Blue Sky Ahead

With vaccination efforts picking up speed, Zen Center planning teams are looking more closely at when it will be safe for fully-vaccinated members to join Arnold Park and Chapin Mill residents for daily sittings, and when our next sesshin might be (possibly an online/in-zendo hybrid). With the COVID-19 variants still lurking about, it’s too early to announce anything, but stay tuned!

Spring Forward – on Pi(e) Day

A reminder that this Sunday morning, March 14 (3.14), we’ll “spring ahead,” relinquishing that hour gained each year in November when we “fall back.” Even those who lose an hour’s sleep will find it easier than in any previous year to join the 8:30 Sunday morning sitting (with Dharma Talk), since of course it’s still online.

This Weekend: Two Days of Extended Sitting

This Saturday, March 13, the Madison Zen Center will host an online Extended Sitting. The leader of the MZC, Rick Smith, will also give a Dharma Talk. For the Zoom codes (and link) for the Madison Extended Sitting, contact Trueman (trueman

On the next day, Sunday, March 14, the RZC will follow suit with its own Extended Sitting, also with a Dharma Talk (given by Donna Kowal). We’ll use the usual RZC Zoom codes. Contact Trueman ( if you need them.

Cookless at Arnold Park

This week the residents of 7 Arnold Park lost their primary cook when Bidu Kharel returned to her native Nepal after spending much of the past year on staff. The remaining three residents, even when joined by the 2 or 3 non-resident staff members who come in – masked – to work, are already stretched thin in meeting the Center’s many other demands. So Head of Zendo and former Head Cook Trueman Taylor, though still in lockdown at home, is trying to put together an auxiliary team to bring in some prepared meals.

Already during the pandemic, a few non-staff local members have been bringing in dishes occasionally (gassho!), and now with no regular cook in residence there are additional opportunities for dana (giving). If you can help – with cooked dishes, salads, or other prepared foods (even sandwiches) – please contact Trueman at Leftovers will also be gratefully accepted. (Note: vegetarian food only, please.)

Roshi Away

Roshi and his wife Angela (both fully vaccinated by this weekend) will be on vacation in Florida for the week of March 18 – 25. Roshi will resume offering dokusan on March 26, and hopes to give teisho on the 28th.

Community Panel Discussion: Disclosure and Unlearning Anti-Trans Bias

On Saturday, March 27, from 3:00 to 4:30 pm, the Center will host a moderated panel discussion featuring Zariah Williamson (she/her) of The SafeZone Initiative and Sangha member Lore McSpadden-Walker (they/them) of The Positive Force Movement. Zariah and Lore will share their experiences as members of the transgender community and respond to the acclaimed 2020 documentary film, Disclosure (trailer here). Disclosure is available to stream on Netflix; if possible, please view it before attending the panel.

You can get the Zoom meeting ID and password (and ask any questions you have about this event) by contacting Luka Häkkilä at

Here are a few relevant articles about Buddhism and/or the trans experience that you can read ahead of time to orient yourself:

Contributing to the Police Accountability Board Alliance

The Zen Center is one of the supporting organizations of Rochester’s Police Accountability Board Alliance, also known as “the Alliance.” The Alliance is a volunteer-driven organization with no legislative funding, and hence is seeking financial support through its GoFundMe page.

For clarity, know that the Alliance is not the City of Rochester’s Police Accountability Board (PAB) itself. Rather, the Alliance is the organization responsible for submitting nominations to the City Council for 4 of the Board’s 9 members. Of the other 5 members, 4 are appointed by the City Council acting alone and 1 is appointed by the Mayor. If you want to learn more about the Alliance or about the PAB, check out the website:

Coming Soon: Sangha Hikes

Brendon Caroselli ( is organizing Sangha hikes. Please email him if you are interested in hiking in the region with other Sangha members.