This Week’s CoronaCast (April 20, 2021): Come On In – the Water’s Fine!

See You at the Sangha Meeting

To learn about the Sangha survey results and our next steps, please join us for the upcoming online Sangha meeting on Saturday, April 24, at 1:30 pm. We’ll meet in the usual RZC Zoom space.

If You Were on Zoom This Past Sunday…

We were experiencing technical difficulties with Zoom and were unable to broadcast John Pulleyn’s Dharma Talk on that platform, even though it was in fact being broadcast on the Center’s audio live-stream (Mixlr). For those who missed the talk, here it is: Impermanence

The June 5-day Sesshin (June 4 – 9)

Sensei Amala Wrightson will be leading the June 5-day Zoom sesshin. For those who may not know Sensei, she is one of Roshi’s Dharma heirs and the abbot of the Auckland Zen Centre in New Zealand. Due to the 16-hour time difference, Sensei will not be attending the early-morning block (6:00 – 8:00 am) of sesshin; during that block, John Pulleyn will be giving private instruction instead.

Register for Understanding Anti-racism: Community Discussion and Q&A This Sunday

The RZC Uprooting Racism Sangha Engagement Group invites you to “Understanding Anti-racism” this Sunday evening, April 25, from 7:00 to 8:30 EDT, on Zoom. The featured presenters will be Sangha member Dr. Sonia James-Wilson (she/her) as well as Dr. Kunaka Pearl Ratunil (she/her). In discussion with participants, Dr. James-Wilson will explore foundational concepts related to anti-racism, including whiteness, appropriation, supremacy, and power. Dr. Ratunil, drawing on her experiences as a long-time Asian-American Zen practitioner, will share her reflections on Funie Hsu’s article, “We’ve Been Here All Along.” The session will end with time devoted to questions from participants.

Please register for a free “ticket” through Eventbrite here to receive the Zoom meeting information (it’s different from the main Zen Center account), as well as reminder emails and more information about our presenters. If you have any questions or problems along the way, you can contact Luka Häkkilä (they/them) at

“Unknowns That Are Known”

Roshi and others on staff are fielding a lot of questions these days – without much to go on:

Q: To what extent might people be able to attend upcoming sesshins in person, either at Chapin Mill or Arnold Park?

A: Don’t know. The local COVID-19 situation remains in flux. We’ll keep monitoring the numbers, and let the Sangha know as soon as we can. But for sure there will be a 5-day sesshin (online) June 4-9, led by Amala-sensei from New Zealand again, with private instruction assistance from John Pulleyn in the early morning block, which is the middle of the night in Auckland.

Q: Will we have our annual Buddha’s Birthday celebration this year?

A: We’re planning to have some kind of celebration on Saturday, May 29, but it won’t include anything in the Buddha Hall. Prospects for some kind of picnic that day in the Center’s garden look promising, but because of how small the Center’s staff is now, it will have to be a more modest undertaking. Fully-vaccinated people may want to attend without masks, and even bring dishes to pass. Others could still come with masks and just bring their own individual lunches if they prefer. The point is, why shouldn’t we be able to socialize outdoors in the garden, with or without lunch of some kind?

The usual Temple Night on Friday evening is out because of how labor-intensive the set-up is. But maybe something simple in the Arnold Park zendo that night?

In-person Dokusan at Arnold Park

Starting next week, Roshi will resume the same dokusan schedule he followed before the pandemic: dokusan at the Monday and Thursday evening sittings, the Wednesday morning sitting, and, for those who simply can’t make it to one of those sittings, on Saturdays at 10 am.

Henceforth, local members who are fully vaccinated and want to have dokusan will generally need to come in person to one of these sittings. But Roshi is open to making exceptions to this rule, so if you’re a local member who’d like to have dokusan but simply can’t get to the Center (or isn’t fully vaccinated), email him ( to request dokusan over FaceTime or Zoom.

Workdays at Chapin Mill and Arnold Park

After the Great Shutdown of ‘20-‘21, the grounds and facilities at Chapin Mill and Arnold Park are in sore need of attention. If you’d like to pitch in to start freshening them up for the spring, come to Chapin Mill on May 1 and/or Arnold Park on May 15, both Saturdays. More information to come.