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Brother David Steindl-Rast and Ryushin Paul Haller sharing the Spirit of Practice

Brother David Steindl-Rast and Ryushin Paul Haller returned to Tassajara last week to lead their annual retreat titled “The Spirit of Practice: Christian and Zen.” During their visit they graciously delivered the Wednesday evening dharma talk for Tassajara guests and residents, filling the retreat hall with laugher and conversation and filling our hearts with the spirit of practice. Read more

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Transmitting the Dharma through Online Courses

A monthly update on the Sangha Project, from Robert Thomas

In the last year I’ve been working with the San Francisco Zen Center Programs staff to offer two online courses, both successful. In the fall of 2014 I offered a 4-week course titled Manifesting the Wisdom of the Body with yoga teacher Samantha Ostergaard. For this course, 110 people from over 7 states and 2 countries participated and learned the basics of integrating Zen mindfulness with body awareness, movement and flexibility. In the spring of 2015, I offered a 7-week course on the fundamental practices and principles of Zen called Meeting This Moment, joining 95 participants from 15 states and 6 countries.

This month, I would like to share with you some brief thoughts about my experience of teaching and practicing together remotely, with the support of online tools. Read more

Seated from left: Linda Cutts, Linda Galijan and Konin Cardenas, with nuns from Vietnam (standing left) and Thailand (right; ordained in Bangladesh).

SFZC Central Abbess Reports Back from International Conference on Buddhist Women

Notes from Central Abbess Eijun Linda Cutts

The 14th Annual Sakyadhita International Conference on Buddhist Women was held last month in Yogyakarta, Indonesia—a beautiful country rich in Buddhist as well as Hindu and Muslim history. Almost a thousand people, predominantly ordained women from many countries, attended the seven days of meditation and ceremonies, presentations of scholarly papers, workshops, cultural events and living together in harmony. Read more

Okunion Cemetery on Mount Koya (Photo: Jordy Meow, Wikimedia Commons)

The Long Road to Sitting Still, by Pico Iyer

Part 1          [Skip to Part 2 or Part 3]          [Watch TED Talk: “The Art of Stillness”]

“There is no Garden of Eden” was the judgment that greeted me, as an impressionable boy, in the pages of my teenage hero, D.H. Lawrence, “the Hesperides never were.” Lawrence was my hero, though, precisely because he could never stay fixed in any one dogma, and was intensely alive to the limitations of his own perspective. So he continued, “Yet, in our very search for them, we touch the coasts of illusion and come into contact with other worlds.” Read more

Recent Articles

21
Jul
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Bequest for SFZC Honors Memory of Sobun Katherine Thanas

Recently San Francisco Zen Center received a significant bequest from a couple in Monterey, California, who were inspired to remember Zen Center in their will primarily because of their relationship with Katherine Thanas. Read more

15
Jul

TassNow: Last minute July retreat possibilities!

A few last minute retreat possibilities for July! Or stay at Tassajara in a dorm or shared housing without a retreat!

Read more

8
Jul
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Life Is Hard: Zoketsu Norman Fischer on the Necessity of Love and Compassion

“One of the worst feelings is to feel utterly alone,” says former SFZC abbot Zoketsu Norman Fischer, “but it’s impossible to ever be alone.” In the brief excerpt below transcribed from video, Norman tells us why love and compassion are simply necessities, especially in these difficult times. Read more

8
Jul
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Featured Photo, July 8

Zenkei Blanche Hartman is shown below in a past Interdependence Day Parade at Tassajara. The annual event at Tassajara around Independence Day in the US celebrates—what else?—our inter-dependence. The photo was submitted by Soren Leaver on the Boundless Life blog, which has recently shifted its focus Read more

8
Jul
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Branching Streams of Northern California: Introducing Occidental Laguna Sangha

A Branching Streams sangha profile

Our sangha started meditating together in 1995 in the small town of Occidental, California; hence the word occidental in our name. The word also means western, which is where the Buddha Dharma is now being established. We are located one hour north of San Francisco and not far from the Pacific Ocean. We currently meet together right next to the beautiful Laguna de Santa Rosa in Sebastopol, California, an important ecological reserve and the largest freshwater wetlands complex on the northern California coast. Read more

7
Jul
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Call for Volunteers for Pico Iyer Events, July 24-25

UPDATED: Volunteers are invited to help Zen Center with registration, ushering, and book sales, especially for the Saturday workshop below—in exchange for free admission. Events take place at Grace Cathedral and feature renowned journalist, author and lecturer Pico Iyer, along with Zen Center’s Abbess at Green Gulch Farm, Furyu Schroeder.  Read more

6
Jul

TassNow: One spot available for The Spirit of Practice retreat!

One last spot in The Spirit of Practice retreat (July 19-26) has opened up!

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