As the 90-day Kyol Che winds down to a close, our community is re-evaluating the central presence of running a live broadcast of twice-daily practice (“the livestream”). Should we continue this? Or should we put the focus on the emergent “online course” that will soon emerge? Both happenings require lots of time and energy and daily attendance. Due to my recent health challenges, which have stretched the entire length of this retreat, since back in November, we have had to switch the livestream to “pre-recorded episode” format — I was just needing to rest in my room too constantly.
Here is the A-Team who has made the livestream (and everything else digital) happen: On the right (my left) is Ioannis Papadopoulos, who had the dubious distinction of being stranded in the Zen Center when the first lockdowns started rolling. A graduate of film school in his native Greece, Ioannis (Dharma name: Doh Ahn) set up all the infrastructure which became the livestream and all of the teaching videos which have flowed (been flushed from?) that. It is impossible to express in words the gratitude I have for this man, not just for the sheer volume of work he has done, but the extraordinary sensitivity and super-effort he has shown to get everything just “right” in every aspect of every video we released. (And there are dozens and dozens of excellent unreleased stuff, just requiring some editing time.)
On the left (my right) is Nico (Dharma name: Ah Gong). He is the Chief Tech Officer for Zen Center Regensburg. He has done hundreds of hours tweaking this blog and its myriad functionalities, and he has custom-designed a program for the Zen Center which runs the daily practice video (now, “livestream” is renamed the “ZenStream”), automatically, so that I merely need to show up and lead practice, without getting pulled into some technical op that’s way over my head. Ah Gong is always generous with his time and energy, and his setting up a “second opinion” on my torn meniscus recently caused me to be introduced to some top surgeon, who (seems to have) repaired the problem.
I am very grateful to know both of these fine men, who have also become quite close brothers, through this whole process of broadcasting supports for practice.