Sesshins April and May cancelled.

Much to our regret, we have to cancel the sesshins in April and May These are:

  • The three day retreat in The Hague from April 9 to 12.
  • The spring-retreat in Holten from May 11 to 17 mei.

The week schedule has changed.

The week program has changed due to the effects of the Corona-crisis. Click here for the new schedule.

The Zendo is closed (until further notice)

With pain in our hearts, Helen and I have decided to close the Zen Heart Sangha zendo for now. At least for a period of two weeks, but more likely until April 6. The reason for this of course, is the urgent medical need. I try to follow the news, read the medical advice, and see how quickly the situation is changing and escalating.

Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that isolating ourselves from each other now seems, paradoxically, the best way to connect with each other in care and compassion.

What makes this decision so difficult is that together with this need to isolate, I also feel the need, especially now, to have a place for joint introspection, shared silence, shared concerns, deep contact and attention for each other. And also the necessity to remain clear headed, to stick to the facts and to not be guided by our impulses of fear and reactivity and “survival mode”.

The urgent calls from the medical professionals are now the most important. And also the worries and love of and for the people closest to me (Helen and the children), who must also be completely at peace with the decision. Taking all this into consideration, the decision is to close our home to joint practice until further notice.

This also means that the March 29 zazenkai is canceled.

In the coming weeks I will keep the normal weekly schedule here at home. I will be in the zendo Monday to Thursday from 8 pm to 10 pm for meditation. I will do the same on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, from 7.30 a.m. to 8.30 a.m. and on Friday mornings from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.
If you can and want (as it suits you) we can sit together at those times, each in our own house, but in the connection that always exists between all of us.

I am still figuring out how to make daisan possible and how to set up an interactive dharma-talk. We will send an additional email about this (and about the other plans for the coming weeks) as soon as possible.

I will keep all the regular skype and phone appointments already made.

One last thought: In the coming weeks, one of the most important things in our the Sangha is to share with each other whatever help or support is needed both within and outside our community. These next weeks will be complicated and difficult for many of us, with unexpected problems and hurdles. The Sangha can be important to provide support. This can be anything: shopping, cooking a meal, helping with moving house, transportation difficulties; in short, minor and major problems of all sorts. And if you see someone outside our community in need of help or support, share it also in the sangha. We are already looking at the possibility of reactivating the FaceBook page of the sangha, but you can also contact me privately if you prefer not to use that platform for any reason. I will then see what I can coordinate.

We have to go into isolation, but let us make sure we don't let go of each other.

Zen Heart Sangha