Dispensing (In Part) with Masks!

With the steep drop in Monroe County’s infection rate, the Center’s COVID-19 task force is no longer requiring masks during the workday or for zazen and kinhin. We will continue wearing masks for chanting, including when we recite the Four Vows and Verse of the Rakusu. We’ve resumed chanting on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings as well as on Tuesday evenings and just before teisho on Sundays. Remember to bring your mask.

Also, Tuesday evening post-sitting tea and conversation is back, and we’ll reinstate the Sunday post-sitting brunch beginning this Sunday.

We continue to require full vaccination, and, of course, if you wish to wear a mask, you’re welcome to do that. In addition, we’ll continue to use air purification systems in the zendo, the dokusan room, and the dining room.

Amala-sensei’s Diagnosis

Last week Amala-sensei announced to her Sangha in Auckland, New Zealand, that a tentative diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease given six months ago has now been confirmed. She wrote:
On the one hand, it is a relief to have a name under which to gather a growing collection of symptoms. On the other hand, there is the alarming prospect of eventual loss of mobility and many other things. I feel so very fortunate to have almost 40 years of Dharma practice to draw on, as well as a loving husband and the never-failing help of the Sangha.

Amala-sensei is a Dharma-heir of Bodhin-roshi and the teacher at the Auckland Zen Centre.

Teisho This Sunday

Sensei will give teisho this Sunday, March 6. Following sitting and teisho, we have a Sangha meeting, and the Zen of Living and Dying Group will meet at 11:00.

Cooked: A Virtual Screening and Discussion

Uprooting Racism is offering a virtual screening and discussion of the documentary Cooked: Survival by ZIP Code (official trailer here) as its next group event. The film delves into history of anti-Black racism, segregation, climate justice, and what counts as “newsworthy,” exploring the causes, conditions, and outcomes of Chicago’s 1995 extreme heat event, which overwhelmingly affected residents in specific neighborhoods. These same issues are prevalent here in Rochester.

Registering for a free “ticket” will grant you streaming access to the film for a 3-day window leading up to the Zoom discussion, which will take place on Sunday, March 13, 2022, from 7:00-8:30 pm EDT. (March 13 is this year’s start of daylight saving time.) Registration and much more information available here.

ASL interpretation will be provided for the discussion, so please share with deaf friends and family. All are welcome! There’s no need to be a Zen Center member or Buddhist practitioner.

Have questions or need help registering? Please contact Luka.

Cleaning of the Temple – Chapin Mill, March 12

Because of the Omicron surge, we postponed our scheduled annual Temple Cleaning at our retreat Center in Batavia. Now that the coast is clear, everyone is invited to join us Saturday, March 12, as we turn our attention to all (or many) of the corners and crevices of the Chapin Mill buildings. We begin at 9:30 and finish with a pizza lunch (alternatives available) at 12:30.

If you’d like to spend some time with other members and friends and have a chance to see the amazing practice site our Sangha built, contact the receptionist and sign up.

Spring 2022 Calendar Is Now Available

A printable quarterly calendar for April, May, and June 2022 is posted on the Center’s website and here. You can also pick up a copy on the table in the Link whenever you stop by the Center.

CASH: Free Tax Preparation Services

Center member, Notch Miyake, sent us this helpful invitation:

CASH is now offering free in-person and drop-off tax preparation services for low-income individuals and families. The income limits are $58,000 or less with dependents or $27,000 without dependents. Services are by appointment only. You can call 585-900-1004 to schedule your appointment. The CASH site is located on the 4th floor of the Rochester Central Library, 115 South Avenue.

Extended Sitting, March 13

Daily sittings are great, but an extended sitting is a chance to wade further into the waters of zazen. You’ll get a break from stress, a taste of a sesshin day, and maybe even a new perspective on your mind and life. Besides the usual sitting that will run from 8:30 to around 10:30, there are three other blocks of formal sitting scheduled.  Private instruction will be offered during the late-morning block. Here is the full schedule (EDT – daylight saving time begins that day).

6:15 am       Zazen
7:30            Breakfast
8:30            Zazen & teisho
10:15          Mid-morning break
11:00          Zazen & private instruction
12:45          Lunch
1:30-3:00   Zazen, ending with the Four Vows

Summer Youth Camp

The Zen Center is excited to announce that this summer we will be hosting a weekend summer camp to engage youth in interactive learning experiences that inform – and create a safe space for thinking about – race, racism, and anti-racism within the context of Buddhist teaching.

The camp will be held at Chapin Mill from July 8 to 10, 2022.  Given the nature of the program, we will be limiting attendance to youth ages 8-13.  More information to follow!

If you are interested in having your child(ren) attend, please contact Eryl.