This Week’s CoronaCast
The latest: CoronaCast from Roshi, April 30.
From Roshi: “It has been a real pleasure to be able to have tele-dokusan every day, especially with out-of-town members, whom I generally don’t get to see outside sesshin, but also with local members, whom I’ve not been seeing much of, either.
Here are a few points, though:
In a notice a few weeks ago, I urged those scheduled for dokusan to have sat for at least forty-five minutes beforehand. But “beforehand” need not be immediately beforehand, which could prove difficult for dokusans scheduled in the middle of the day. My point, rather, is that people have done some solid sitting earlier that day, so that both student and teacher can get the most out of dokusan.
If you have a robe at home, please don it for dokusan, as I always do, lest dokusan get too casual. If you’re a local member and your robe is stuck in one of the changing rooms at the Center, you could ask one of the residents to leave it in the Link coat room, where in fifteen seconds you could retrieve it after slipping in the back door of the Center (masked, of course).
Please initiate the dokusan with a standing bow and, if you’re a formal student, a prostration.
Find a way, if you can, to position your device at about chest level. This is preferable to having your device on the floor, which leaves me with an ant’s-eye view.”
Zoom Sitting Notes
In the Arnold Park and Chapin Mill zendos, morning sittings begin with a ritual in which people who have rakusus recite, aloud and in unison, the verse inscribed on the back of the rakusu. However, for the Zoomed sittings, with momentary audio lapses and related problems not uncommon, this ritual would be more difficult to pull off, so we’ll continue dispensing with it. People with rakusus, though, can still do the ritual individually, in silence.
Some have proposed that, from time to time, when a Zoom sitting ends, we take a little time to give each participant a chance to say a few words to others. We’ll give this a try soon, so expect to hear the host for that sitting mention it.
For the time being, we’ll continue our evening Zoom sittings on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Those sittings have averaged 15 participants during its first week.
And finally, are you wondering about the source of those live bird sounds broadcasted in the morning Zoom sittings? You can see some photos and videos from Sangha members’ Lou Faber and Elaine Heveron, respectively, who live in South Florida across from a bird sanctuary.
All-day Sittings This Saturday and Sunday
A few of the staff at Arnold Park have asked to add an all-day sitting this Saturday to the one already scheduled for Sunday, making it closer to a 2-day sesshin. For Saturday, the all-day sitting will be broadcast from the audio livestream only. There will also be a Dharma Talk by Trueman Taylor at the usual time (~9:28) as well as the opportunity for Private Instruction. If interested, send him an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to set up an appointment and discuss platform (FaceTime, Zoom, et cetera).
For Sunday, the all-day sitting will be broadcast with both the audio livestream and the Zoom app. Roshi will be giving teisho at the usual time as well (9:28). John Pulleyn (email@example.com) will offer Private Instruction that day. Send him an email to set up an appointment and discuss platform. Below is the schedule for the two days (note that there are some differences in time between the Saturday and Sunday schedules):
|Saturday Schedule||Online Platform|
|6:15 am||Zazen||RZC Streaming Audio|
|8:30||Zazen||RZC Streaming Audio|
|9:28||Dharma Talk||RZC Streaming Audio|
|11:00||Zazen||RZC Streaming Audio|
|11:45||Private Instruction||Zoom, Facetime, or Skype|
|2:00 – 3:30||Zazen, ending with the Four Vows||RZC Streaming Audio|
|Sunday Schedule||Online Platform|
|6:15 am||Zazen||RZC Streaming Audio
|8:30||Zazen||RZC Streaming Audio
|~9:28||Teisho||RZC Streaming Audio|
|11:00||Zazen||RZC Streaming Audio
|11:45||Private Instruction||FaceTime or Skype|
|1:30-3:00||Zazen, ending with the Four Vows||RZC Streaming Audio
Finding Your Seat
FYS continues every Saturday, from 11:00 to noon. If you’d like to join this Saturday, May 2nd, go into the Zoom app and enter the Center’s main meeting room with the Meeting ID (420-991-3323) and password (121966). No need to RSVP; just show up using the Zoom app! More information about FYS is here.
Needing something to read during isolation? Amala-sensei and Kathryn Argetsinger have collaborated on a book, Finding Your Seat, an introduction to Zen, particularly as practiced at the Auckland Zen Centre. Each chapter of the book offers basic information on successive topics (from instructions for sitting, through beginning to work with a teacher, taking Jukai, and attending sesshin). A teisho from Amala-sensei closes each chapter and explores some aspect of the topic in greater depth. The book is available on Amazon and other online book outlets, or order it from your local bookstore. Full title: Finding Your Seat: A Zen Handbook.
The Sangha Book Club Resumes
Susanna Rose writes:
Due to COVID-19 our March meeting to discuss Active Hope by Joanna Macy was cancelled. This meeting has been rescheduled to meet ONLINE (using the Zoom app) on Sunday, May 17 at 6 p.m. Meeting ID: 976 8983 1283 & Password: 375224. Please let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you can attend! (And how are you? I’d love to hear from you all).