Now in this world the scary Corona Virus has infected over 200,000 people world wide, 8800 have died from this. Today in Sogenji a sutra was read after Teisho for those who have died from this virus.
Now countries especially in Europe, do not allow people to move around freely anymore. People are staying at home, not meeting others yet the direction it is taking is that the gathering of people is being allowed anymore. These political decisions must create quite some uncertainty I believe.
This worry and uncertainty weaken our health. The energy gets stuck within and this accelerates the number of people becoming sick. Yet thinking about the situation, I would hope that it quietens down by mid April. Everyone needs to make efforts to stay healthy until this time. Thus I am sending my advice to everyone.
As per Washington State and Federal guidance we are suspending all in-person events at Tahoma Zen Monastery for at least the next 6 weeks. This includes all events in March and in April. We will be continuously assessing the situation and will make determinations for events in May and beyond as the situation develops.
Maintaining our practice during this time is of utmost importance and I encourage everyone to keep sitting. Please read Roshi’s words on the importance of maintaining our practice during this crisis. As we are all seamless in the ground of being when we sit, wherever we are, we sit for all beings. There is great power in sitting together in space and time. In this time when we must be separated in space, we can still sit together in time. In order to facilitate this we will be taking some of our activities virtual.
Zazenkai will be going virtual. By the end of this week we will be setup to broadcast this via the Zoom platform. There will be a post every Saturday with the link for this weeks Sunday 8am Broadcast. There will be more details in the initial post, but I encourage everyone to download the Zoom apps. It can be used on all the major phones, tablets and computers. Download here: Zoom Client Download Center
Selected other events will also go virtual. We will announce other events as they make sense for this format.
Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or if you are in need of any guidance for practicing in these troubled times: Contact Us.
As always check back frequently for updates and please join our mailing list for the most up to date information on sesshin and beyond: Mailing List
Island County is now reporting multiple cases of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) virus on the island. Washington State has forbidden all gatherings of 250 or more people in the three largest counties. ALL events are required to allow for a minimum of six (6) feet of distancing between all participants. Projections for Washington State are sobering and we expect these restrictions to encompass all of Western Washington soon along with additional more stringent restrictions.
During this next phase Tahoma will continue to offer our daily services. All attendees must maintain the mandated six (6) feet of separation between sangha members. We have a lot of space and fairly sparse attendance during the crisis so keep at least two cushions away from fellow practitioners. State guidelines recommend that those over 60 years of age avoid all gatherings and we encourage this as well. Please read our posted guidance if you have any plans to attend zazen at Tahoma.
The planned Day of Practice for the Spring Equinox (March 21st) will not go on as planned. We will add a late morning, early afternoon and extended evening periods of zazen. People are welcome to come and sit at any of these times throughout the day. During this time of crisis it is incumbent upon us to maintain a strong practice for ourself and for all beings. Thus we will offer additional periods of zazen on this day. We will however have no communal meals, nor any residency options. Practitioners over 60 years of age should consider keeping their practice at home. Sitting on our own is of immense value and we encourage everyone to dedicate extra time to this during this time. We will post a schedule of the additional sitting times early next week. Please read our posted guidance if you have any plans to attend zazen at Tahoma.
Please continue to monitor this website for updates on other upcoming events. As of now everything beyond what is listed here will continue with varying amounts of restrictions and modifications. As always updates will be posted here, but feel free to contact us with any questions.
Washington State is the US epicenter for the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Along with the rest of Western Washington Island County has formerly declared a State of Emergency. However as of March 7th there are no confirmed cases in Island County but King County (to the south) and Snohomish County (to the east) are experiencing increasing numbers of cases. Washington remains under a general State of Emergency and recommends those over 60 years of age avoid gatherings.
As of this posting there are no plans to cancel the May sesshin. We are constantly monitoring and assessing the situation as it develops. There will be updates here and through the mailing list if anything changes.
How does this affect us at Tahoma?
At this time we will continue with our regularly morning chant and meditation service as well as our regular evening meditation. These remain open to the public but please observe the following guidelines if you wish to attend.
DO NOT come if you are feeling sick.
If you start to feel sick, depart at a stretch break or during kinhin (walking meditation).
Thoroughly wash your hands before attending. We recommend that upon entering the zendo you proceed to the bathroom and wash your hands.
You should wash your hands for the length of time it takes to chant (to yourself!) the Enmei Jukku Kannon Gyo three (3) times.
Wash your hands THEN use the hand sanitizer that has been placed in both bathrooms and in the gaitan.
Do use the hand sanitizer whenever you feel you need to.
Cover your mouth/nose with your elbow or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
Do not shake hands or hug. We should all be comfortable with a gassho (bow).
Feel free to sit more widely separated. We have a lot of space, no reason not to use it.
We are still holding Zazenkai (community sitting) as usual at 8am on Sunday mornings.
We will NOT be having tea afterwards. We will resume tea after the crisis has passed.
Otherwise follow the guidance as above.
Upcoming events (the March All Day Sit, Buddha’s Birthday, etc.) are currently continuing as planned, but we will asses or modify these events as conditions evolve.. We will post updates here on the website if anything changes with regard to these events.