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Posts from the ‘Features’ Category

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

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