The Board of Directors of Zen Center met on Wednesday, November 19, 2014, at Greens Restaurant.
The Board’s major action item was to pass a new policy for abbatial review, designed to encourage self-evaluation among each member of the abbacy (the current abbot and abbesses and the abiding teacher at Tassajara) as to the quality of communication each abbot and abbess maintains with their peers. Each member would be asked to share a written review of this practice with the board chair, who will coordinate the process and meet with the abbatial leaders. This practice is designed to foster team work and unity, and encourage connection within the abbacy.
April 8, 1947 – November 9, 2014
San Francisco Zen Center grieves the loss of Denis Rodriguez, who was a student in the early days of Zen Center and who lived and practiced at all three centers. In recent years Denis was an employee in the Accounting Department. Denis was one of the first workers at the original Tassajara Bakery on Cole Street in San Francisco. Read more
Come meet Jane Hirshfield, poet, essayist, translator, and Zen Center alum and teacher, as she launches her limited edition chapbook of new works. The book, called minus / myness and published by Missing Links Press, is a limited edition chapbook of new works that share titles beginning with “My.” The edition of 150 is letterpress printed in four colors, and hand-sewn and bound in San Francisco, California. Read more
A group of teachers and senior students—Mel Weitsman, Victoria Austin, Mary Mocine and Mary Watson—have just completed recording a series of interviews with Zenkei Blanche Hartman. The interviews explored Zen Center’s robe-sewing tradition, Zenkei’s relationships with Shunryu Suzuki Roshi and Mitsu Suzuki Sensei (Okusan), Zenkei’s family and marriage, her role as abbess, and other topics. All the interviews will be gifted to Zen Center for its archive, and some of the interviews may be shared quite soon with other practice centers, particularly the interviews focused on sewing Buddha’s robe. Read more
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