A Letter From Shinge Roshi: Suspending ZCS Activities

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Cherished Bodhisattvas,

Consulting with the Zen Center’s Board members and ordained and senior students, we have deliberated upon the course of action that might best support the physical health and spiritual well-being of our Sangha in light of the Corona virus pandemic. Each of us has expressed the deepest concern regarding the possibility that the close physical contact that helps form our bond as a Sangha could prove dangerous to our collective health—and especially to our older members or those with medical conditions.

Due to the unprecedented risks posed by the Corona virus pandemic, we have decided to close the Zen Center and cancel all sittings and activities, effective immediately until further notice. This includes Conscious Stress Reduction meetings, Dharma Study, yoga, Tibetan practice and AA meetings, as well as all sittings and services. We are working to find the best ways to use technology so that we can practice together by posting talks and meeting each other via Zoom, Facebook or other online tools. Please check our website, Facebook page, and/or our newsletters for updates.

These are trying times. We all feel our vulnerability, our human frailty—and thus, our need for community—ever more acutely. At the same time, this is an opportunity to practice ever more assiduously at home, looking into this Great Matter of Life/Death. As Rinzai’s teacher, Obaku Kiun Zenji, said: “Throughout this life, you can never be certain of living long enough to take another breath.” Even though we may not be able to be physically present for each other, let us continue to hold each other tenderly in our heart/mind, collectively and individually, taking good care of ourselves and one another.


Shinge Roko Sherry Chayat