Covid Protocols

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Covid Protocol for the Zen Center of Syracuse

The Zen Center of Syracuse is committed to offering our sittings, sesshin, dokusan and ceremonies via Zoom to any and all Sangha members and guests. We are also cautiously opening to in-person participation at certain times. To reduce the risk of spreading Covid infection to our residents and all practitioners, please observe the following:

Requirements for in-person indoor sittings at the Zen Center of Syracuse

  1. Masks: A medical-grade (N95 or KN95) mask, properly fitted and covering your nose and mouth, must be worn at all times when inside. No cloth masks are permitted, unless used in combination with a medical-grade mask.
  2. No symptoms or known exposure: If you have symptoms, are not feeling well, or if you have been exposed to someone infected with Covid, please do not come to the zendo. Symptoms include: fever, headache, cough, breathing difficulties, runny nose, sore throat, digestive system symptoms, and partial or full loss of taste or smell.

We are opening the zendo to those meeting these requirements on

  • Monday through Saturday, 6 – 6:40 a.m. and 7 – 7:40 a.m. (40-minute periods of zazen)
  • Tuesdays, 8:30-9:30 a.m. (one period of zazen, break mid-way)
  • Sundays, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (including morning service and Zoom-screen Threefold Sangha zazen and teisho once a month on Sundays nearest Mandala Day (21st of every month). Other Sundays, two periods of zazen. When she is in Syracuse, Shinge Roshi will offer dokusan on those Sundays.)

Be aware that the windows will be open and air purifiers will be running in the zendo. We will be chanting, briefly at the end of Tuesday sittings, and for morning service on Sundays.

Sesshin Covid Protocol

Sesshin is open to a limited number of in-person participants. The goal of the Sesshin Covid Protocol is to reduce the chance of spreading Covid and allow us to sit unmasked. To join the residents at Hoen-ji sesshin, you must a) provide proof of full vaccination and booster, and b) have no symptoms or known exposure, PLUS:

  1. Send an email to at least one week before sesshin starts, letting us know you wish to attend. Include your history of practice at Hoen-ji, your phone number, and proof of vaccination and booster(s). At this time, only full-time participation is permitted for in-person sesshin.
  2. Have two negative rapid (at-home) COVID antigen tests: one day before arrival and on the day of arrival (testing at home before driving to the Zen Center). For four days before your first test sample is collected and until you arrive, please self-isolate as much as possible. Take a photo of the negative tests and e-mail your photo to
  3. If you will be traveling from out of town, please do not use public transportation unless you have a place to quarantine for at least four days before your first rapid test, taken one day prior to sesshin).

Accommodations at Hoen-ji are very limited. We will confirm your plan and let you know whether there is space for you at sesshin.

If you have any questions about these requirements, please email