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Wearing Buddha’s Robe: The Rakusu

Words from the Wearers
Article by Kogan Sheldon

“What’s that bib you’re wearing?” “This,” the wearer says, “is my rakusu.” Some of us are humorous, some shy or very reverent, some proud or patient, or all of those things—as we show others the many finely stitched panels of the rakusu, our “Buddha bib.” Usually admiration follows, accompanied by an examination of the back of this miniature representation of the robe that Shakyamuni wore. Here the person’s teacher has done calligraphy, perhaps some art as well, and has written the vow-taker’s Dharma name on the white silk facing. A poem may be there, or a koan (teaching challenge). Read more

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Together We Shine One Corner

Friday is the final day of the annual Membership Drive for SFZC. If you have joined in recent weeks, please accept our bows of appreciation and welcome. If you haven’t yet joined and are considering it, now is a wonderful time to make a membership commitment, and help us to earn a matching donation that doubles the impact of your pledge. Read more

Combustion #3Gold leaf, shellac, acrylic on wood.2014.

Combustion: Glowing Embers on Display in November’s Watery Art Exhibit

New Paintings by Tim Wicks

November 2014
in the City Center Art Lounge
300 Page Street, San Francisco

Reception: Friday, November 7, 7 – 9 pm Read more

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Manifesting the Wisdom of the Body: An Interview with Yoga Teacher Samantha Ostergaard

Our bodies teach us in a very concrete way about the reality of impermanence and interdependence. They teach us about love, compassion, and intimacy.    —Samantha Ostergaard

The body understands a lot that extends beyond our thinking mind and is central to establishing balance in our lives. In this interview, lifelong yoga and Zen practitioner Samantha Ostergaard shares some of her insights into the wisdom of the body.

Read more

Recent Articles

21
Oct
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Practicing with Issues of Misconduct, Conflict and Reconciliation at San Francisco Zen Center

A Message to the SFZC Sangha (Residents, Employees and the Wider Sangha) from Central Abbess Eijun Linda Cutts, President Susan O’Connell and Director of People Development Mark Lancaster

Recently, such as at the community meeting with the Zen Center Board on September 17, there have been a number of questions raised about how conflict is handled at Zen Center and, in particular, how allegations of serious misconduct are investigated and how we work with the aspect of confidentiality that surrounds such investigations. Read more

21
Oct
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Zen Student Reports on Climate March and Develops Environmentally Focused Events at SFZC

There’s a collective urgency now, which I hope is enough to inspire sitting and action.

The above quote captures the tone from a presentation on October 3 by City Center resident Milo Burn after his return from the People’s Climate March in New York on September 21. Milo traveled there on “the Climate Train,” which made the cross-country trip an event in itself, as 170 activists spent travel time together in workshops and inspiring each other, all while on board Amtrak. Read more

14
Oct
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Featured Photo, October 15

City Center Abiding Abbot Ed Sattizahn took in an early morning courtyard view between activities in the one-day sitting on October 4. This first sitting of the fall signaled that the abbot’s first practice period at Zen Center was well under way. In addition to offering a perfect stage for dramatic seasonal displays of sunlight, the peaceful courtyard is where some students may perform morning temple cleaning work, and is also a setting for enjoying short breaks during daylong sittings. Read more

8
Oct
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A Stove Story

A Photo Essay by Chris Shelton

When City Center’s old stoves were replaced this fall after 20 years serving in the background—but at the core—of Zen Center life, Zen student Chris Shelton documented the project in photos and reflected on the significance of that transition and of kitchen work practice at the temple. Read more

7
Oct
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Flowering the Altars: Volunteers Needed

City Center is looking for volunteers to help create flower arrangements for the temple. Read more

30
Sep
Central Abbess Eijun Linda Cutts

A Fall Message from Central Abbess Eijun Linda Cutts

Dear Sangha Members,

As I am about to leave for Tassajara for the Fall Practice Period, I wanted to let you know some things that are on my mind both at San Francisco Zen Center and in the wider world we share and create together. Read more

30
Sep
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Shine One Corner of the World—Membership Matters!

The ancient bodhisattvas found joy in doing small things, encouraged by the famous words in the Lotus Sūtra, “to shine one corner of the world.” It is enough if you just shine one corner of the world. That is enough.  —Talk by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, Tassajara, 1969 Read more