Roshi: Back in Business

With most of the settling-in now behind him – myriad boxes recycled, suitcases stored, Wi-Fi set up, sitting nook secured – Roshi is back at the Zoom sittings and ready to give two-dimensional dokusan again. Though it’s hardly like the in-person experience, those interested may email him to schedule dokusan via FaceTime or Zoom.

Sensei in Cleveland This Weekend

Sensei will be with the Cleveland Zazen Group this weekend, leading the 2-day Meditation Intensive.

Changes on the Board of Trustees

The board met last weekend, for a lively meeting (in a good way) with three new trustees. Dené Redding replaced Chris Pulleyn as the one trustee appointed by Roshi and Sensei. Rebecca Gilbert was elected by the trustees to replace Kathy Collina, who had been on the board for the maximum of nine years. And finally, Luka Häkkilä was elected by the Sangha and replaced Betsy Friedman. Tom Roberts, Sensei Gerardo Gally, and Jonathan Hager continue on the board; Jonathan was chosen by the trustees to replace Chris Pulleyn as the board’s Chair. At the board’s request, Chris will continue to participate in meetings as a non-voting trustee emerita.

Thank you to Chris, Betsy, and Kathy for all your years of service to the Center!

Uprooting Racism Speaker Series: Rabbi Drorah Setel

Sunday, November 21, 7:00-8:30 pm EST

For the next (free!) event in the Uprooting Racism Speaker Series, we’ll be hosting a Zoom discussion with Rabbi Drorah Setel of Temple Emanu-El. All are welcome, regardless of Sangha membership or religious background, so please feel free to share this Eventbrite registration link with anyone you think might like to attend. Come prepared to speak up and participate, at the rabbi’s request.

For nearly forty years, Rabbi Setel has been involved in engagement and reconciliation across differences of religion, race, and gender. She is a trained mediator and has developed dispute-resolution educational programs for clergy. She has also led workshops and retreats on constructive conflict. Rabbi Setel is active in local interfaith and social-justice activities, including the RocACTS Clergy Caucus, Rochester J Street, the Secure and Just Communities Alliance, and MetroJustice.

You can read much more about Rabbi Setel and her work in this 2014 Buffalo News article, and on the Temple Emanu-El website.

You can register for your free “ticket” here to receive the Zoom meeting information in your email inbox. 

Uprooting Racism January 2022 Book Discussion Group

The Way of Tenderness: Awakening through Race, Sexuality, and Gender

Following its well-attended summer book discussion on Black and Buddhist, Uprooting Racism is planning a book discussion on Zenju Earthlyn Manuel’s acclaimed book, The Way of Tenderness: Awakening through Race, Sexuality, and Gender, to take place on Zoom in January 2022. The specific date and time will be announced in the coming weeks.

Since the book is not as long as previous books, we will be reading the whole thing on our own and meeting just once to discuss the entire book. You can pick up a copy of The Way of Tenderness from local indie bookstore Hipocampo Children’s Books (by special order),, or anywhere you get your books. (We do have one copy in the Zen Center library as well.)

Stay tuned for the final date and time of the book discussion group in a forthcoming email and in the RZC Sangha Facebook group.

Call for Volunteers and Formalwear Donations: Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR)

The Sangha Programs Office is pleased to announce that the Center will be joining several local congregations in offering volunteer support to a local commemorative event regarding Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR). TDoR is an annual event which seeks to recognize, mourn, and remember the many trans people killed each year, whose deaths often go unacknowledged, and whose names and genders are often misreported by news media. The majority of the people killed are Black and Latina trans women.

This particular TDoR event will take place at 4:00 pm on Saturday, November 20 at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, and members are invited to represent our Center at the event. However, there are also some tasks to help with ahead of the event date. If you’d like to volunteer, please contact Luka.

Another meaningful way to contribute is to donate gently-used formalwear (“masculine” and/or “feminine,” all sizes useful) to the clothing drive organized by local trans community members. This will enable local trans folks to dress in an affirming way for a TDoR community prom. Much more information regarding formalwear donations is available here.