Weekly Schedule Change

Starting today, Friday, October 13, we’re going to experiment with making our Friday evening in-person sittings informal and optional for staff at Arnold Park and Chapin Mill. As many of you know, our staff numbers are low, and demands on everyone have increased. Over the years, the nature of residential training at the Center has evolved, with some staff members living “off-campus” and balancing relationship and householder responsibilities with their work at the Center. Accordingly, we’ve made individual accommodations, and a number of staff who don’t live at the Center have been allowed to skip the Friday evening sittings.  

We’ve never felt completely comfortable with that inequality, and we want to do what we can to relieve some of the pressure on residents. For those reasons, we’re going to initiate this experiment. However, as always, the zendo will remain open for members and residents to sit informally. 

If you’re one of the very few Sangha members who have been coming to sittings on Friday nights, we encourage you to continue to do so. Or if three 35-minute rounds have seemed too high a bar, you’re welcome to come by and appreciate unstructured sitting in our well-seasoned zendos. Of course, this also applies to any time of the week when there are no formal sittings scheduled. Note that this schedule change will not affect the weekly Zoom sitting schedule. 

Thanksgiving Weekend Schedule Changes

We’ve also decided to adjust our usual Thanksgiving schedule this year by canceling Temple Night on Friday evening. On Friday, November 24, the Center will be closed. This will enable Sangha members and staff to spend more time with their families and allow for travel time. Another factor is that Temple Night attendance tends to be considerably lower at Thanksgiving compared to the Buddha’s Birthday weekend in May. 

The schedule on Saturday, November 25, remains the same: sitting followed by a teisho on the Precepts, starting at 8:30 am, and then the Taking-of-the-Precepts (Jukai) Ceremony at 5:00 pm. Finally, on Sunday, November 26, instead of the Center’s being closed, there will be a formal sitting and chanting (no teisho or talk) from 8:30 to 10:30 am and brunch afterwards. 

Upcoming Activities

Roxy Manning, Spiritus Christi Church, Saturday, October 14, at 3:00 PM

Roxy Manning is author of How to Have Antiracist Conversations: Embracing Our Full Humanity To Challenge White Supremacy and the companion text, The Antiracist Heart: A Self-Compassion and Activism Handbook. She is a psychologist, certified non-violent communication trainer, mother, and Afro-Caribbean lesbian. Her visit to Rochester is sponsored by the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence and by ROC SURJ (Rochester Showing Up for Racial Justice). More information is here. 

Teisho by John-sensei, Sunday, October 15 

At 8:30 am in the Arnold Park zendo, we’ll have one extended round of sitting with a bell at the half-way point for a posture change, followed by kinhin, a short chanting service, and then John-sensei’s teisho. All will be broadcast on Zoom. 

Sangha Hikes

To express interest in any of the upcoming Sangha Hikes, please complete this form: https://rzc.breezechms.com/form/511b50 

  • Letchworth State Park, Sunday, October 15. This is a moderately difficult, steep, four-mile out-and-back trek. We’ll meet at 1:30 pm at the trailhead by the Middle Falls lookout. (Use the parking lot near the Glen Iris Inn.) The meeting coordinates are 42.58318, -78.04336.  
  • Mendon Ponds, Sunday, October 22. This is an easy, dog-friendly, two-mile loop around Devil’s Bathtub. Meet at 11:30 am at Arnold Park to carpool or at the Devil’s Bathtub trail head at Mendon Ponds at 12:00 pm. 

Zen 101, Saturday, October 21, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm 

While our Introduction to Zen Meditation workshop covers the basics of zazen (posture, breath practice, and kinhin), in Zen 101 we explore the more outward forms of Zen practice. Some examples of the topics we discuss:   

  • Prostrations: how and why 
  • Chanting as active zazen 
  • Getting acquainted with Zen terminology (e.g., Bodhisattva, Jukai, rakusu) 
  • Ceremonies and celebrations (e.g., Jukai, Bodhidharma Day, Buddha’s Birthday)  
  • What else would you like to know? Open Q & A  

Zen 101 is a free program held at Arnold Park. You’re also invited to join us for informal sitting in the zendo at noon, followed by lunch at 12:30. If you’re interested in attending, please RSVP by Friday, October 20, at noon, so we can get a head count for lunch.  

If you’re unable to attend in person, the program will be broadcasted on Zoom. Contact Jissai for the codes. 

Sunday, October 22, Extended Sitting, 6:15 am – 3:00 pm

In addition to the sitting that runs from 8:30 to about 10:30 am, there will be three other blocks of formal sitting, with the first beginning at 6:15 am. Private Instruction will be offered during the third block. Click here for the extended sitting schedule.