From Roshi: Since the Center is closed these days except to staff, I will start offering dokusan by phone to others. This will start with just local formal students of mine – that is, local members who have gone through a New Student Ceremony. Depending on the demand, I may extend it to local non-students next week. Better, I thought, to start modestly.
I also want to steer clear of Skype or Facetime or Zoom for now. I’ve always found that the primary element it adds to the voice experience is frustration. Wireless video service at the Zen Center is can be unreliable in quality (and to improve it, I’m told, would be prohibitively expensive), and using these formats at home presents other complications (such as the angles of the cameras). Faces that intermittently freeze up on the screen are disappointing enough in general, but especially so, I’ve learned, for dokusan.
We’ll start this experiment tonight, Thursday, May 19, starting at 7:30, for a period of up to an hour, in place of the usual 30-60 minutes of Thursday evening dokusan at the Center. Local students who would like to do this should email me (email@example.com) today, including their phone number, and I will reply as to the window of time in which they can expect my call. Unlike the dishwasher repairman, I will aim to offer you a window no more than 15 minutes wide, but dokusan segments by nature are unpredictable. Ordinarily any given dokusan may take as little as 5 seconds or as much as 10 minutes; almost all are under 5 minutes.
I will also try this tomorrow (Friday) morning starting at 8:30. So whether tonight or tomorrow morning, follow the instructions above to schedule your dokusan.
One other thing: Please make every effort to have done zazen for at least 30 minutes just before the scheduled time. I myself always sit for at least 45 minutes to an hour before starting dokusan, so as to be as alert and grounded – and empty – as possible for my students. Please return the favor.
Within the next few days I will send out word about dokusan opportunities next week. Meanwhile, my out-of-town students should know that, as always, they can email me to set up phone appointments during work hours at the Center. And finally …
KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON!
Remote Private Instruction
There’s also an opportunity for private instruction with Eryl Kubicka (firstname.lastname@example.org), John Pulleyn (email@example.com) or Trueman Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you’re interested, send an email to any of them to set up an appointment. Please also remember to get in at least 30 minutes of zazen before private instruction.
Dharma Talk This Sunday
John Pulleyn will be giving a Dharma Talk this Sunday, March 22. As usual, it will be streamed live on the Center’s website, www.rzc.org.
Video by Roshi
Feeling disconnected from the Center? Are you missing Roshi and residents, as they are missing you? Roshi’s 15-minute video chat and “tour” of the Center was filmed yesterday by resident Sharon Bennett. The Center will continue to find ways to stay connected to the Sangha during these uncertain times. Video: https://youtu.be/NQQG_-fr800.