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Posts from the ‘Features’ Category

24
Jun
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Sangha Is Crucial to Our Way

A monthly update on the Sangha Project, from Robert Thomas

“Even though you say, ‘I have Buddha nature,’ that alone is not enough to make it work. If you do not have a friend or sangha, it won’t work.” In this quote, Suzuki Roshi emphasizes that sangha is crucial to our way. Do you agree? Read more

9
Jun
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The Zen Poetry of Aging: Three Brief Teachings

Zen poets for centuries have addressed the experience of aging in ways that may resonate with and clarify our own experience of it. Below are three short teachings selected and illuminated by Jisan Tova Green, who will teach the upcoming three-week class The Zen Poetry of Aging at City Center, July 7-21. A resident priest, Tova is also a licensed clinical social worker who has worked in home and residential hospice settings. Read more

3
Jun
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A Summer Dish Worth the Drive: Enchiladas Rojas by Melinda Miller

Summer guest season at Tassajara offers luscious farm-to-table organic vegetarian cuisine that stems from the Zen tradition of attending to our food preparation as mindfully as we attend to our spiritual practice.

This summer, Zagat food guide features one of the recipes we serve in the Tassajara Dining Room in “10 Summer Dishes Worth a Drive in the Bay Area.”  The recipe, Enchiladas Rojas, is offered here by its creator and former Tassajara guest cook, Melinda Miller. Read more

3
Jun
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Comings and Goings in the Valley

We are four and a half weeks into our summer guest season, and over 200 guests have travelled here to enjoy the lush spring landscape, the soothing hot mineral baths and the pervasive tranquil atmosphere—including Governor Jerry Brown. Read more

27
May
Okunion Cemetery on Mount Koya (Photo: Jordy Meow, Wikimedia Commons)

The Long Road to Sitting Still, by Pico Iyer

Part 1          [Skip to Part 2 or Part 3]          [Watch TED Talk: “The Art of Stillness”]

“There is no Garden of Eden” was the judgment that greeted me, as an impressionable boy, in the pages of my teenage hero, D.H. Lawrence, “the Hesperides never were.” Lawrence was my hero, though, precisely because he could never stay fixed in any one dogma, and was intensely alive to the limitations of his own perspective. So he continued, “Yet, in our very search for them, we touch the coasts of illusion and come into contact with other worlds.” Read more

20
May
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Ethics and Investments: A Message from the Central Abbess

Dear Friends,

With the help of so many benefactors and donors in the last few years, San Francisco Zen Center has, for the first time, been able to create an endowment. This fund will be a major help to sustain and support our beautiful practice places, teachers, students and programs. Along with the endowment comes the imperative to study and be clear about our commitment to ethical investing while responsibly stewarding this great gift to the sangha. Read more

20
May
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Supporting Others with Your Practice; Practicing with the Support of Others: Dharma Buddies

It’s like ravens soaring on a ridgeline. . . . it’s comforting to do deep journeys with others nearby.
—dharma buddy in Idaho

A monthly update on the Sangha Project, from Robert Thomas 

In the Sangha Project, we create ways to help all members of the extended sangha to connect and interact as dharma friends and to engage in Zen practice-related activities together. During the past five months, we have launched several small-scale experiments. Read more

20
May
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Soto Zen in Northern Ireland: Introducing Black Mountain Zen Centre

It is the man throwing away his shoes
as if to enter heaven
and finding himself astonished,
opened at last . . .
—David Whyte, from “The Opening of Eyes”

A Branching Streams sangha profile by Brenda Liddy Read more

13
May
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Fire, Tenderness and Awakening: Zenju Earthlyn Manuel Reflects on the Role of This Body

Imagine this body is the only way in which you can awaken.

Last month Rev. Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, PhD, gave a public dharma talk based on her new book, The Way of Tenderness: Awakening through Race, Sexuality, and Gender. (See below for another opportunity to hear from Zenju on this same topic.) In a recording of that recent talk, Zenju explains how this work was inspired by her personal study of the Heart Sutra, a familiar and revered text across most Buddhist traditions that is chanted daily at San Francisco Zen Center. Read more

5
May
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Joyous Energy: Spring Work Period at Tassajara

Tassajara-ZMC-Bathhouse-Altar-by-Shundo-David-HayeA chronicle of the Spring 2015 Work Period at Tassajara,
by Tassajara Director Shinchi Linda Galijan

Much has happened in the last month! On April 4, we ceremonially closed the 95th practice period. We set out before dawn, offering incense at all the altars in Tassajara, and by the time we made our way back into the zendo for the departing monks ceremony, it was nearly full light. After lots of hugs and last photographs, we waved all the departing monks goodbye. Read more