Healing Through Virtual Zen Meditation
This past year the stress of isolation and uncertainty has taken its toll on all of us. As part of Japan House’s efforts to focus on care and wellness through traditional Japanese Arts, they established a unique collaboration with Zenshin Florence Caplow, a local community member. Caplow is a Soto Zen priest in the Suzuki Roshi lineage of San Francisco Zen Center. She has been a student of Vipassana meditation and Zen Buddhism for nearly 40 years. She is a meditation teacher, field botanist, essayist, and the co-editor, with Reigetsu Susan Moon, of The Hidden Lamp: Stories from Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women. She is also an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister. She currently lives and works in Urbana as the lead minister for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana-Champaign.
On the first Friday of every month over the 2020–21 academic year, Reverend Caplow provided 10–15 minutes of live meditation via Facebook at various places in and around Japan House. Meditation can positively impact mental and physical health by helping to gain a new perspective on a stressful situation, increasing self-awareness, helping to focus on the present, as well as increasing patience and tolerance, imagination and creativity, while reducing negative emotions. These meditation videos are available through Facebook @JapanHouseUofI.