Hello everyone,

As you may know, Google is retiring "Hangouts" which we have used for all Treeleaf sittings and meetings for many years now. Deep bows to Hangouts for allow us to practice together and manifest Sangha throughout that time.

For the past two months we have been working on transitioning away from Hangouts to software called "Zoom." Some of the daily sitting groups in both the Scheduled Sitting Room and Free Sitting Room have been testing Zoom and an updated Treeleaf NOW 2.0. And of course the Zazenkai has been on Zoom for over a month now.

We will complete the transition to Zoom tomorrow Saturday October 19 at around 12:30pm EDT (basically after Shinshi's hosted Fukudenkai is complete).

Treeleaf NOW 2.0

On Saturday, the big change will be that the Treeleaf NOW feature (at treeleaf.org/now) will be updated to a new version we've been testing that integrates Zoom for all meetings. Once this new "NOW 2.0" is in place, I will go through and review and update the calendar to use new links and instructions as appropriate (which is to say -- do not trust the calendar on Saturday afternoon!).

One nice thing about the switch to Zoom is that the Zazenkai no longer has different instructions or a special link. It will always take place in the new Scheduled Sitting Room. So joining will be the same as joining any scheduled daily sitting.

If anyone would like a sneak peak at the new Treeleaf 2.0, is available here (for the next 24 hours anyway): https://www.treeleaf.org/now2/

The New Rooms

In addition to being able to access the new Zoom rooms at any time through the new Treeleaf NOW, the three rooms also have permanent "meeting IDs", so you can join them at any time from a Zoom client just by entering the appropriate meeting id:

- Meeting Room (Oryoki, Tonglen, Fukudenkai, Ango Groups): 483 483 1200 -- Please note that this replaces both the old "Meeting Room" AND the old "Sewing Room".
- Scheduled Sitting Room (daily scheduled sittings and weekly Zazenkai): 483 483 1244
- Free Sitting Room (join any time to offer your sitting to others): 483 483 1253

About Zoom

Zoom is available on all of the major platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android) and is free use. If you want to host your own meetings (that are more than 40 minutes long, or stream them to Youtube) you would need a paid license, but for joining any Treeleaf hosted event, you can use Zoom for free. If you have not installed Zoom, you can either go directly to https://zoom.us/ or when you try to join one of the Treeleaf meetings you will be given instructions for how to download it.

The Zazenkai will of course also continue to be streamed one-way on youtube (the video will typically be posted about 10 minutes prior to the Zazenkai).

Zoom Tips and Tricks

Here are a few notes and tips we have collected over the past weeks of testing Zoom:

- When you first join, you'll need to choose an audio source (usually you can simply select "Join with Computer Audio" on desktop or "Call using Internet Audio" on mobile).
- When you first join any Treeleaf meeting, you should be automatically muted.

- Each participant can switch between the "speaker view" (the default view) and "gallery view" (a grid / Hollywood Squares / Brady Bunch style view) - whenever they would like
-- On desktop, click the "gallery view" / "speaker view" toggle button on the top right
-- On mobile, swipe right for "gallery views" -- only 4 participants are shown at a time on mobile, so keep swiping right to go through different groups, swipe left to go back to the "gallery view"

- You can mute, unmute, etc. with the control bar on the bottom of the screen
-- On desktop, hover the mouse over the window and the control bar should pop up
-- On mobile, tap the screen and the control bar should pop up
-- On mobile, so that your own picture does not take up one of the four slots you see, you can tap for the control bar, then tap "... menu" and select "Remove myself from gallery view"

- The free version of Zoom will only allow you to HOST meetings up to 40 minutes long, but you can JOIN meetings of any length (the Zazenkai, etc.) with it.

- If you are on a slow Internet connection and are experiencing drop-outs, try turning off video (you can always turn it on for a bit at the beginning and end to wave and bow to everyone)