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Posts from the ‘Arts & Culture’ Category

22
Apr
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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

22
Apr
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

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

31
Mar
Atom (plus detail), and DNA (plus detail).

Painting Enlightenment (A Preview): The Art and Science of the Heart Sutra

In an Advanced Buddhist Studies Lecture on Friday, April 24, Dr. Paula Arai will exhibit and discuss paintings by a Japanese contemplative scientist that meld insights from scientific expertise with the Buddhist tradition of contemplative calligraphy. Integrating the sacred words of a Buddhist text prized for its liberative power with images both microscopic and cosmic, the Zen ink paintings on exhibit offer visual counsel on how reality can be perceived through the lens of wisdom to see the realm of compassion. (See full description of lecture.)

Below are some examples with enlarged details from paintings by Iwasaki Tsuneo (1917-2002), whose work will be discussed in the lecture on April 24. Read more

31
Mar
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Congratulations to City Center Shuso

Congratulations and thanks to Tim Kroll for serving as shuso (head student) for the Winter 2015 Practice Period at City Center, led by Urban Temple Dharma Teacher Ryushin Paul Haller. Both are pictured below after the Shuso Ceremony on Saturday, March 28, which closed the practice period at the end of a seven-day sesshin. Read more

24
Mar
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Book Review for Zenju Earthlyn Manuel’s The Way of Tenderness: Awakening through Race, Sexuality, and Gender

Published by Wisdom Publications, 2015
Review by Shahara Godfrey

Reverend Zenju Earthlyn Manuel has written a thoughtful and poignant book titled The Way of Tenderness: Awakening through Race, Sexuality, and Gender. As a black lesbian Zen priest, she invites us to explore awakening through the challenges of race, sexuality and gender. Her audacious, fearless, courageous Buddhist framework reflects the potential for love and healing in a way rarely addressed within spiritual communities. Read more

18
Mar
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Roaming Zen: An Urban Walking Meditation

Since ancient times, walking has been an important activity for meditators. Nonetheless this mindfulness practice may seem to be an unusual focus for a daylong retreat at San Francisco Zen Center. On April 11, Roaming Zen: A Daylong Urban Walking Meditation Retreat offers participants a chance to venture much further than the zendo quadrant usually traversed during the daily “kinhin” period in the temple. Read more

18
Mar
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Introducing Open Circle Sangha, Helena, Montana

A Branching Streams sangha profile

Helena has a strong Catholic heritage, and the magnificent St. Helena Cathedral is visible from everywhere in town. Read more