As many of you know, we have been monitoring the situation and spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in New York. Last night, the Brooklyn Zen Center (BZC) Board and Practice Council met and we decided to suspend all public programming at BZC until April 13. This is effective immediately, so there will be no public program this evening. We will continue to monitor this changing situation and assess whether it seems safe to reopen April 13 or remain closed for a longer period of time.
This was not an easy decision, but it felt like the best way to care for the health and well-being of our community and also to help minimize the conditions for the virus’s spread at this time. We were strengthened in our decision by knowing that this is what many other religious and educational facilities are doing in the city.
We want to continue to offer opportunities for the sangha to take refuge in each other during this challenging moment while honoring the need for safety. To that end, here is what we’ve decided so far:
• There will be no public zazen schedule during this time. We plan to find ways to organize “virtual sittings” through the Insight Timer application.
• Current classes will be offered online. Instructors will follow up with more information.
• The BZC affinity groups (POC, UWO, Undoing Patriarchy, Sacred Feminine, B12) will each self-organize online meetings if desired. Please expect further communications from the various facilitators as they make arrangements.
• We welcome the sangha to consider self-organizing online discussion groups when supportive.
• We also appreciate that this outbreak will affect some people more than others and that some of us may be more vulnerable during this time. We are currently exploring ways that sangha members can respond to each other in this way. Please also expect further communications about this in the near future.
It is during stressful and uncertain times like these that many of us rely on community the most. As a community we have deep faith and trust that we will all find creative ways to support each other and manifest the jewel of sangha in our lives.
If you have any questions, please email Ian Case at email@example.com.
As always, thank you all for your patience, attention and care for each other during this time. We have no doubt the sangha will come forward with the loving attention and courage necessary to see all of us through the weeks to come. Thank you for caring for each other and for your practice.
With love and gratitude,
The Practice Council and Board of Directors
Kosen Gregory Snyder