Mystic Heart Meditation: Eryl Kubicka, Japanese Zen
Wayman Kubicka began Zen practice in 1966 while attending graduate school in religion at Temple University, and living and working at Pendle Hill, the Quaker Center for Study and Contemplation in Wallingford, Pennsylvania. In 1967 Wayman joined an American Friends Service Committee (Quaker) team in Quang Ngai, South Vietnam, helping to build and run a rehabilitation center for war injured civilians. Wayman stayed with the Vietnam project for four years, working first as a generalist, and then as team leader. Eryl Kubicka joined the AFSC project from England in 1969, as a physical therapist and practicing Buddhist. Eryl and Wayman were married in 1970. They returned to the United States in 1971, and shortly after the birth of their daughter Rhiannon in 1972, spent about one year working on a travelling exhibit and lecture tour centered both on the culture of Vietnam and the painful realities of the war. In 1974, with their two-year-old daughter, they returned to Vientiane, Laos for four years as Indochina Representatives for the AFSC, working on humanitarian projects and traveling and reporting on post war realities in the region. In 1978 they took up residence in Madison, Wisconsin, Eryl working as a physical therapist and Wayman as a remodeling contractor. Their son David was born in 1980. In 1981 they became members of the Madison Zen Center, an affiliate of the Rochester Zen Center, studying first with Roshi Philip Kapleau, founder of the Rochester Zen Center, and later with the current Abbot, Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Both Wayman and Eryl served as leaders of the Madison affiliate, each for several years. In the year 2000 Wayman joined the Rochester Zen Center's effort to build a retreat center in Batavia, New York. In 2004 Eryl retired from her physical therapy management position to join Wayman at the Chapin Mill Retreat Center. In 2008 Wayman was ordained as a Buddhist priest. Currently Eryl and Wayman are senior instructors at the Rochester Zen Center and Wayman is the head of training at the Chapin Mill Retreat Center. Both have led RZC meditation retreats. Eryl coordinates the rental program at the Chapin Mill Retreat Center and Wayman is also involved in volunteer work teaching meditation at the Attica State Correctional Facility. In September 2010 Eryl and Wayman participated in a two-week pilgrimage to China, visiting the sites of some of the foremost masters in the history of Zen Buddhism in China.