3/15/2020 - UPDATE: The Buddhist Temple of Toledo Board of Directors has extended the move to all virtual programming through May 31, 2020.
The Buddhist Temple of Toledo Board of Directors and COVID-19 Response Team have decided to shift all events and programs to meet online from now through March 31, 2020. (Watch a video from Temple Leadership on the shift.)
- The Temple Building is closed for gatherings, including Temple Services, Ceremonies, Sesshin, Workshops, and Affinity and Support Group Meetings.
- All events and programs that can be held online will be shifted to virtual-only. Events and programs that cannot be adapted for virtual-only delivery are cancelled.
- Sesshin is cancelled.
- Our Teachers will explore and offer alternate practice forms and ways of connecting in the coming days and weeks.
The novel coronavirus and related respiratory illness, COVID-19 is now present in in the NW Ohio / SE Michigan region, and more prevalent instances of COVID-19 are expected soon. At the recommendation of international and state health officials, many Ohio and Michigan universities -- including our local peer institution, the University of Toledo -- have shifted to virtual-only operations and cancelled gatherings.
Zen Teachers and students gathering and practicing together in-person is the foundation of our tradition, and at the same time gathering together in-person is also a major vector for COVID-19 transmission. When we gather we put each other at risk of becoming ill, and put our most vulnerable community members at risk of becoming severely ill. Because of this, Temple Leadership is making appropriate temporary shifts in how and when the community practices together.
With this decision to move all programs to online-only, Temple Leadership is committed to safeguarding the health and safety of our Sangha, as well as to slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the region.
We are also committed to continuity of deep and authentic Dharma training by our members for the benefit of all beings, and Rinsen Roshi and Do'on Osho will be sharing many ways our practice can flourish during this epidemic.
Please join your Teachers and Sangha in turning your bodhisattva practice toward the paramitas of generosity, moral discipline, patience, joyful effort, concentration, and wisdom at this difficult time when they are so needed in the world.
Much more information will be coming over the next few days.
For now, please let me know if you have any questions about the Temple's COVID-19 response.
May the Sangha and all beings know ease and tender lovingkindness,
Jenna Zuisei Hirschman on behalf of the BTT Board of Directors and COVID-19 Response Team