As members of Brooklyn Zen Center’s Family Practice Committee, we are excited to let you know about a new program for children and families! It’s called “Family Practice Saturday” and will take place on the first Saturday of each month. We will begin on Saturday, February 7. Families should plan to arrive at 11:15am. (The usual time will be 11:30; read on for further explanation.)
As you may be aware, it became necessary to discontinue “BZC Kids,” the once-a-month Sunday morning mindfulness gathering for children that we offered between 2011-2014. In creating this new offering, we had two questions in mind: 1) how can we bring children and their caregivers in greater contact with the practice and the community; and 2) given our current resources, how can we make the program more sustainable. Out of a series of discussions, this idea was born.
We are inviting families to come on the first Saturday of each month at 11:30 (or at 11:15 on occasion; see note below). We will take a few minutes to settle in and have a brief circle. Children will be assigned simple roles to play in the service. At around 11:45, when the dharma talk is over, families will be invited into the zendo for five minutes of kinhin (walking meditation) and service. Children will lead kinhin and will help to run the service, e.g. using the clackers, ringing bells, offering incense, and so on.
After the service, children will participate in a short period of soji (work period) and then are invited to stay for the community lunch for a donation of $10 per adult. For families that cannot stay for lunch, we ask that you donate $10 per family to help support the program and zen center.
PLEASE NOTE: on Saturdays when there is no dharma talk, we will ask families to come at 11:15. It just so happens that there is no dharma talk on February 7th, so please plan to arrive at 11:15 if you are joining us on that day.
We are excited about this new program and are actively seeking people to join the Family Practice Committee. If you are interested, please contact us here.