As the weather cools, with snow in some parts of the U.S. and Canada, the new cases of Covid-19 and deaths are rising. This has delayed the partial reopening of indoor spaces for some Zen Centers in the U.S. and affected sanghas in Europe as well.
This newsletter begins with messages from Branching Streams groups in Slovenia, Belfast, and Berlin. It also includes a message from Jon Voss about his Zoom Clinic, and an invitation to a SFZC online evening event for those interested in racial justice.
Nada Odar writes from Slovenia: “Congratulation to US nation and whole world for the current elections. Here in Slovenia we have a chance to take part in online Sanga with Djinn Gallagher and Paul Haller [in Belfast, N. Ireland], plus Bernd Bender’s Akazienzendo in Germany on Fridays and Thursdays with a Rinzai group here in Slovenia.”
Djinn Gallager, teacher at Black Mountain Zen Centre in Belfast, notes: “The cases in the north of Ireland are, as I’m sure you know, rocketing again, and we tend to stay indoors as much as possible, which is no hardship as the weather is pretty gloomy. I sit online every morning with the Black Mountain sangha and swim every afternoon in a nearby pool that is empty apart from me, so that’s very nourishing. I’ve been participating in Bernd’s Berlin group, which is lovely, and recently gave a talk at Colin Gipson’s group in San Antonio in Texas, so there are many opportunities for connection that were unsuspected before the pandemic.”
And Bernd Bender, guiding teacher of Akazienzendo in Berlin, writes: “We decided to close the zendo again starting November 1st. We have a lockdown “light”, and religious institutions are not affected by it, but we interpreted our bodhisattva vow to support this measure of practicing physical distancing to flatten the curve, and I hope all our online activities remain an ongoing support to most active members.”
Jon Voss will be offering his Zoom Clinic tomorrow, Wednesday November 18th from 11 to noon Pacific time, and then will take a break until the new year. If you have any Zoom questions, large or small, Here’s the link to tomorrow’s clinic. Meeting ID: 222 402 816, Passcode: 057143.
USF law professor and mindfulness teacher Rhonda Magee will be in conversation with SFZC Abbot Tenzen David Zimmerman about The Inner Work of Racial Justice on Saturday November 21st from 6 to 8 p.m. Pacific time. Rhonda Magee teaches embodied mindfulness—the practice of paying attention to our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations in an open, nonjudgmental manner—as a way to support and inform this important work. Rhonda is the author of The Inner Work of Racial Justice: Healing Ourselves and Transforming Our Communities Through Mindfulness. For more information or to register, here is a link to this event.