In-Person Meditation at Reed (5/20/22 update)

(5/20/22 update from the organizer, Alan) The Covid situation, and what it means for the campus community and its guests, is continually evolving. I received an email today from the College’s COVID Risk Assessment Group announcing a new policy for mask wearing. It states, in part, …

Beginning Wednesday, June 1, the college will lift the face covering requirement for indoor locations on campus.

In line with current Oregon Health Authority guidance, masks are still required in all health care settings, including Reed’s Health and Counseling Center. In addition, any class, meeting, or event organizer may require masks for particular gatherings at their own discretion. The COVID Risk Assessment Group strongly encourages mask wearing while indoors in situations where physical distancing is not possible, and for all who feel more comfortable doing so in any situation.

– Reed Covid Risk Assessment Group, 5/20/2022

This is not a terribly surprising move. Warmer weather plus the completion of classes means there are fewer “users” of indoor air on the Reed campus. On the other hand, COVID cases in Multnomah County are expected to rise at least until June, and health authorities acknowledge that their case numbers are likely underestimates (maybe even gross underestimates), and County officials recently urged everyone to wear masks indoors when mixing with people outside their COVID “bubbles”.

Speaking as the organizer of our weekly meditation who lacks a crystal ball for what will be happening in June, I will say this: You must be masked for our remaining meetings in May and I would appreciate it if you were masked at our meetings in June, but I won’t require it. Instead, I will ask that anyone who shows up in June without a mask to make an extra effort at social distancing. Sit near an open window. Sit at least 10-12 feet away from others. I know that everyone carries a different “COVID calculator” in their heads, so if you have concerns about these changes, please contact me.

A few more end-of-May updates and reminders …

  • Silent meditation is planned for each Tuesday from May through August, at 12:10-12:40 pm. Some sessions will take place in Eliot 314 instead of the chapel, and some sessions may move to online-only or get cancelled (perhaps at the last moment!) if I am traveling. See Our Schedule for May-August meeting dates and rooms, and follow the link provided there to join our mailing list so that you can be kept abreast of last-minute changes.
  • I will continue to offer simultaneous in-person and online silent periods. More instructions can be found at Our Practice. All are welcome.
  • New participants… You don’t need to be “on time”. You don’t have to be an experienced “meditator”. Drop by the chapel (or the alternate room, or the zoom link) anytime between 12:10-12:40 pm. Whether you participate for 30, 10, or just 1 minute, it’s all good. All I ask is that you conduct yourself quietly and in a non-distracting manner. Your presence is a welcome reminder that we are all connected.

Covid info. As mentioned above, Reed College still requires that masks be worn inside all of its buildings through the end of May. Follow these links to learn more about covid infections and procedures at Reed College, in Multnomah county and statewide in Oregon.