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March 16, 2021 Newsette

Houston Zen Center’s newsletter noted that the temple made it through last month’s ice storm in good order, losing electricity only for a short while and not losing water at all. However, their garden and temple grounds have taken a blow from the storm. They are planning a Garden Samu Day to work together physically in a safe way. “We will see the rejuvenation of spring before we know it.”

I find this expression of resilience encouraging, as is a report from Centro Budista Zen Soto in San Juan Puerto Rico. Sandra Laureano writes: “We have had continuous practice during the pandemic period. Initially, we met by phone. We later moved to virtual participation through a variety of electronic apps, until we decided to use zoom. For 8 months we met on a nightly schedule. When the holidays began, we adjusted to the changing conditions and now meet three nights a week for a well-being service, sutra chanting, zazen, and teachings.

“Prior to the pandemic, we celebrated a monthly Zazenkai, that we decided to renew starting January 2021. We meet at the center, which is an open, well-ventilated space and accommodate up to 8 people (half its capacity), with the required distancing. Students can also do the Zazenkai virtually. “Overall, we feel this arrangement has worked well. We are pleased to have taken this decision. It has given us the sense that slowly we are returning to our regular practices and are able to once again experience the richness of being physically present.”

Mountain Rain Zen Community in Vancouver, BC is planning a Spring Equinox Celebration
Sunday, March 21, 10:00-12:15, “to celebrate the coming of spring and the resiliency of our sangha one year after we closed the Wall St. zendo early in the pandemic. Please bring a poem or reading for the occasion! Everyone welcome!” 

In last week’s Newsette I mentioned that we are planning an online gathering of Branching Streams leaders and members and gave an incorrect date. Please save the date, Saturday May 22 from 9 a.m. to noon PST. We will have details about the program soon.

And here is the link for the March 21 at noon Central time Stepping Down Ceremony for Michaela Bono who has served as guiding teacher for Mid-City Zen in New Orleans for nearly a decade.

In a recent Zoom Clinic with Jon Voss we explored closed captioning and live transcription through Zoom. If you need Zoom support or want to expand your skills please join us on Wednesday March 17 at 11 a.m. PST. Here’s the Zoom link or Meeting ID: 222 402 816, Passcode: 057143.

May you be noticing signs of spring, internally and externally.

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