Feb 182020

Dear Friends:

Upaya Sangha of Tucson is holding a full-day silent meditation retreat, also called a zazenkai, at Tucson Community Meditation Center (TCMC) on Saturday, February 29th. TCMC is located at 1147 N. Howard Blvd., North of Speedway, just East of the Loft Theater, on the West side of the street. This Zazenkai will start at 7:45 am and will end promptly at 4:00 pm.

What is Zazenkai?

Zazenkai offers an opportunity to deepen practice that is less intensive than a several-day retreat or sesshin. It will consist of alternating sessions of zazen (seated meditation), and kinhin (walking meditation). Expect zazen sessions to be roughly 25 minutes, and kinhin 10 minutes. There will be a brief period of chanting, and a morning dharma talk on “Deep Practice: Going Against the Stream” will also be offered by Sensei Al. There will be brief silent morning and afternoon tea breaks, a one-hour silent lunch break mid-day, and a closing service. Please plan on bringing your own lunch.

Opportunity for an optional brief formal private interview (sanzen) focused on practice, will be available with our Sensei.

No registration is necessary.

Plan to arrive promptly by 7:45 am and remain in noble silence throughout the day. A brief orientation will precede the first practice period. This will cover the necessary details to make the event go smoothly (minor logistics, schedule, information about interviews, etc.).

If you are unable to attend for the entire day, it is permissible to attend for a half day. If you plan on attending for only the morning, please arrive at 7:45 am and depart at noon. If you plan on attending for only the afternoon, please arrive at 12:45 pm, departing at the end of the Zazenkai at 4:00 pm. Anyone arriving late should sit in silence in the West entry area, joining the rest of the group during the next kinhin (walking meditation) period.

What to bring?

TCMC has chairs & cushions (zafu/zabuton, seiza benches) available for use. If you wish to have a different setup for meditation, feel free to bring your own from home. You may wish to bring a blanket or scarf to ensure comfort. You may also want to bring a water bottle, as well as a lunch if you will attend for the full day. Please wear darkly colored, modest clothing. Meditation robes or samue may also be worn.

Parking reminder: Please do not park in the open lot just South of the building. This belongs to the house and family next door, and their children often play there. There is ample street parking, and a few spaces in back (West) of the building for those with mobility limitations.

Please help us to accommodate our participants who are chemically sensitive to fragrances or other scented products. Thank you for not wearing perfume, aftershave, or similar products.

Also, please don’t forget to regularly check the Community Page of this sangha Website for new announcements.

Thanks, and Warmest Regards.

Feb 052020

The following are links to the two readings that Linda Drake so kindly provided the sangha when Sensei Al was not present on 2/1/20:

The first reading, “The Art of Not Being Offended,” is by Shemsi (Jodi) Prinzivalli, Ph.D., psychotherapist, spiritual teacher, and author of How to Be a Mystic in a Traffic Jam: Reflections on Living as a Spiritual Person in Everyday Life, from which the article was apparently excerpted. She evidently maintains a private practice in NJ and NY, and there’s a copy of the article posted on her website <http://www.njcenterfortherapy.com/TheArtofNotBeingOffended.en.html>. It contains the standard request not to reprint it without her permission.

The second reading is from well-known meditation teacher and psychologist, Jack Kornfield. His October 2018 article or post is called “Freedom amid Challenging Times” <https://jackkornfield.com/freedom-amid-challenging-times/>