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Posts from the ‘Features’ Category

2
Sep
Practice period group at Tassajara with Tatsugami Roshi (center) and Joanna Bull (furthest right, standing).

Supported by Community, Grounded in Practice

Joanna Bull, an SFZC member for five decades, tells her story from the East Coast

In 1968 a young woman, Joanna Bull, was spending a few months in Woodstock, NY. A guest of Bob Dylan’s manager, she hung out with Bob and the Band, listened to great music and looked for a clear path amid the big party. While living on the compound (built in 1812), Joanna saw a ghost. Intrigued, she made a trip to the bookstore, where she discovered Alan Watts’s The Spirit of Zen. Read more

28
Aug
SFZC Awakening Through Service

Awakening Through Service

Service is practice, and practice is service.

A Bodhisattva is one who has taken the vow to become awakened for the sake of all beings–to live and be lived for the benefit of others. In this video excerpt Kai Ji Jeffrey Schneider shares reflections and stories on the Bodhisattva vow and how we express it in our daily lives.

Kai Ji Jeffrey Schneider is the Outreach Coordinator at San Francisco Zen Center and will be co-leading, with Myogen Kathryn Stark, Awakening Through Service, a 13-week course that starts September 13. The course will provide training and spiritual support for those currently engaged in community service as professionals or volunteers, or those looking to get more involved. Read more

19
Aug
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Supporting A Far-Flung Community of Practitioners

A monthly update on the Sangha Project, from Robert Thomas

During the past month, the Sangha Project has taken several important steps towards finalizing plans to build an online “home” for the global community of San Francisco Zen Center practitioners. Read more

12
Aug
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Shosan Victoria Austin on Meditation Postures Designed for the Female Body

The main point of meditation is the same for all humans: to rest in the ultimate, and to experience the connection between ultimate and conditioned existence, in the present moment. To do this, we sit in an upright, aligned way, one with the universe by nature of being composed of its elements, naturally receiving it in and offering it out through the process of normal breathing. Read more

5
Aug
Photo: Clare Hollander

Sangha: A Mirror for Buddhas

A short teaching extracted from last week’s dharma talk at City Center by Anshin Rosalie Curtis

There’s a famous line in the Lotus Sutra that says: “Only a buddha together with a buddha can fathom the reality of all existence.” Read more

30
Jul
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Brother David Steindl-Rast and Ryushin Paul Haller: 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 laughter and conversation, and filling our hearts with the spirit of practice. Read more

22
Jul
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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

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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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

1
Jul
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In Celebration of Summer Solstice

As is tradition, summer solstice is observed with a ceremony at Tassajara Zen Heart-Mind Temple. Zenshin Greg Fain, Head of Practice, delivered these dharma words this past solstice. Read more