There have been a couple of blog posts discussing private or communal Zen at No Zen In The West and a response by Dosho Port, who I briefly studied with and highly recommend his Vine Of Obstacles training website.
I personally don’t think it is either/or. I think it should be left to the individual practitioner. So I guess considering that statement, maybe i lean more toward it being personal. But this weekend I was able to attend a kido retreat where we chanted Friday afternoon and Saturday. Sure, you can chant at home by yourself. But to me this retreat represented the best of communal Zen. To be able to forget your own voice and only be aware of the Sangha’s voice. It was pretty powerful stuff.
My Personal Zen requires a Sangha. I don’t find any irony in that statement.