Announcement by the Abbot
This has been a difficult day. Our temple and sangha is endeavoring to respond with wisdom and compassion to the threat of community spread of coronavirus-19. A critical part of responsible action at this stage of a pandemic is taking significant steps to prevent person to person spread by social distancing. This is especially important with a virus that has a long incubation period, like this one. For this reason, we are shutting down in-person events for the time being. We will continue to operate, and will have remote options available soon.
In the meantime, practice continues regardless of the container. Please take extra care of yourselves and those nearby. Do whatever you trust to nurture and fortify your immune system. Be skillful with your emotional well being and the stories you tell yourself about this situation. It’s important to be able to grieve, to feel anxiety, to prepare. And it’s important to be able to let these go and prevent any spirals towards panic or longer term stress responses. How we manage our attention matters, how we take care of each other matters.
There are many different people and communities affected by the temple and it’s programs. The impact of the pandemic, and the impact of suspending our public events affects each of us in different ways. Please be sensitive to this diversity and do what you can to help relieve suffering during this time.
Health and Safety Update
Following an emergency vote by the Board of Directors, the decision has been made to close the center for all in-person public events until further notice. This closure is comprehensive, effective immediately, and includes Sunday services, Wednesday evening classes, retreats, workshops, Dharma School, and all events planned by outside groups. Frog Song will close at the end of the day Friday, and will be closed for two weeks. This is not a complete closure of the temple. The temple will be open for staff, residents and events will be moved on-line as we are able. We recognize that this step may seem radical to some at this time but believe that this is the only way to ensure that we, as a sangha, are doing everything we can to protect ourselves and our community. This decision was not made lightly. Instead, it was made in light of local and national developments, the actions of similar spiritual communities and Buddhist organizations, and the recommendations of the Health and Safety Committee.
If you have paid fees for an activity that is now cancelled, the fees will be refunded.
The Health and Safety Committee has been actively working to ensure that the center is up to date on the latest information and recommendations made by local and national health authorities, and that these recommendations are being implemented. The Health and Safety Committee, which is composed of Kakuon Christian, Nancy Gonzales, Zuiryu Flynn, Eric Johnson, and Kakumyo Lowe-Charde, would like to hear from you if you have any concerns or suggestions at: .
Dharma Rain is committed to being a place of support and refuge, and this is especially true during times of personal, community, or global crisis. We encourage everyone to continue their practice and to be mindful of how your practice can be a source of support and well being at this time.
1) Avoid non-essential travel.
2) Practice social distancing whenever possible so that you have a six foot radius around you.
3) Avoid handshakes. Use a fist bump or a slight bow.
4) Use your knuckle or some kind of implement to touch light switches, elevator buttons, etc.
5) Open public doors with a closed fist or hip – try to avoid grabbing the handle unless there is no other way to open the door. This is especially important when using public bathrooms and doors.
6) When they are available, use disinfectant wipes at stores, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.
7) Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home, whenever you touch your eyes, nose or mouth, or before and after working in the center kitchen.
8) Keep a bottle of sanitizer at each entrance to your home. AND, if you drive, keep sanitizer in your car for use after getting gas or touching other potentially contaminated objects when you can’t immediately wash your hands.
9) Whenever possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Cough into your elbow only if you have to. If you cough into your elbow your skin or clothing may become contaminated with virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more.
10) Stay home if you or your child becomes sick – even if you think the illness is minor (like a cold or cough). Take care of yourself. Monitor for signs of COVID-19 (see below).
Take Additional Precautions If You Are at High Risk
According to the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control, individuals who are 60 years of age and older, and people with a history of serious medical problems, such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, are at higher risk of suffering a severe reaction to COVID-19 and should take the following precautions:
1) Stock up on supplies.
2) Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.
3) When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
4) Avoid crowds as much as possible.
5) Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
6) During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.
How to Know If You Are Sick
The symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to the flu and some severe colds. Most people who have become infected will display symptoms between 5-7 days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days and as many as 14 days. However, not everyone who becomes sick will display symptoms and even people who show symptoms will not display all of them.
*difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
*some may display gastrointestinal problems or diarrhea
What to Do If You Think You Are Sick
Based on guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control, observe the following precautions if you or someone you are caring for becomes sick with COVID-19:
1) Stay home except to get medical care.
2) Contact your health care provider or a local health care authority (e.g., county health department) for guidance.
3) Call your health care provider before attending an appointment and do not show up at your health care provider’s office without notifying them. Your healthcare provider will need time to prepare for your arrival or they may re-direct you to another site for testing or treatment.
4) Wear a mask or create a makeshift mask from cloth or a T-shirt to wear to any healthcare appointment.
5) Do not use public transportation, ride-sharing services or taxis for any purpose.
6) Separate yourself from other people and pets in your home as soon as possible. If possible, do not share bathrooms. Others should stay more than three feet away from you and avoid any surface you might have touched or coughed or sneezed upon (including doorknobs, commonly used surfaces, plates, cups and towels).
7) Regularly clean surfaces that you may have touched or coughed or sneezed upon. Coronaviruses can stay on surfaces for anywhere from hours to days. It doesn’t matter if the surface looks dirty or clean. The good news is that the virus can be destroyed using simple disinfectant or bleach.
• Clackamas County Public Health: (503) 742-5300 or https://www.clackamas.us/about-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19
• Clark County Public Health: (564) 397-8182 or https://www.clark.wa.gov/public-health/novel-coronavirus
• Multnomah County Public Health: (503) 988-3406 or https://multco.us/novel-coronavirus-covid-19