Red Cedar Zen Community, 1021 N Forest, Bellingham Washington

Practice Committee 2018-09-05

Present were:

Kate McKenna

Connie Martin

Chris Burkhart

Tim Burnett

Bob Rose

Edie Norton

Hannah Sullivan

Event Registration General

We will add language to events that:

  1. states that lack of money is not a barrier when it comes to RCZC events.
  2. encourages people to contact the registrar to apply for a scholarship if there is a need.

Samish Registration

  • Registration for the Samish Island Sesshin will be open to members of Red Cedar Zen Community ONLY for the first two weeks. This will hopefully solve the problem of members not being able to attend because they missed the announcement that registration is opening and the event is sold out.
  • Metta Sutta: The Practice Committee recommends that
  1. the spoken version will be used during sesshin or appropriate at other times. The Kokyo will announce the chant as "Metta Sutta."
  2. the sung version will be used for Friday noon service. The kokyo will announce the chant as "Sutra on Lovingkindness."

  • Samish Tenken duties: The Samish Island Sesshin tenken duties will be split among three people, whose jobs will be called "tenken," "zendo timekeeper," and "echo han." The "zendo timekeeper" and "echo han" will participate in work practice, the tenken has the option of reducing the work or zazen schedule appropriately.
  1. The tenken will run the wake-up bell and play the han.
  2. The zendo timekeeper will take on all duties inside the zendo (candles, clappers, gong, making sure candles are out in the evening).
  3. The echo han plays the echo han.

Senior Students

  • Brought forward by Chris who is looking for guidance on integration in other communities. Also the question came up on how to return after a 5-month absence and possibly transmission ceremony. The conversation will be continued at a future meeting. 

2019 Planning

  • Scott Allen will be shuso.
  • The theme for next year will be basic Zen.
  • Tim will lead a Zoom-based study group. It was requested that the teaching is recorded. This idea was considered very beneficial for many reasons.
  • Laura Fish agreed to cook oryoki style for half the retreat. The Practice Committee decided that offering oryoki for only half the retreat is not workable. The options are either oryoki full time or buffet style full time.
  • Samish Work Sesshin: We talked about possibly changing the work from 3 to 5 days; however, the committee felt that the 2018 3-day work sesshin was the perfect length. Please note that the camp will increase our cost in 2019. The cost (paid to the camp)  in 2018 was $10/day.
  • There will be a three-day sewing retreat end of April, early May. Attendance will be strongly recommended for those sewing a rakusu for jukai in the same year.

Wednesday Evening

  • To facilitate timely ending on Wednesdays, the Practice Committee makes the following suggestions:
  1. The ino will make all announcements, without much detail beyond the name of the event organizer. People are directed to the website and/or event organizers for additional information.
  2. Talks should end by 8:55 pm so there is time for the refuges.

Practicing with Difficulties

Edie Norton spearheaded an effort to explore with the RCZC sangha how to practice with physical difficulties (age, disability, etc.). Our current hall does not have space for resting. People will continue to be encouraged to modify the schedule to meet their physical needs. The Practice Committee recommends that four steps will be implemented right away:

  1. The ino will announce at the end of zazen: "Please take a moment to stretch and to get up slowly for kinhin." (Other suggestions included rubbing the legs for circulation.)
  2. The ino will invite people to do standing bows when prostrations are not a physical option.
  3. Inviting people to stand up during zazen or to change to a chair during kinhin when needed.
  4. Invite people to lie down during the dharma talk if they cannot sit the whole time.

The following points presented by Edie will be implemented in the future:

  • A ride-share program for the dark winter months.
  • Online virtual zazen.
  • Online study/book group.
  • Support group to encourage practicing with the bodies we have.

RCZC will implement these items through modeling, inclusion of materials (additional sheet) for orientation, appropriate ino announcements, and updating signage in the lobby that we welcome everyone encourage the practice with all physical abilities and limitations.


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