Temple Night Tonight, Friday, November 26

Beginning at 7:00 pm, you’re invited to join in our twice-a-year informal sitting in the Buddha Hall (located behind 5 Arnold Park). You are free to sit anywhere (moving your mat as you wish) and to make prostrations and offer incense at any of the altars, as you wish. If you like, you can sit late into the night after the formal end of Temple Night at 9:00 pm. These late hours of Temple Night can be an especially fine time for zazen.

You may also bring a photo of deceased relatives or friends for the Memorial Altar, as well as place your own Buddhist figure on the Main Altar.

For everyone’s health and safety, the Buddha Hall greeters will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for those they do not recognize. As usual, masks must be worn except when actually sitting on the mat.

Saturday: Teisho in the Morning and Jukai Early Evening

We begin with zazen at 8:30 am followed by Sensei’s teisho on the precepts. In the early evening we’ll have Jukai (Taking of the Precepts Ceremony), as we do each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

If this will be your first time receiving the precepts, or if it’s been a while, here’s a rough outline of what to expect: The ceremony begins around 5 pm in the Buddha Hall, but you’re welcome to come early if you like and sit in the Arnold Park zendo. The online zendo will open at 4:30 pm. (Anything you’re able to do ahead of time to slow down and clear the mind will help make Jukai more meaningful.) A bit before the start of the ceremony, we’ll begin sending people out to the Buddha Hall. Once there, you’ll be directed down the center aisle to make a monetary offering (for the teacher), to do a prostration at the altar, and then to take your seat. When everyone is seated, Sensei will enter, we’ll chant the Prajña Paramita, and then Sensei will lead everyone through the Sixteen Precepts. The ceremony itself takes a little more than half an hour, and afterwards we’ll have tea in the Link.

To attend, you must be fully vaccinated, and masks must be worn at all times during the Jukai ceremony.

Jukai Donation to Teacher

In keeping with long tradition, the Jukai ceremony includes a chance for participants to offer a personal donation to Sensei as the officiant (not to the Zen Center). Even a token amount is fine. Cash is preferred in order to maintain anonymity; this helps ensure that no one will feel any pressure to give more than they are comfortable with. (If you do have to write a check, please make it payable to John Pulleyn, rather than to the Center.) Online Jukai participants may also give via Paypal through the account “john.pulleyn@gmail.com.”

Online Happenings This Weekend

On Saturday there won’t be a Zoom sitting at 7:00 am or Finding Your Seat at 11:00 am. The next Finding Your Seat will be Saturday, December 4.

Friday’s 7:00 pm Temple Night as well as Saturday’s 8:30 am sitting & teisho, and 5:00 pm Jukai ceremony will be broadcast on Zoom.

On Sunday morning we’ll have a Zoom sitting at 8:30 – 9:30 am. (There’s no in-person sitting at the Center that morning.)

Sesshin Success

Just a short note to let Sangha know that both the September and November 7-day sesshins were completed without any indication of COVID transmission. Besides requiring full vaccination and a negative test from all participants, we all wore masks for the first five days except when sitting silently in the zendo.

Our COVID-19 committee (Jonathan Hager, M.D., Trueman Taylor, Eryl Kubicka, and Sensei) will continue to monitor the situation in Rochester (where the positivity rate has been rising); we hope to be able to continue our regular schedule of in-person sesshins. The next two are scheduled for December 10-12 with Trueman and January 8-15 with Sensei.