All public practice at the Orlando Zen Center is cancelled effective inmediately until further notice, in support of public health strategies to limit the spread of the Coronavirus during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Please see the email to the sangha below:
We send to all of you our best hopes and wishes during this time of uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Buddha taught us how all things deeply interpenetrate with each other, and that our practice as human beings is to wake up to our fundamental interdependency and follow our Bodhisattva way. In our school, together action has been one of the most important and valued parts of our practice. It is in our coming together that we can help break through our small selves and become one. Through that, we wake up as to how to function as part of the infinite net of connections.
However, in light of the infectiousness of COVID-19, and the risk is poses to the most vulnerable members of our society, we have chosen to cancel our group practices until further notice. This is not a decision that we make lightly, nor is it a decision we make out of fear. We do this out of the recognition of our interconnectedness, and out of our compassion and desire to help protect those most susceptible.
In the letter to the European Sangha, Arne Schafer JDPSN writes that this moment is our teacher. That “This virus is empty like anything, so it is up to us how we use that. It can be our “panic” virus, our “I-my-me” virus, but also our “wake-up” virus (remember: life is not waiting for you; nothing is guaranteed), we can use it to become our “love-and-compassion-virus”. Whatever you want. You cannot control the corona virus, but how you respond to it is fully up to you.”
Zen practice is life practice, and life practice is Zen practice. In this moment, we can wake up to the original Zen Center in our mind. The sounds of the birds and cars are the true teaching of the Dharma, and your brushing your teeth and washing your hands is the practice.
We hope that you and your loved ones remain healthy, that we can keep a clear mind and compassionate action, and to practice with whatever arises in your own life.
Yours in the Dharma,
Diego Villasenor, Head Dharma Teacher
Claudia Schippert, Abbot