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December 10, 2013

Your Year-End Support Makes a Difference: Hear from Those Touched by SFZC Programs

Enjoy these brief, uplifting statements from those who have benefited from or administered some of the various programs and services that you support through donations to San Francisco Zen Center. And please consider either making a donation or continuing your generous offering of support.

2013-YE-appeal-card-3_x350As the abbots said in their year-end letter: “There are many ways to express your love of Zen Center. Caring for Zen Center by giving financial support is a way of demonstrating your love and appreciation for the dharma and the teachers, the people, programs and places that enrich so many lives.”

 

Public Meditation Programs

SFZC’s morning community zazen has opened the door to exploring more layers of life for me. It is a joy when I can start my weekend with a warm, eager crowd of like-minded beginner sitters.

—Owen, San Francisco

Zen Center’s evening zazen offerings gave me the gift of a path, the treasure that is the dharma. It’s been a cherished addition to my life ever since I walked in the doors.

—Dennis, San Francisco

 

Green Gulch Farm & Apprenticeship Program

My months as a farm apprentice at Green Gulch in 1996 were easily the richest times of my life. My heart fills up just thinking about it. Buddhists do not mess around: the time to live is now. Thank you, Zen Center.

—Sam, Farm and Garden Apprenticeship Alum, British Columbia

Green Gulch’s Organic Farm program has brought together my two primary aims in life: to engage in meaningful work and to cultivate my capacity to meet reality with a soft heart. Working with practitioners in the rich fields of Green Gulch, practicing caretaking the soil while raising and offering vegetables to our friends, and supporting one another’s profound intention toward awakening has been a blessing without measure. I am daily grateful for the generous causes and conditions that have allowed me to partake in this incomparable feast of the heart and the earth.

—Qayyum Johnson, Farm Manager, Green Gulch Farm Zen Center

 

Prison Outreach

We bring our practice of sitting and looking at our lives and relationships to the incarcerated at San Quentin. The men who join the sitting group are serious about studying and changing their lives. They inspire the volunteers and we inspire them. It is a great gift that our sangha practice and the way we take refuge in the teachings can be alive and of benefit to those who cannot come to our zendos. Everyone is grateful for the opportunity to meet.

—Emila, SFZC volunteer, Prison Outreach  Program

 

Through Zen Center’s Meditation and Recovery Program

I found two great teachers who I blossomed under. I found a community to belong to. The program was my gateway into City Center. It led me to find and ask for a formal teacher and to take the precepts. It led me to sewing with Blanche. It taught me to give back by becoming a group leader myself. It provided me with serenity, courage and wisdom in the heart of the Three Jewels, and continues to do so.

Thank you Zen Center.

—Sam, sangha member, San Francisco

 

Training the Next Generation of Zen Teachers

It was a great joy to me to meet with the leaders of our affiliated sanghas at our Branching Streams meeting this year and to realize that there are many capable teachers-in-training right here in residence and many more people around the country eager to find a group of Dharma practitioners with whom to learn and practice together.  It is particularly apparent in this moment, at the end of Rohatsu sesshins, when the Shusos are “calling forth the Dharma” in their Shuso ceremonies.  Soon they will be teaching classes, offering practice discussion, co-leading practice periods, and responding to the queries, “Do you have anyone there who could come here and teach a sitting group?”

—Blanche, Senior Dharma Teacher, SFZC

 

Young Urban Zen

Young Urban Zen makes me feel optimistic about the next generation in San Francisco.

—Anonymous, San Francisco

 

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