I've had a dream from long before the start of Treeleaf that can now be realized thanks to our lovely "Zazen Sitting Room" ... the "Always Open Zazen Cafe" ...
It is a simple really: If and when we have enough members in various locations and time zones, the proposal is to have at least one person commit to be sitting in the video Zendo for 1 hour, in some time zone, 24 hours a day. That way, there will always be at least one person sitting there, and a place folks from anywhere can always go 24 hours to have someone to sit with when they feel a little lonely in their Zazen. The candle will always be burning! With all the people we have in different time Zones, I think we can start to cover a lot of time, even if not 24 hours. And it is not really so much of a hassle I think, just a commitment to turn your camera on while you are sitting a daily round of Zazen.
Now, I think it is too early to start something like that, and lets wait a little while to work out the kinks in the place and get used to it. Eventually, I foresee an online sign-up schedule where folks can commit to the hours in which they will sit (folks can commit to do it, for example, for a block of weeks or a month, for example ... it does not have to be for 9 years like old Jundo's "Sit-a-Long with Jundo" Vow. In fact, a vow to do it for a few weeks or more can be your own personal practice commitment and opportunity!). For now, I just wanted to toss the idea out there so people could think about it,
It is a little like some nuns I once read about ...
Nuns Keep Alive a Chain of Prayers, Nonstop Since 1878
(actually, I heard a similar story about some Buddhist priests chanting for peace too, but I cannot find information about them now) who pray 24 hours non-stop, one nun at a time. Whatever you feel about their efforts, it is kinda nice to know somebody is out there who cares.
Of course, the sitting room will also continue to be used for informal group sits (like Will is organizing) and more formal sittings and events like our "One Day Zazenkai's" and "Jukai".
So, that the "Always Open Zazen Cafe"!