As the end of the year approaches, it is natural both to reflect on the year behind us and to look ahead toward the one to come.
2020 has certainly been a year of great challenges for Brooklyn Zen Center, and each challenge has in turn called forth and illuminated the strength, resilience, creativity, and care that has always characterized our sangha.
When we first closed our Brooklyn temple at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic in March—temporarily we thought at the time—the community stayed close and listened for what was needed. The first “Covid care groups” took shape and our online zendo opened. Despite our physical distance, our effort and responsiveness kept lines of communication open and a new kind of intimacy began to develop.
By the time we made the difficult decision to terminate the lease at Carroll Street, temples had begun to sprout in our own homes. Taking refuge took on a different texture. At the same time, the teachers and monks at Ancestral Heart Zen Monastery continued to care for the formal aspects of the practice, hosting retreats and ceremonies, offering practice discussion, and maintaining a schedule. A Tech-Ryo was formed, to ensure that we stayed connected throughout it all.
Today we are asking all of us to bring forth this great care by making a contribution to our end-of-year campaign. Each and every gift will help us maintain our programs and sustain our practice as we enter into a new year that will undoubtedly bring new possibilities and challenges. Your support is indispensable at this moment as we feel deeply into both our vulnerability and strength as an organization.
One of the images and themes that emerged from this month’s Rohatsu retreat was that of the dharma wheel. The dharma wheel—the fundamental truth of our interconnectedness—is always turning, but we can only realize and experience this turning if we participate in it. We actually turn the dharma wheel together.
Please consider making a gift today so that we can actualize this turning and continue this compassionate practice.
With deep gratitude for your support,
The Brooklyn Zen Center Board of Directors
Weishin Huang, Kristin Miscall, Radha Radkar, Kosen Gregory Snyder and Laura O’Loughlin