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Introducing Montaña Despierta: A Place for Zen Buddhist Practice on the East Coast of Mexico

A Branching Streams sangha profile

Montaña Despierta (Awakened Mountain, in Spanish) is a space dedicated to the practice of Buddhist meditation in the heart of Xalapa, a city located in eastern Mexico. It was founded in 2008 by several spiritual friends that came together under the mentorship and guidance of Dharma Teacher and Central Abbess of San Francisco Zen Center Eijun Linda Ruth Cutts. Since then Montaña Despierta has become a special place, unique in a society that has seemed so alien to the teachings of Buddhism. Read more

From left: Sojun Mel Weitsman, SFZC Branching Streams Liaison Steve Weintraub, SFZC Central Abbess Eijun Linda Cutts attending the ceremony.

Austin Zen Center Installs Its First Abbot

On Saturday, April 11, Kosho McCall, an SFZC alumnus and former head of practice at Tassajara, was installed as abbot of Austin Zen Center in a Mountain Seat Ceremony. Kosho has been leading the Branching Streams affiliate for six years now. The ceremony was attended and celebrated by a strong contingent of San Francisco Zen Center official representatives and alumni, some of whom are shown in the photos below, as well as Suzuki Roshi’s son and grandson from Japan. Read more

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Using Your Smart Phone to Water the Seeds of Compassion and Wisdom

A monthly update on the Sangha Project, from Robert Thomas

Many of us are unsure about our relationship to our personal technology. Does it make us more anxious or stressed out and less able to connect with the people right in front of us, people we care about and love? Or can technology also support us to extend practice throughout our lives? Read more

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Debunking Three Myths of Practice

Three short videos with Do-On Robert Thomas

Myth 1          [Myth 2]          [Myth 3]

The Buddha said, “Do not dwell in the past; do not dream of the future; concentrate the mind on the present moment.” Zen is the practice of meeting this moment. The Buddha discovered that by being completely and fully in the present moment, we can wake up to our true nature—our Buddha-nature.

In this short video below (3 minutes), SFZC dharma teacher Do-On Robert Thomas unpacks the first of three myths around what it takes to practice Zen. Read more

Recent Articles

27
Apr
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Jokan Zenshin Thomas (Tim) Buckley: Zen Way, Yurok Way

by Laura Burges

Note: Tim Buckley, SFZC alumnus and an early student of Suzuki Roshi, passed away on April 17, 2015. This article about Tim originally appeared in Sangha News in April 2011. Tim was the leader of the Branching Streams affiliate Green River Zendo in West Bath, Maine. Read more

20
Apr
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Tim Buckley, Early Student and Branching Streams Sangha Leader, Passes Away

SFZC alumnus Jokan Zenshin Thomas (“Tim”) Buckley passed away at his home in Maine on April 17. Tim led the Branching Streams member sangha Great River Zendo in West Bath, ME. Read more

17
Apr

TassNow: Kicking off the 2015 Guest Season

Come to Tassajara early in the season and enjoy springtime in the Los Padres National Forest!

Between April 30 and May 11, we have a smattering of single-night (weekdays, Sun-Thu) availability in our Creekside cabins. Longer stays have become available in Mountain Path cabins, Redwood cabins (including Redwood Tatami cabins), Courtyard Rooms, and Sycamore cabins. Dorm and shared housing options available as well. Book soon! They will go quickly!

For the single night of Sunday May 14, we have many cabins and dorm beds available.

Space is still available in the following retreats:

  • Zen and Swimming Dragon Tai Chi (April 30 – May 7), only 2 spots in shared housing (women only) left!
  • Loving the Mountains (May 3-6)
  • Wildflowers and Birds of Tassajara (May 7-10)

Read more

15
Apr
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Dr. Grace Dammann Reflects on the Experience of Filming States of Grace

Green Gulch Farm Zen Center resident Grace Dammann, MD, survived a near-fatal head-on collision on the Golden Gate Bridge in 2008. After more than seven weeks in a coma and a dozen surgeries, she miraculously awakened with her mental facilities intact; her body, however, was left shattered. Read more

15
Apr
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What’s a Black Bodhisattva to Do?

by Kyva Holman

After an incident occurred close to home, Green Gulch resident Kyva Holman reflects carefully on how to juggle myriad considerations where race and Buddhist practice intersect with the complex conditions of our modern world. Kyva shares his personal perspective through the invitation of SFZC’s Cultural Awareness and Inclusivity Committee.

For some, taking refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha is not abstraction. It’s front-and-center reality. But what if that refuge is breached? Read more

15
Apr
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Congratulations to GGF and Tassajara Shusos

Qayyum Johnson served as shuso (head student) at Green Gulch Farm for its Spring 2015 Practice Period, led by Abiding Abbess Furyu Schoeder. Both are pictured below after the Shuso Ceremony on Monday, April 6, which closed the practice period at the end of a seven-day sesshin. Read more