Like many of you, the Zen Center of Philadelphia Board has been pondering and discussing how to respond to the visitation of the COVID-19 pandemic to the US—especially considering that our sangha gathers in the home of our 80-year-old teacher.

We no longer believe it’s enough to wash our hands and cover our coughs and sneezes, especially in the close-packed, small-space gatherings of our Sunday program. We have many senior citizens in our sangha, who are most vulnerable to the virus, and a public responsibility to do what we can to keep the infection from spreading.

In consultation with Pat and Bob, the board has decided to close the zendo and suspend all Zen Center of Philadelphia programming until further notice. This includes our Sunday program, Wednesday evening zazen, and our monthly Saturday all-day sittings. We will monitor unfolding events with special attention to federal, state, and municipal advisories, and (again in consultation with our teachers) make an announcement when it’s safe to reopen the zendo and resume our program.

We urge all sangha members to continue practicing at home with the same diligence and passion for the dharma you show in the zendo—and don’t forget your neighbors.

Should you have questions or comments, please email us at

Let us enjoy our lives together.

Peter Nichols

Jan Ward

Barb Fishman

Drew Davidson

Categories: Updates