The Center Reopens This Sunday, February 6

The Center’s COVID-19 task force met on Tuesday, and decided that the Center can reopen for in-person sittings, starting this Sunday, February 6. Please follow these protocols if you plan to return to sitting in-person (and we hope you do!) at Arnold Park or Chapin Mill:

  • To attend sittings in person, you must be fully vaccinated and have received a booster shot if eligible (you are eligible if you are more than 6 months from your final vaccine dose). If you’re not yet eligible for a booster, you are required to be at least two weeks past your second Pfizer or Moderna shot or your single Johnson & Johnson shot.
  • Mask at all times (including when in the dokusan waiting line, when reciting the rakusu verse, and when chanting the four vows) except when you are sitting quietly on the mat doing zazen. However, you may remove your mask when in the dokusan room. Another way of putting it: wear your mask whenever you are in motion in the buildings.
  • Only the following types of masks are acceptable: (1) a tight-fitting, high-filtration mask, such as an N-95 or KN-95 mask; or (2) a surgical mask that fits correctly without gaps.
  • For the time being, there will be no refreshments available after the Sunday morning or Tuesday evening sittings.

Roshi’s Latest Coronacast

It’s been about six weeks since Roshi’s last Coronacast. Check out his latest here, entitled “Advice from a Zen Fool.”

Teisho by John-sensei, Sunday, February 6

Sensei will give teisho this Sunday. As noted above, we will have reopened, and if you’re fully vaccinated, you may join us in the Arnold Park zendo. Or you can participate via Zoom.

4-day Sesshin Application Deadline, February 10

We offer sesshins about once a month at the Center. They vary in length from two to seven days. The deadline for the upcoming 4-day sesshin (February 22-26) is February 10 (although late applications will be considered). We plan to resume holding sesshins in person at Chapin Mill. And we will continue to offer everyone the opportunity to participate in sesshin via Zoom, with a live feed from the Chapin Mill zendo. If you hesitate to attend a sesshin on Zoom, know that with some forethought and preparation you can create a strong environment for sitting and help yourself make the most of this opportunity. Here’s what one participant in the January sesshin reported:

Being someone who leads meetings for a living, I know all too well how much planning and attention it takes to pull off a hybrid event. Hybrid meetings are much more difficult than either all in person or all virtual. As a participant experiencing this January’s Rohatsu sesshin, I felt it was seamless. The transitions during dokusan, opening and closing ceremonies, and the whole flow of the sesshin were well orchestrated and impressive. Hats off to you, and many thanks for the obvious effort you put into it.

Dharma Reflections February 13

Just a reminder: all are welcome to join the monthly Buddhist study group, Dharma Reflections, on Zoom, on Sunday, February 13, from 1:00-2:15 pm EST. Much more information and this month’s source material are available here.

What Is Private Instruction?

Private Instruction is a one-to-one teaching encounter in private given by a senior student. Its parameters are a little broader than those of dokusan, and may offer the time to get into counseling-like territory, though still only briefly. Private instruction also covers points about posture and breathing and other basic instruction in Zen practice, especially for those who have not formally become a student of Roshi or Sensei. During the pandemic, whether you’re a member or not, you’re welcome to email any of the following to set up private instruction online:

Donna Kowal
Eryl Kubicka
Wayman Kubicka
Jeanette Prince-Cherry
Trueman Taylor

In addition, in-person private instruction is usually offered as follows:
Tuesday evenings at Arnold Park – Trueman Taylor
Tuesday evenings at Chapin Mill – Wayman Kubicka
Friday evenings at Arnold Park – Trueman Taylor or Donna Kowal