Saturday Dokusan

Tomorrow, July 10, Roshi will give the first Saturday-morning dokusan in a long time. These were instituted years ago to accommodate members who can’t make it to the regular dokusans held during the week. If you’re interested, take a seat in the zendo on the left side, near the Kannon Room, any time before 9:00 a.m., when an announcement will be made before dokusan begins.

Youth Sunday

Parents, here’s another opportunity to drop off your kids and join the zendo. On Sunday morning, July 11, 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 at Also, if you would like to be on our Youth and Family Program’s email list, let Chris know.

The Zendo Is No Longer a Sauna

There have been a few sittings in recent weeks that were hot and humid, despite the air conditioning being turned on. It turns out, to the monitors’ chagrin, that the system had a refrigerant leak and couldn’t cool the zendo properly. The leak has been fixed, and the problem should be resolved.

July Sesshin Dokusan

The July 23-30 sesshin will be the first in 18 months that follows our pre-pandemic schedule at Chapin Mill, and it is difficult to predict how many local and out-of-town people will apply (deadline: Friday, July 16), and on what basis (full-time or part-time). Even though New York State’s vaccination rate is among the highest in the country, regular evening sittings at the Center have been thinner than before the pandemic, so we remain in the dark at this point. But prospective applicants may want to know about plans for dokusan, so here’s Roshi’s and John-sensei’s thinking so far:

We’ll try this sesshin having all dokusans – both in-person and Zoom – conducted by Roshi, and see how it works. We’ll return to three dokusan periods a day, two of them (probably morning and afternoon) in person. During the pandemic, Roshi learned that online dokusan is, to use Amala-sensei’s words, as wearing as in-person dokusan is energizing. So now we’ll see how it works to have just one dokusan period per day via Zoom. This will probably be in the evening, when the largest number of Zoom participants are likely to be able to attend.

People who would want more than one dokusan per day are encouraged to attend sesshin in person at Chapin Mill, if their schedule permits.

Roshi Downsizing

Roshi and his wife Angela had thought in the spring that they would hold onto their Rochester house until next year, at least, but have now decided – this week – to sell while the real estate market is hot. They’ll live in the house until November, and are trying to line up a place to rent for six months next year, starting in May.

No Teisho This Sunday

Roshi’s teisho scheduled for this Sunday, July 11, has been cancelled due to unexpected demands on his time as a house-seller. We’ll sit for three 30-minute rounds with kinhin in between, followed by chanting (and tea in the dining room).

Work Retreat Report

The thirty or so people who joined in last week’s annual Ralph Chapin Memorial Work Retreat left the property cleaned, cleared, repaired, and beautified. Besides a deeper dive into general dusting and cleaning, 

  • some 220 window screens (and windows) were washed,
  • 84 sets of bedroom blinds and 48 dining room chairs were dusted and cleaned,
  • storage shelving was built,
  • weeds, vines, and other organic debris over much of the property were removed, 
  • scrap metal from a recent infrastructure project was carted off,
  • sections of walls and fencing were painted,
  • the two lotus sculptures in the courtyard were washed and waxed,
  • cracks in our asphalt drive were repaired,
  • brick pavers, heaved by tree roots, were reset, and
  • lawn mowers were repaired.

And crucially, a crack team of kitchen workers labored for hours each day to keep everyone fueled with nourishing meals.

Arnold Park Workday, Saturday, July 17

Riding the momentum from the Chapin Mill Work Retreat, come if you can to a Sangha workday at Arnold Park on July 17. Goal: to clean up the back gardens (and some indoor spaces). The workday is from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Pizza and salad will be provided, and don’t discount rumors from the May 15 workday about donuts at the morning tea-and-coffee break.

If you can’t make it by 9:00, or stay until 1:00, please join us for as long as you’re able. Also, even if you can’t commit yet and don’t sign up, please do drop in if you can. You can RSVP to Trueman at and mention any gardening skills (and physical limitations) you may have.