Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update (March 12)

Like most of you, we’ve been following the progression of the coronavirus around the world and here in this country. It seems clear to us that, barring a dramatic containment response from government, we are likely to see conditions similar to those today in Northern Italy, where people who could otherwise be saved are dying due to lack of equipment and an overburdened medical system. We feel a responsibility to do our part to help slow down the spread of the virus so that an onslaught of cases doesn’t overwhelm caregivers. Roshi has just written an email message to people signed up for the March sesshin to let them know that it is cancelled (you can read Roshi’s letter here). In addition, we’ve determined today to suspend public sittings as well as events and meetings at the Center here in Rochester and at Chapin Mill. Cancellations include:

  • The Sangha dinner that was scheduled for this Saturday, March 14
  • All scheduled dokusans
  • Upcoming sessions of Finding Your Seat
  • Upcoming Youth Sundays
  • Meetings of the Zen of Living and Dying Group, the Seeing Through Racism Committee and the Sangha Book Club
  • Also, we have learned that the Construction of Whiteness Forum, scheduled for next Wednesday at the Downtown Presbyterian Church, has been cancelled.

Residents of the Center will continue the regular schedule of sittings, and we will continue to stream teisho, chanting, and zazen. Roshi will also offer dokusan for local members by phone or video streaming (details of that to come).

For those of you who may have been following recent events from a distance and would like to understand why we feel we need to take these steps, here is a good source to catch you up:

  • That prevention measures work is demonstrated by Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now. It shows how and why, with elegant statistical projections and colored charts.

If you have any questions regarding the Center’s response to the coronavirus situation, please email the Center’s Head of Zendo, Trueman Taylor, or call him at (585)-473-9180, extension 14.