Most Zen monks in the west only wear their robes for ceremonial purposes. But I've found that when I'm on my way to or from the zendo and wearing my robes, strangers in the street will approach me, wanting to talk. It's not usually that they're interested in Buddhism, it's that they're lonely and feel isolated and need someone to talk to, and the robes give them an invitation, or maybe just an excuse, an icebreaker.
Although Scotland is no longer in lockdown, I don’t intend to resume having in-person sangha meetings anytime soon. I think the lockdown has ended too soon, and some people have not yet been vaccinated, so I’m not about to have people sit together in meditation in an enclosed space.
Also, the online meetings have been going so well, I intend to continue having them even when we’re on the other side of the pandemic and in-person zazen resumes.
I’ve been doing kinhin (walking meditation) by myself at a spot near the River Kelvin, in the park near the Kelvinside Allotments. Whether I do it depends on the weather, so I haven’t done it in a couple weeks, but I hope to be able to get back to it soon. If you’d like to join me for 40 minutes (or less, whatever you can do) of kinhin, masked and physically distanced, in the morning or evening, let me know and I’ll give you the details when I figure them out. And please let me know if you have any suggestions for other places in the city for outdoor meditation, walking or seated.