Center on Break

Our week-long holiday break begins this Sunday, December 19, after the morning sitting, teisho by Sensei, and Sangha meeting. We’ll start back up on Monday evening, December 27, with the 7:00 pm sitting and dokusan. As always, the zendos at Arnold Park and Chapin Mill are available to members, and we’re happy to say that the Zoom sittings will continue, uninterrupted, during the break. The two exceptions are that there will be no Zoom sitting on Christmas eve or the morning of Christmas day. Check the online calendar if you have any doubts about the schedule.

Finding Your Seat This Saturday, December 18, 11 am – noon

Although Zen practice is simple and direct, it’s not easy. The Center offers hour-long Saturday sessions on Zoom to help. Sessions are led by senior students, prepared to answer questions, offer advice and encouragement, and lead a short round of sitting. This Saturday’s FYS will be our last until January 22. Contact Trueman for the Zoom access code.

Youth Sunday

Parents, here’s another opportunity to drop off your kids and join the zendo. On Sunday morning, December 19, at 8:30, experienced leaders will offer an environment for kids to play games, have conversation, make art, and enjoy each other’s company, all in the spirit of mindfulness.

Meet in the backyard of Arnold Park, near the community space; parents will be able to pick up their children in the same place, after the sitting, at 10:30. We are anticipating a wide range of ages, so please RSVP by Friday evening to help us plan accordingly. You can RSVP by emailing Chris Maley. Also, if you would like to be on our Youth and Family Program’s email list, let Chris know.

And Also This Sunday: Sangha Meeting, 10:30 am

As mentioned above, we’ll also hold an overdue Sangha meeting. We hope you can attend either in person or online using the usual Zoom meeting codes.

Zen of Living and Dying, Sunday, 11 am – noon

Every two weeks or so after the Sunday morning sitting, a group of Sangha members meets from 11:00 to noon to provide support for each other in dealing with issues of life, death, and illness. Participants affectionately refer to the group as ZLD.

At ZLD meetings, we share, we listen, we open our hearts, and maybe shed a tear or laugh. Working with our difficulties from the perspective of Zen practice, we see how they can help us to grow in our understanding and compassion – for the benefit of ourselves and others.

If you’re interested in attending ZLD meetings, contact Eryl Kubicka.

Final reminder: Winter Sangha Cookie Swap Drop-off, Sunday, 8 am

For those who’ve already signed up for the Sangha Programs Office’s inaugural Winter Sangha Cookie Swap, Sunday December 19 is swap day! Please bring your packaged cookies with you to the morning sitting and look for someone in the Link who’ll walk you through the process.

Questions? Please contact event coordinator, Theresa Cole for assistance.

New Year’s Eve Ceremonies

With the looming arrival of the Omicron variant, you may be wondering if there will be a New Year’s Eve Ceremony this year. The Center’s COVID-19 Task Force will be meeting tomorrow to discuss this and other issues. So far, we do plan to have a New Year’s Eve celebration in the Arnold Park Zendo, but with some changes (there definitely won’t be any noise-making circumambulation for instance). At the very least, there will be lots of zazen, with the evening beginning at 8:00 pm.

Sangha Help

Sangha member Rebecca Gilbert’s husband, Gavin Rigg, had a medical emergency on December 12. He is expected to make a good recovery; however this will take several weeks and will cause financial strain. Several Rochester-area groups and organizations are helping the family.

This particular fundraising campaign is for a dog-walking service. The family needs help with dog care due to the time-consuming nature of Gavin’s recovery. Here’s the link if you’d like to help out. Money raised in this campaign will go toward a 3-month service package for Maya, their young and very rambunctious dog. A calm dog makes for a calm home.

A warm thank you from Gavin, Rebecca, and their children, Julian and Malcolm.