This Week’s CoronaCast (November 24): New Zealand’s Pandemic Success

Zoom Thanksgiving This Thursday

Every year, the Center opens its doors for a Sangha Thanksgiving dinner, and this year we’ll do that virtually. You are welcome to join us on Zoom on Thursday, November 26, at 4:00 pm (EST), the usual meeting ID and password, or contact Dené for information (

Teisho and Jukai this Saturday

On Saturday, November 28, we’ll begin with zazen at 8:30 am (EST), followed by teisho. As is customary during Thanksgiving week, Roshi will be giving teisho on the Precepts. Then, at 11:30, there will be the Jukai Ceremony (Taking the Precepts). In normal years the ceremony includes a monetary donation to the teacher, but Roshi has declined to make that part of this online version.

Sitting on Sunday

The Dharma talk previously scheduled for this Sunday morning, November 29, has been postponed. Instead, we’ll sit for three 25-minute rounds starting at 8:30.

Finding Your Seat Cancelled

Because Jukai will occur at 11:30 this Saturday morning, FYS is cancelled. The next Finding Your Seat will be Saturday, December 5, from 11:00 to noon.

COVID Taskforce

Over the course of the last two months, the Center has developed a COVID Taskforce, composed of Dené Redding, Jonathan Hager, John Pulleyn, and Eryl Kubicka. The purpose is to review, update, and develop COVID protocol that meets or exceeds New York State guidelines; to ensure that Zen Center residents and staff have a safe living and working environment; and to ensure a safe, phased-in, reopening plan.

So far, updated protocols have made it possible for non-residential staff to work (while masked) in the building with residential staff. The Center also installed an energy-recovery ventilator system in the zendo that is capable of completely turning over air every hour. However, with the expected winter spike in cases – which already appears to have begun – it’s not time yet to open the zendo for sittings. If that time does occur, there is a plan that is ready now to be implemented. The Sangha is sorely missed by the residents in both the Arnold Park and Chapin Mill zendos!

Stay tuned for more updates, and meanwhile wear your masks and be safe!