Upcoming Dokusans

Reminder: as announced last week, no dokusan tomorrow, Thursday, March 12. And in compliance with public health recommendations on “social distancing,” the student’s mat has now been placed some four feet from the teacher’s mat.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade This Saturday, March 14

If you’re planning to come to Saturday dokusan (10:00 am) or to Finding Your Seat (11:00 am), be advised that our street will be closed off from East Avenue due to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Starting at 10:30, East Avenue will be closed for staging of the parade, and it’s not scheduled to reopen until 3:30. You can, however, access Arnold Park from Park Avenue – the one time you can legitimately go “against the stream” and ignore the one-way sign.

Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

During the winter months, our diversity co-coordinators, Dené Redding and Donna Kowal, have been working on several projects. Recent renovations to the 7 Arnold Park basement include the addition of an all-gender changing room. It is located to the left of the laundry room and is now available for use. Various Zen Center applications, including those for workshops, membership, and sesshin, are being updated with an eye toward gender inclusion and disability accommodation. New books will soon be purchased for the library with the goal of creating a “Buddhism and Diversity” section. Additionally, plans are in motion for conducting staff and trainee workshops, one which will focus on implicit racism and white privilege and the other on LGBTQ+ inclusion. As illustrated by the above projects, for the time being Dené and Donna have mainly been focusing on the internal operations of the Center. Eventually, their work will spill over into wider Sangha and community engagement.

If you have any questions or would like to offer input about the Center’s diversity and inclusion initiative, send an email to Dené (dagrange@syr.edu) and Donna (donna@rzc.org).

The Construction of Whiteness Forum

The forum will be held on Wednesday, March 18, 6:30-9:00 pm, at the Downtown Presbyterian Church. The forum is described as “An evening of exploration primarily for ‘White Allies’ (but open to anyone) on how race and racism were constructed and how we can work together and support each other to unlearn the dynamics of this system of power and oppression.” You can find more information here. Please email Mike Boucher at wordandworldroch@gmail.com if you plan to attend.

In light of the concerns about the coronavirus, the planning group is in the process of weighing the risks and benefits of holding the workshop, given that there are likely to be 40 people; a definite decision will be made by Monday morning, March 16.