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Posts from the ‘Features’ Category

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

30
Mar
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Suzuki Roshi in the South: Introducing Chapel Hill Zen Center

A Branching Streams sangha profile

Red Cedar Mountain Temple, perhaps better known as the Chapel Hill Zen Center (CHZC), is the only Soto Zen temple in Suzuki Roshi’s lineage located in the southeastern United States. “Red Cedar” refers to the many cedar trees on our property, and “mountain” is a traditional designation for a Soto temple. We are grateful to be hosting the next Branching Streams meeting of SFZC affiliated sanghas in May 2015. 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

24
Mar
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Zen’s Disruptive Tradition

The first in a series of monthly updates on the Sangha Project, from Robert Thomas

Can we use technology to wake up and experience liberation? Zen has a long tradition of using disruptive practices to wake up. Just sitting, or zazen—the core of Zen practice—is an exceedingly simple and deeply transformational practice that asks us to sit still and think not-thinking. What could be more disruptive? In the Sangha Project, we are exploring how cutting-edge technology might be used to cut through the conditioned habits and values that perpetuate suffering. These explorations and discoveries are the focus of this new monthly feature. 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

18
Mar
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New Website Launched as Hub for Branching Streams Affiliates

Visit branchingstreams.sfzc.org.

Zen Center’s Branching Streams network is branching out in a new way. A website was launched earlier this month that is dedicated to affiliate sanghas, offering the network’s growing membership new ways of supporting one another. SFZC Branching Streams Liaison Steve Weintraub says he looks forward to watching how extensive use of the website will contribute to further “knitting our practice at the different centers together.” Read more

18
Feb
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The Spirit of Zen: Keiryu Liên Shutt on Wise Effort and Non-Doing

The following reflection by Keiryu Liên Shutt was extracted from a talk she gave in 2008 titled “What I Love about Zen.” Read more

18
Feb
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The Environment Is a Field of Practice: A Swarm of Recent Events at Green Gulch Farm

I feel absolutely committed to the often-awkward work of agitating for greater awareness of the severe crisis our species has wrought upon the planet, much the same as I am committed to acknowledging my own mistakes and confusions.  —Qayyum Johnson

Several recent events at or involving Green Gulch Farm have underscored both the concern felt at Zen Center for the environment and the wonderful partnerships forged by leaders at Zen Center to express that concern. Here are a few notes about what has been going on, with links to related content. Read more

21
Jan
The Berlin neighborhoods of Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg and Mitte.

Introducing Akazienzendo Berlin: A Home in the Middle of Impermanence

A Branching Streams sangha profile by Ed Velasco

Our center is called Akazienzendo, “zendo under the acacias,” and is named after the trees that shade the street on which it is located in Berlin. We see the image of the acacia tree as a symbol that stands for a blossoming of the dharma. Read more