September 7-day Sesshin (September 24 – October 1)

The Zen Center’s COVID-19 Task Force met yesterday to weigh the risk-benefit considerations regarding the upcoming hybrid September 7-day sesshin. Good news: Sesshin will indeed take place in-person at Chapin Mill (as well as on Zoom). For it to occur in person, which includes the participants travelling from out of town, everyone (including Arnold Park and Chapin Mill staff) will need both to be fully vaccinated and to get a PCR test 72 hours before sesshin, either on Tuesday, September 21, or Wednesday, September 22. You must also send documentation of a negative result to Trueman at After testing, please observe social distancing and masking in public spaces, even if you are not using public transportation. 

Out-of-town participants who haven’t received test results before their flight departs can still come, but need to continue to wear masks until learning their COVID status. (Of course, also wear your mask and social distance as much as possible during your travels.) If you do receive a positive result after arriving at Chapin Mill, there will be a place for you to quarantine.

If everyone tests negative, then sesshin can go forward as in pre-pandemic times: 4:10 am wakeup, zazen, formal meals, chanting, exercise period – all mask-free. You are, of course, welcome to wear a mask during sesshin if you prefer.

Regular Sittings: Change in Mask Protocol

Outside of sesshin, for regular sittings at Arnold Park and Chapin Mill, we’re returning to a previous mask protocol: When in motion wear a mask! During zazen you can now sit without a mask (and, as before, opt not to wear one in the dokusan room). At all other times, including kinhin, we will continue to wear masks throughout the buildings.

Flu Clinic This Saturday, September 11

Our annual flu clinic at the Center will happen tomorrow, at 11:00 am, in the dining room. Everyone is welcome to stop in and “get your shot.”

Teisho and Extended Sitting This Sunday, September 12

Roshi will give teisho this Sunday, September 12. There’s also an Extended Sitting which starts at 6:15 am and ends at 3:00 pm. Details and full schedule here.

Change of Date for the November Sesshin

We’ve been experimenting with starting 7-day sesshins on Fridays rather than on Saturdays as we did for many years. Some have welcomed having a full weekend after finishing sesshin, but for others it means missing an extra day of work.

For the time being, we’ll plan to schedule some of each. Following the sesshins in July and September, which begin on Fridays, the November and January sesshins will both start on Saturdays.

November’s dates are now November 6-13, and the January Rohatsu sesshin will run from January 8-15.

Dharma Reflections and Weekly Dharma Reading Group

It’s not too late to sign up for our new online Dharma reading and reflection groups, which begin this weekend. For details and sign-up instructions see

Local Sangha Member Seeking a House Sitter

Darcie Johnson will be traveling this winter and plans to be gone from her house near Cobb’s Hill until April. If you would be interested in house sitting, you can contact her at