Buffalo Zen Dharma Community members take Jukai
Buffalo Zen Dharma Community Blog
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1M ago
Two sangha members of the Buffalo Zen Dharma Community completed their training requirements and took Jukai on April 23rd of this year.  Scott Forster and Deborah Hovland, who are formal training students in the Mountains and Rivers Order of Zen Buddhism centered at Zen Mountain Monastery in Mt. Tremper, NY, spent the week prior to taking Jukai at the monastery furthering their training, meeting frequently with the abbot of the monastery, and hand-sewing their rakusus (the black bib-like cloth worn in the picture above).  The rakusu is a symbol of the Buddha's robe and is also the ..read more
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Buffalo Zen Dharma Community meeting in Person
Buffalo Zen Dharma Community - Blog
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7M ago
It has been a long time coming, but finally the Buffalo Zen Dharma Community is meeting in person again.  Last month our first in-person event was the half-day meditation event at the Network of Religious Communities from 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM.  But on September 6th we started meeting again at the Westminster Presbyterian Church for our full program.  It has been about 2.5 years since we were regularly meeting together at Westminster Presbyterian Church.  So, in preparation for our meeting in-person while COVID is still around, our Tuesday night Zoom meetings have ended ..read more
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Delay in opening to in-person gatherings.
Buffalo Zen Dharma Community - Blog
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7M ago
The Buffalo Zen Dharma Community Organizing Council has met recently to discuss in-person gatherings.  Unfortunately, with the rise in COVID cases, and Erie County now being listed by the CDC as being at high risk for getting COVID, the Council has decided to put off considering in-person gathering until after the first of September.   This was quite the disappointment to the Council considering the excitement building for returning to in-person events.  But, the Council thought this would be best.  However, it was also thought that we should move ahead with preparati ..read more
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Getting closer to in-person gatherings
Buffalo Zen Dharma Community - Blog
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7M ago
With the sustained improvement in COVID cases and as more and more public places are opening up to our more normal way of interacting, the Buffalo Zen Dharma Community has also been exploring going back to in-person gatherings.  Of the two places we meet (Westminster Presbyterian Church, and the Network of Religious Communities building), it appears that the first in-person gatherings will probably be at the Network of Religious Communities building as the COVID precaution goals are easier to meet there.   This does not mean that we will not continue to have an online presence ..read more
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Buffalo Zen moving to in-person events?
Buffalo Zen Dharma Community - Blog
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7M ago
With Erie county now being designated as being a low risk area, and the COVID metrics being favorable, the Buffalo Zen Dharma Community Organizing Council has started the process of returning to in-person group events.  The two main areas of review are the Tuesday night programs at Westminster Presbyterian Church and the monthly half-day meditations at the Network of Religious Communities building.  There are a lot of things that need to be considered.  A recent organizing council survey was sent out and this coming Saturday the 26th of March the council will be meeting to addr ..read more
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Updates on training
Buffalo Zen Dharma Community Blog
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7M ago
With the Omicron COVID virus numbers dropping, and with no more problems with COVID at the monastery, there are now opportunities to practice at Zen Mountain Monastery.  However, one has to be vaccinated and have a PCR COVID test that is negative within the last three days of arriving at the monastery.  Also a test will be performed when the person arrives which will also need to be negative for the person to enter the monastic community.  For those who are not able to participate in retreats at the monastery, there are online programs available to support our practice.   ..read more
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The latest developments
Buffalo Zen Dharma Community Blog
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7M ago
First the good news........ Mn. Bear Gokan Bonebakker has recently been given the title of Dharma Holder which means that he has formally begun the process to eventually receive Dharma transmission (Denbo).  This is the  highest level of formal training that is offered in Buddhist training.   Gokan first came to the Monastery in 1994, and received The Precepts in 2000 becoming a formal Buddhist.  He has been in residence since 2007 and was ordained in 2014.  He presently is the Operations Director, and also helps coordinate the National Buddhist Prison Sangha ..read more
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Continued Zen training AT Zmm and in Buffalo, NY
Buffalo Zen Dharma Community Blog
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7M ago
As the local Buffalo Zen Dharma Community continues to meet online, spiritual progress continues.  Besides the Tuesday night (7 PM -- 9 PM) program, there are monthly half-day meditation (half-day zazenkai) events on a Sunday morning (8:30 AM -- 11:30 AM).  And now the Organizing Council is looking to have an all-day practice event in January to ring in the new year which will not only include zazen (meditation), but a senior monastic talk and oryoki (the formal taking of a meal in meditation setting).   Training of course continues at Zen Mountain Monastery where there   ..read more
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The latest information on returning to Group activities
Buffalo Zen Dharma Community Blog
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7M ago
Ever since the start of the COVID pandemic, the question has been when would it be possible to return to group activities.  It was thought that soon after a safe and effective vaccine came out, people would enthusiastically take up the opportunity to become immune against this deadly virus.  It was thought that our return to normal activities would be soon after. However this has not turned out to be the case.  There is significant resistance to getting the vaccine, and on top of this, the new deadly Delta variant has spread causing more problems.  This makes u ..read more
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