During our lockdown, we’re continuing to broadcast the audio stream of our scheduled sittings from the Arnold Park zendo.
We’ve also added online Zoom sittings for members and friends, every Monday through Saturday morning from 7:00 to 8:00, Sunday mornings from 8:30 to 10:30, and Monday through Friday in the evening from 7:00 to 8:00.
If you’d like to sit with us, here are instructions:
- You’ll need the Meeting ID and password – email Trueman (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get them.
- Download the Zoom app to your phone, tablet, or laptop.
- Open Zoom and select “Join a Meeting.”
- Enter our assigned Meeting ID and password. These will remain the same for every sitting, but keep them confidential to help us avoid being hacked.
- Be sure to turn Video on and select “Internet Audio.”
- You’ll be greeted when you come in (assuming you arrive before the sitting begins).
- To see the others who are sitting, move your cursor or finger to the upper left-hand corner (on an iPad) and press “Gallery View.” (The alternate circle to press is “Reverse View,” which switches you to the camera on the opposite side of your tablet, and you’ll no longer be seen. So don’t do that.)
- You can check that your audio and video are turned on by checking your screen for the microphone and video icons. On an iPad, you’ll find them at the top of your screen. Tapping them toggles them on and off.
- Sitting starts at 7:00 a.m., at which point everyone except for Roshi and any online “monitors” will be muted because ambient group noise is more disturbing in Zoomed sittings than regular sittings.
- You’ll hear three bells to start, a bell at the half-way point, and a final bell to signal the introduction of the Four Vows (just before 8:00).
- We suggest that while sitting, you have your device positioned at your side (roughly the 3 o’clock or 9 o’clock position while facing “noon”). And be aware that you’ll be seen and identified most easily if your device is placed 2-3 feet up from the floor as well as that same distance from your side. (Worst is directly in front of you or from the floor.) Also your picture will display best if you turn your device horizontal.
- If for some reason you need to leave during the sitting, that’s okay. Just select “Leave Meeting.”
- Roshi or Trueman will recite the Four Vows three times running, as usual, and you can join in. (You’ll still be muted then, so you’ll hear just one other voice. Experience has shown that lags in Wi-Fi and internet service make group chanting painfully discordant.)
- After the Four Vows, there is a pause to give us all time to turn and face our screens, and at the bell, we bow to one another. Your mic will be turned back on for any wrap-up comments, questions, and greetings.
If you have any questions about these instructions, please email Trueman Taylor at email@example.com.
A special dispensation for Zoomed sitting: you can move a bit. For your own sake, don’t move any more than you need to, as sitting stock-still helps, of course, with concentration. But since everyone is muted, your stirring won’t disturb anyone else, as it would in the zendo. Moreover, since it’s inspiring to see others doing zazen together (as our zendo monitors can confirm), feel free to steal an occasional glance at the screen.