gokhale Method employee and Sangha member Alex Comardo at Alexc@gokhalemethod.com with any questions.

Additionally, on July 12 through 14 Esther Gokhale will be teaching two complete Gokhale Method courses. Also, for anyone who has taken the full course previously, Gokhale teacher Linda Congdon will teach a refresher class on July 15 at 2:30 pm. To sign up for any of these offerings, you can go to http://gokhalemethod.com/city?c=Rochester.

All-day Sitting Sunday, July 17

The all-day sitting begins at 6:15 am and ends at 3:00 pm. While it’s all right to come for just part of the day, we do ask that sitters commit to stay for all of the two or three rounds of sitting in any block. Here’s the full schedule for the day: https://www.rzc.org/program-events/all-day-sitting/.

Reminder To Send a Photograph for One’s Eventual Memorial Service

Many of those attending the 50th anniversary celebrations this past weekend saw the long list of Sangha members who’ve died over the past five decades. This serves as a good reminder to send your photograph to the Center for use at an eventual memorial service. Send us a photograph of yourself to display on the altar; please make sure it’s at least 5×7 inches (8×10 inches is even better). If would be helpful if you send a physical, rather than a digital, photograph.

June 30, 2016

Esther Gokhale Special Workshop

Has your sitting practice been negatively affected by physical pain? Distracted by posture problems during sesshin?

Esther Gokhale, author of 8 Steps to a Pain Free Back, is on a mission to make back pain rare by restoring your natural posture. The human body is capable of holding you in a relaxed, upright pose that is not stiff or painful. In this custom-tailored workshop, Esther will touch on the finer points of meditation posture, both sitting and walking. Good posture is critical for meditation practice, but can also transform aspects of daily living, including increased energy, decreased stress, and reduced back and neck pain. It also helps prevent future injuries by rehabilitating and protecting your joints.

This free workshop will take place at 10 am July 15th at 7 Arnold Park. Contact Gokhale Method employee and sangha member Alex Comardo at Alexc@gokhalemethod.com with any question

June 23, 2016

Last Call for the 50th!

Our big anniversary weekend begins in eight days, and we need to give final numbers to our caterers tomorrow. If you’ve been putting it off or weighing your options, now is the time to decide! We’ll be shutting down the Eventbrite registration site at the end of the day tomorrow (Friday, June 24), so if you’d like to come, click here to go to the 50th Anniversary webpage and make sure you’re registered for the two free lunches.

You can do it. Call if you need help!

Sittings Next Week

As you may have gathered from the onslaught of Center e-mails, we’re pretty busy here getting ready to host our big blowout. As time slips by, and guests begin to arrive, things are going to get a little hectic. With that in mind, we’ve chosen to cancel next week’s Thursday evening and Friday morning sittings. There are also no formal sittings during the weekend.

Nevertheless, the zendo will still be open, not only before we begin, but throughout the weekend. We’re looking forward to sitting with friends, both old and new.

Lecture Sunday on Plant-Based Nutrition

Dr. Tom Campbell, the clinical director of the University of Rochester program for Nutrition in Medicine will be here after the sitting this Sunday, June 26, to give a lecture on the benefits of a plant-based diet. His talk will be in the dining room, after brunch (around 11 am). Here’s a link to a poster for this event.

June 10, 2016

Results of Trustee Election

When the ballots were counted at the Center’s Annual Meeting of Members on May 28, Jonathan Hager received the most votes, and Betsy Friedman received the second most. In accordance with the Center’s by-laws, Jonathan will serve a three-year term ending in May 2019, and Betsy will serve a two-year term ending in May 2018. Many thanks to all four of the candidates for participating in the election.

All-day Sitting Sunday, June 12

If you’re getting this e-mail, you’re welcome to join! While it’s all right to come just for part of the day, we do ask that sitters commit to stay for all of the two or three rounds of sitting in any block. Here’s the full schedule for the day: https://www.rzc.org/program-events/all-day-sitting/.

Ralph Chapin Memorial Work Retreat: Starts Tuesday Evening, June 14

Here’s a finalized schedule for the work retreat, including additional information such as daisan and dokusan evenings: https://www.rzc.org/program-events/chapin-mill-work-retreat/. Still time to sign up! In fact, you can e-mail John Pulleyn (john.pulleyn@gmail.com) during the retreat if the clouds part and a day opens up for you. You’re also welcome to drive out for sittings (there’s one every evening), or you can sit at Arnold Park with the one or two staff who will stay back to “mind the store.”

Dane Gifford Memorial Service: New Time

The memorial service on Sunday, July 3, will now be at 8:30 in the morning (instead of 9:00). The earlier time will allow time for those who have registered and paid to take the shuttle to Chapin Mill for Sunday’s 50th anniversary events. There will be three departure times: 9:30, 10:00, and 11:00. If possible, we encourage you to leave at 9:30 or 10:00, to ensure no one gets left behind at the 11:00 departure (maximum of 43 per shuttle).

Seeking Lifeguard for the 50th Anniversary

With some urgency, we are still seeking a lifeguard to watch over the pond, for Sunday, July 3. The hours would be from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. If you know anyone who is a certified lifeguard, and who could cover at least some of that time, contact Cecily Fuhr (585-473-9180, cecily@rzc.org).

Remembering Sangha Members Who Have Died

We’ll have a memorial altar in the Buddha Hall during the 50th anniversary weekend with photos of those who’ve passed away and a list of everyone we (and you) can think of. If you’re on the mailing list for the anniversary, you’ve already received e-mail(s) about this project, so feel free to stop reading right now!

Here’s a link to our current list (a work in progress). If you’d like to add anyone or correct spelling or a date, send John an e-mail (john.pulleyn@gmail.com). You can also e-mail a picture or bring one in for the big weekend.

June 3, 2016

Upcoming Saturday Dokusans

The dokusan scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, June 4, will be at 9:30 rather than the usual 10 am. This is to allow Roshi to join the rest of the staff in going out at 10:15 to pick up litter along the stretch of Interstate 490 that the Center has adopted.

The dokusan scheduled for the following Saturday, June 11, is cancelled, as Roshi will be out of town.

Takuhatsu I-490

You too are welcome to join the crew on I-490 tomorrow. It’s gratifying to leave a public space beautified, and is even kind of fun (in a funny kind of way), especially working in teams. Show up at the Center at 10:00 if you’d like to take part. That will give you time to get your gear (wear grubby clothes) and sign the waiver form.

Help Needed

As we creep further into June, the 50th anniversary is looming large. Ironically, the Center’s staff, which has always waxed and waned in size, is somewhat smaller than it has been in several years. So anyone who can spare even an hour –any day, and even without notice – to help us will be welcome.

All-day Sitting Sunday, June 12

All Center members and trial members are welcome to join. While it’s all right to come just for part of the day, we do ask that sitters commit to stay for all of the two or three rounds of sitting in any block. Here’s the full schedule for the day: https://www.rzc.org/program-events/all-day-sitting/.

Chapin Mill Work Retreat!

Act now and reserve a place at the 2016 Ralph Chapin Memorial Work Retreat (Tuesday evening, June 14, through Saturday lunch, June 18). This year it’s being held a week earlier than usual, as we ramp up our preparations for the 50th anniversary maha celebrations (July 1-3). If there’s any one work retreat to attend, it would be this one, as we’d like to get a lot of projects done so the buildings and grounds can really shine during the 50th anniversary weekend. Plus, it’s a lot of fun (in a fun kind of way)!

We’ve got rooms, cushions, work, and food for everyone who’d like to join in. Get to know some of those people sitting alongside you in the zendo! Information and pictures from previous years are posted on the web site (click here). Give us a call or e-mail John Pulleyn (john@rzc.org).

You can come for all or any part (whether sitting or work). There is no fee, but donations for food would be appreciated. We ask again this year that you bring your own bedding; we have a rental that starts after we finish up, so there isn’t time for multiple loads of laundry. The schedule is listed below – a nice balance of sitting, work, and recreation:

 

Tuesday evening
7:00-9:00 Zazen
Wednesday-Friday:
5:15 am Wakeup
5:45-7:00 Zazen, chanting
7:15 Breakfast
7:45 Work meeting
10:30 Tea break in courtyard
12:45 pm Lunch in Retreat Center dining room
1:30-2:00 Clean-up
2:00-7:00 Fun! Hiking, swimming, chatting, ice cream runs…
4:15-6:00 Leftovers available for dinner in Retreat Center dining room
7:00-9:00 Zazen (with daisan Tues & Thurs, dokusan Wed & Fri)
Saturday

Same except breakfast at 7:30, Work meeting at 8:00, Barbecue lunch at 1:00.

 

Dane Gifford Memorial Service

Another memorial service for Dane Gifford, former teacher and Zen Center priest who died unexpectedly of a heart attack in April, will be held on the weekend of our 50th anniversary. If you weren’t able to attend the large memorial service for Dane held at the Center on April 17, you may come to the Buddha Hall on Sunday, July 3, at 9:00 am.

The Kannon Committee

The Rochester Zen Center’s Kannon Committee is a group of volunteers who help ill or temporarily disabled Sangha members through companionship, chanting, delivering meals, helping with errands, or providing transportation to appointments. If you would like to offer help, or if you know a member who could use some help, contact Keith Carpenter at keith@rzc.org.

May 25, 2016

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

This year’s celebrations begin with Temple Night and Jukai on Friday, May 27. This is a time when the Sangha can come together – in a fluid, unstructured way – into a beautiful Buddha realm for sitting and personal devotions. You are free, on this night, to sit anywhere in the Buddha Hall and to make prostrations and offer incense at either 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 formal end of Temple Night. (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.) Many people have found these late hours of Temple Night to be an especially fine time for zazen.

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, and food. 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 Lou Anne Jaeger’s amazing cupcakes as well as ice cream). Please bring either a main dish or a salad (fruit salad counts). 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 Trueman Taylor know (cpt0628@gmail.com).  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.

Sitting on Sunday

This year, a lot of the games we roll out at the Sunday Buddha Bazaar will move to the picnic at Chapin Mill on Sunday, July 3, where we expect to host nearly 400 present and former Center members.  This clears the morning for our usually scheduled programming – zazen and chanting, followed by brunch.

50th Anniversary Merchandise

While you’re here on Saturday, check out the table with the T-shirts and tea cups produced to mark the 50th Anniversary (a little more than a month away).  One of our staff members (Rick Smith) brought a consignment with him to our Madison group and sold out on the spot.