-March 15, 2020
-March 14, 2020
We want to give you an update about what changes are happening at Stone Creek with regards to the public health concerns around COVID-19.
To begin, we encourage all of us to engage this situation with our practice minds and Bodhisattva hearts. We are making these changes to protect the well being of our community- both near and far- and also to maintain as much of a refuge at Stone Creek as we can, given the constraints of this pandemic.
Please see our original protocols for the center below, with the addition of asking everyone to practice social distancing: keeping a 4-6 foot radius both in the zendo and when we are moving around informally.
If you are in an at-risk population, please do stay home to protect your well being.
March 15th: The Zen Center will be open this Sunday, 3/15, with a modified schedule- no early morning schedule, no breakfast or soji.
[If there are volunteers who are not in high-risk populations who are able to come on Sunday at 930 to do some cleaning/ sanitizing of the zendo, please do. Dojin will be there to head up these efforts.]
We will have zazen from 10-1030 (again, observing social distancing)
and a Dharma talk at 1030
We are working on a format for livestreaming the Dharma Talks, and hope to have this in place by Sunday. If we have it set up by then, we will post the link on our website so you have the option to tune in online.
Sundays after 3/15: The Zen Center will not be open on Sundays, and the Dharma Talks will be solely offered by livestream online. Again please see the website for details and the link.
Morning zazen Monday through Thursday, Monday and Wed. afternoon zazen at Stone Creek, and Thursday afternoon outdoor sitting group will all continue as scheudled, with the request that everyone attending carefully follow the protocols for limiting the spread of germs, including social distancing.
Jisho, Korin and Dojin will continue to offer dokusan (one-on-one meetings with sangha members), again observing social distancing, and meeting outside when needed. Please consider emailing one of the teachers about meeting for dokusan as a way to stay connected to Stone Creek and your practice in this time of more limited offerings at the zendo.
Stone Creek COVID-19 Protocols
We are aware of the many concerns surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the public health crisis it creates in our community and around the world. This level of crisis, understandably, generates a lot of fear and overwhelm, and we are grateful to be able to call on our practice to stay grounded and rooted in wisdom to take the best care of ourselves and one another.
Because we want to continue to offer our programs at Stone Creek, as a place of refuge from the confusion and overwhelm, we plan to continue our weekly schedule for the time being, with the following protocols in place to protect from the spread of illness:
1) Stay home when ill: If you are sick with cough, fever, or shortness of breath, we ask that you please stay home. With fever, please wait until you are fever free for a full 24 hours before returning to community events. If you have only a cough and no other symptoms, please wear a mask when attending events.
2) Mindful practice of hand- cleaning: When you arrive at the Zen Center, please wash your hands (for at least 30 seconds with soap and warm water) or use hand-sanitizer upon entering the building and whenever needed thereafter. This will be a change for many of us in our routine, so please leave a few extra minutes for this practice, and be patient with others as they follow this request.
For more information about effective hand washing, please see: https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/
3) Have tissues on hand: We will provide tissues at the center. If you need to cough or sneeze, please do so into a tissue, discard it, and wash hands as soon after as you are able. If no tissue is available, please cough or sneeze into your elbow, and do all you can to minimize others’ contact with the impacted sleeve.
4) Refrain from physical contact/ Practice bowing!: For the time-being, please do not shake hands or hug others. We have a wonderful practice of offering bows to one another that we can make use of as an expression of our mutual care and regard, while minimizing physical contact.
5) Wiping down surfaces: We will enlist community members to wipe down surfaces and door handles with anti-bacterial spray during the times we gather for events. Please volunteer if you are able.
6) Finally, and most importantly, Please be Generous, Kind, Patient, Thoughtful, Attentive and Wise: This is an excellent time to engage the Bodhisattva paramitas, to go slow and not allow fear to overtake our view, words and actions. We can engage with this crisis as we do with any challenge in our lives: pay close attention to our experience, root ourselves in the dharma, and take good care of ourselves and one another as the manifestation of Bodhisattva activity in this world of suffering.
For updated information about COVI-19, please see the Center for Disease Control’s website:
We will post this announcement at the center, and will send email updates and post announcements on our website if any information changes or if we need to cancel or postpone events.