Mar 162020
 

Dear Sangha Friends:

We have put our First and Third Saturday morning sangha meetings on hold until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Saturday meetings will now occur online, via Zoom videoconferencing. If you are already on our sangha listserv and have received previous email messages from the sangha, you will receive information each Tuesday before a Saturday meeting, giving instructions on how to connect with the online sangha meeting. If you are not on the sangha listserv, but would like to receive these emails, please request to be added through the “contact us” feature of this website.

I will also continue to provide bimonthly (First and Third Saturday) dharma talk recordings as well as other virtual supports for our sangha practice. So, the rest of this message is to give you information on where to find those dharma talks and other material.

After each dharma talk, a recording of the talk will be uploaded to the “Dharma Talks” page of our sangha website. From the home page of this sangha website (where you are now reading this notice), at https://upayatucson.org , move your cursor on the horizontal menu bar and click on “Resources.” This will pull down a sub-menu. From this sub-menu, click on “Dharma Talks.” Then, scroll down to the section labeled “Dharma Talks from 2020,” and click on the recording (organized by talk date and title). As you will see, you can also listen to any of the previous dharma talks given during our regular Saturday sangha meetings and some visiting teacher retreats, as well as video recordings of a few non-sangha talks I have given. Also note that on the “Resources” pull-down on the homepage menu bar, you will find sitting and walking meditation instructions, and the chants that we do at our regular meetings. You can use these resources to help in maintaining your at home meditation practice. The “Resources” portion of our sangha website also provides a “Getting Started” section in which I have provided an annotated listing of Zen and other Buddhist books that you might find useful in supporting your practice.

May you all be safe and free from suffering. Please care for your health and that of others by observing all Centers for Disease Control and other governmental instructions and recommendations during this pandemic.

Sensei Al Genkai Kaszniak

Mar 162020
 
Dear Sangha Friends:

Sensei Al and the entire Steering Committee of the Upaya Sangha of Tucson are carefully tracking the Coronavirus, COVID-19 situation as it develops, and will be instituting infection mitigation measures at all or our regular meetings and other sangha events. We wish to do all that we can to safeguard everyone’s health and safety.

The personal safety precautions recommended by the World Health Organization include:

  • Washing your hands for 20 seconds and using at least 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, using flexed elbow or tissue and discarding used tissue immediately into a closed bin
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with hands.

In both our regular meeting space in the new TCMC building, and at other venues that we may utilize for larger sangha events, we will be making efforts to keep surfaces, doorknobs, light switches, etc. as clean and disinfected as we manage. We also recommend that, during this period of concern about infection risk, you consider greeting other sangha participants with hands in gassho and a bow, rather than our more familiar handshakes and hugs.

We encourage you to stay at home or to leave the practice space if you are feeling any flu-like symptoms.

We will inform you by email and posting on our website of any changes that may be necessary or additional information as the situation unfolds.

Wishing all of you good health and peace,

Sensei Al Genkai Kaszniak

Mar 052020
 
Dear Sangha Friends:

Sensei Al and the entire Steering Committee of the Upaya Sangha of Tucson are carefully tracking the Coronavirus, COVID-19 situation as it develops, and will be instituting infection mitigation measures at all or our regular meetings and other sangha events. We wish to do all that we can to safeguard everyone’s health and safety.

The personal safety precautions recommended by the World Health Organization include:

  • Washing your hands for 20 seconds and using at least 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, using flexed elbow or tissue and discarding used tissue immediately into a closed bin
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with hands.

In both our regular meeting space in the new TCMC building, and at other venues that we may utilize for larger sangha events, we will be making efforts to keep surfaces, doorknobs, light switches, etc. as clean and disinfected as we manage. We also recommend that, during this period of concern about infection risk, you consider greeting other sangha participants with hands in gassho and a bow, rather than our more familiar handshakes and hugs.

We encourage you to stay at home or to leave the practice space if you are feeling any flu-like symptoms.

We will inform you by email and posting on our website of any changes that may be necessary or additional information as the situation unfolds.

Wishing all of you good health and peace,

Sensei Al Genkai Kaszniak

Mar 032020
 

Dear friends,

 

For those joining us this Saturday, March 7th, for our first Saturday of the month Upaya Sangha of Tucson meeting, we will meet from 10:00 am to noon, and our meeting will include brief sutra chanting, sitting meditation (Zazen), and a brief tea break. After this, we will have an interactive time with a special guest.

 

Note new meeting location: We will meet at the new Tucson Community Meditation Center (TCMC) building, 1147 N. Howard Blvd., one block North of Speedway, just East of the Loft Theater, on the West side of the street. We meet there the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month. There are plenty of zafus (meditation cushions) and chairs.

 

Also Note: Please do not park in the dirt area to the South of the building. This is the private property of the house next door.  A nice family with children live there and play in their front lot. There is ample street parking nearby, and a small number of spaces behind (West) the building for those with limited mobility. Please enter from the rear (West) of the building.

 

Please help us to accommodate our members 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.

 

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/>

Jan 292020
 

Dear friends,

 

For those joining us this Saturday, February 15th, for our third Saturday of the month Upaya Sangha of Tucson meeting, we will meet from 10:00 am to noon, and our meeting will include brief sutra chanting, sitting meditation (Zazen), participant check-in, sangha-specific announcements, and a brief tea break. After this, Sensei Al will offer a dharma talk (which he originally intended to give at the last meeting that he could not attend) on “Why Are We Doing This?.

 

Note new meeting location: We will meet at the new Tucson Community Meditation Center (TCMC) building, 1147 N. Howard Blvd., one block North of Speedway, just East of the Loft Theater, on the West side of the street. We meet there the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month. There are plenty of zafus (meditation cushions) and chairs.

 

Also Note: Please do not park in the dirt area to the South of the building. This is the private property of the house next door.  A nice family with children live there and play in their front lot. There is ample street parking nearby, and a small number of spaces behind (West) the building for those with limited mobility. Please enter from the rear (West) of the building.

 

Please help us to accommodate our members 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 our Sangha Website (see below) for new announcements.

 

Thanks.

Jan 142020
 

Dear friends,

 

For those joining us this Saturday, January 18th, for our third Saturday of the month Upaya Sangha of Tucson meeting, we will meet from 10:00 am to noon, and our meeting will include brief sutra chanting, sitting meditation (Zazen), participant check-in, announcements, and a brief tea break. After this, Sensei Al will offer a dharma talk on “The Dharma of Fear and Loathing.

 

Note new meeting location: We will meet at the new Tucson Community Meditation Center (TCMC) building, 1147 N. Howard Blvd., one block North of Speedway, just East of the Loft Theater, on the West side of the street. We meet there the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month. There are plenty of zafus (meditation cushions) and chairs.

 

Please Also Note: There is ample street parking nearby. Please enter from the rear (West) of the building.

 

Please help us to accommodate our members 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.

Dec 312019
 

Dear friends,

 

For those joining us this Saturday, January 4th, for our first Saturday of the month Upaya Sangha of Tucson meeting, we will meet from 10:00 am to noon, and our meeting will include brief sutra chanting, sitting meditation (Zazen), participant check-in, announcements, and a brief tea break. After this, Sensei Al will offer a dharma talk on “Time Passing – Time Being.

 

If this is your first time to join us, we will meet at Tucson Community Meditation Center (TCMC), 1231 E. Edison St., one block south of Grant, just west of Mountain, on the north side of the street. We meet the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month. There are plenty of zafus (meditation cushions) and chairs.

 

Please Also Note: If you are available at 1:00 pm, after our sangha meeting, Blake and other TCMC folks could use help in moving chairs, cushions, etc. into a truck, to unload at the new TCMC location on Howard Street.

 

Parking reminder: It’s important to the future of TCMC to observe mindful parking by not parking on the same block as the Center and by leaving an empty parking space in front of the homes on the neighboring blocks. Please reserve TCMC driveway parking for people who cannot walk far.

 

Please help us to accommodate our members 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.

Dec 172019
 

Dear friends,

 

For those joining us this Saturday, December 21st, for our third Saturday of the month Upaya Sangha of Tucson meeting, we will meet from 10:00 am to noon, and our meeting will include brief sutra chanting, sitting meditation (Zazen), participant check-in, announcements, and a brief tea break. After this, Sensei Al will offer a dharma talk on “A Tender Heart.

 

If this is your first time to join us, we meet at Tucson Community Meditation Center (TCMC), 1231 E. Edison St., one block south of Grant, just west of Mountain, on the north side of the street. We meet the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month. There are plenty of zafus (meditation cushions) and chairs.

 

Parking reminder: It’s important to the future of TCMC to observe mindful parking by not parking on the same block as the Center and by leaving an empty parking space in front of the homes on the neighboring blocks. Please reserve TCMC driveway parking for people who cannot walk far.

 

Please help us to accommodate our members 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 our Sangha Website (see below) for new announcements.

 

Thanks.