Masks and Meditation

Hey folks,

We’re running a meditation group in Roleystone in the Perth hills. As we’re likely to have more restrictions over the coming months, I’m wondering what options our meditators have when it comes to masks. 20 people in a room for 4 hours, what do you think?

Cheers,

Ajahn J.R.

It’s not a problem! :mask:

We wear masks for pindapata, and for meditation and chanting sessions indoors. Other folks (school teachers, cafe staff shop staff) are required to wear masks all day here at present. And of course hospital staff have full PPE.

Wearing a mask for meditation is no big deal.

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Have you tried this risk tool? You could do it with and without masks.
https://covidvisitrisk.com/riskscore-english.html

Doing the tool may also give you ideas for other risk mitigation things. It sounds like keeping windows open and people not talking are good ways to reduce risk.

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Many states in Australia require masks inside at present for public places, such as places of worship, community halls, shops, museums, etc regardless of any mitigation measures, and in addition to being double vaxxed.

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At the university where I teach in the United States, instruction is in-person with masks required in classrooms. The university administration has determined by using contact tracing that the incidents of positive tests for Covid-19 have been the result of students coming into close contact with each other for extended periods without masks. Individuals wearing masks and maintaining physical distance in well-ventilated spaces are not likely to contribute to viral spread.

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Local laws permitting, I might suggest trying an alternate face covering to the ever present looped mask. Masks with ties are often more comfortable, and they make and sell cleanroom / surgical masks with this system. As well, garments like veils, balaclavas, neck/face warmers, etc. exist which place a barrier in front of your mouth / nose but do not have any pressure point on the back of your head.

Good to hear, @Akaliko my old chum! Ajahn Santutthi will run the next retreat in a week’s time, we’ll give it a go.

Mega-metta,

Ajahn J.R.

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No, thanks for the link! Ventilation is likely the key factor as also mentioned by @Metaphor. Masks are going to be mandatory, though I hadn’t considered the vaccination status.

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And of course we encourage work from home. :laughing:

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You could consider an online retreat via zoom?

You know, I’ve never actually used zoom, believe it or not.

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The main issue is why do you really need to have your ‘seated meditation’ in a room with people?

Seated meditation for breathing (anapana) should be practiced in a lonely place according to SN 54.1 = SA 803:

Pages 225-7 from The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism Choong Mun-keat 2000.pdf (210.4 KB)

Well “lonely” is relative. For the target audience, a 4 hour retreat, just being apart from their phone, tv and chit-chat is a fair bit of seclusion.

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I too would say it is no problem. I was in a retreat in January in Colombo Sri Lanka and we did wear the mask because,
It is a social responsibility, You are not just caring for you only but for others too and that is compassion giving altruistic joy. At least in meditation retreat must drop this I.

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