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 us question if we will ever return to a pre-COVID normal state of activities, and if now is the new normal.
The organizing council of the Buffalo Zen Dharma Community which meets monthly has addressed these questions. And a recent letter from the organizing council member David Genwa Nelson recently was sent out to the sangha expressing the council's latest conclusion on this issue. It is presented below.
Organizing Council letter to the sangha
Many people have been asking about when the Buffalo Zen Dharma Community will be returning to Westminster Presbyterian Church (WPC) for in-person gatherings. This email is intended to let you know what the current situation is.
WPC has indicated the requirements for any group using the church are that everyone wear a mask at all times and social distancing is followed. This presents two problems. 1) In warmer weather we use a climate controlled area of the church. We wouldn't be able to do this and maintain social distance forcing us to use Parish Hall (where we meet during cooler months). 2) Parish Hall is often much hotter than the temperature outside. This in combination with mask wearing could result in dangerous conditions for those with breathing issues.
With the recent Covid19 variant strains and mutations, the Organizing Council has decided to take a wait and see approach. Zoom offers a stable platform for members to meet without risk. The Organizing Council will continue to meet monthly and assess when a return to in person practice is prudent.
If you have not previously practiced with us and would like to learn more please get in touch with Carolyn Keirin Alif. If you have practiced with us in the past and would like to join our zoom sessions on Tuesday evenings, please contact Christine Ansei Nelson.
David Genwa Nelson