Laying a Roof and Raising Consciousness: An Interview with Contractor Ezra Wynn on Being Atop the Guest House
Interview conducted by Lauren Dito
Among the many large-scale improvement projects at Green Gulch Farm this summer, the re-roofing of the lovely Lindisfarne Guest House was notable as much for the extreme complexity and tediousness of the job as for the uplifting inner effects of the experience as reported by some of the visiting workers. The uniquely shaped roof was beautifully completed in early July, thanks to the amazing craftsmanship of contractor Ezra Wynn. Read more
When Meeting Trauma and Stress, Finding Balance Is a Natural Thing: An Interview with Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner Jane Lazar
by Jay Pennington
Fight, flight or freeze? When it comes to handling stress, at the most basic level I have more in common with a wild animal than I tend to think—and this is actually good news. It’s always grounding to talk with my friend Jane Lazar and be reminded of that, especially when she discusses her work helping people heal from trauma. Key to accessing natural stress-relieving tools, I’ve learned from Jane, is the capacity to be in the present and in the body. Read more
by Chris Shelton (photos by Jesse Stanley)
For the fifth year in a row now, City Center has had the pleasure of hosting a group of students from the Information School of the University of Washington, whose annual visit helps Zen Center organize and safeguard a mountain of records of all kinds from all three temples, one handful at a time. Read more
We don’t just drop off the food; we get to serve and be part of the community in some way.
A spotlight on SFZC outreach and volunteers, by Jay Pennington
It’s 1:00 on Thursday afternoon. Time for leftover magic. As part of City Center’s outreach activities, volunteers convene in the kitchen every Thursday to turn the week’s leftover food into something really useful—to feed those in need. Read more
This slide show contains an excerpt from the chapter titled “Enjoy Your Life” in Not Always So by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. The book is based on Suzuki Roshi’s lectures that were selected and edited by Edward Brown. The photos of Tassajara in this slide show were taken over the last three months of summer guest season by Shundo David Haye.
This summer Sojun Mel Weitsman will be leading a retreat at Tassajara which will focus on the teachings of Suzuki Roshi, Presenting Suzuki Roshi’s Teachings. In addition, Abbot Rinso Ed Sattizahn, also a student of Suzuki Roshi, leads a class this fall at City Center on Suzuki Roshi’s Way of Practice.
by Jay Pennington, Sangha News editor
A coach, consultant and Zen priest, Lisa Hoffman has had 25 years of experience guiding the leadership of nonprofit organizations, gaining useful experience in skillfully handling conflict of various kinds. On Saturday, August 16, she shares what she has learned both in the working world and through the dharma, in the afternoon workshop Meeting Conflict with Compassion at City Center. Below she answers a few questions about this universal topic, offering some clues about how Buddhist teachings can help us approach disagreement and anger skillfully. Read more
Having featured Branching Streams sangha profiles for four affiliated member groups in far-flung locations over the past several months, Sangha News turns its focus local, to the many Soto Zen groups within the Suzuki Roshi lineage that have sprung up right around SFZC. This first local article provides a flavor for five such sanghas just within the city limits, while future articles are planned to address other parts of the Bay Area. Below are brief descriptions of the colorful San Francisco sangha life from these groups beyond 300 Page Street.* Read more
Text and photos by Shundo David Haye
Zen teacher and photographer Shundo Haye is someone who loves the outdoors. He describes the delightful peculiarities of the Green Gulch terrain and offers a selection of photos from his own explorations in a slideshow below. He co-leads The Inner and Outer Worlds: A Daylong Retreat with Zen, Photography and Hiking, with Jokai Carolyn Cavanagh on Saturday, August 9. Read more
(photos by David Silva)
This past June, one of the creations to come out of the Meditation, Mindfulness and Songwriting retreat, led by Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Janet Gilmore, Al Staehely and Seido Jamie Howell, was an evening musical performance.
Jimmie Dale Gilmore, award-winning musician and songwriter, and Seido Jamie Howell, lay dharma entrustment Zen priest, grew up on the same block in Lubbock, Texas, and went to school together. Having never lost their connection over the years, Seido Jamie came up with the idea to have a songwriting retreat at Tassajara, and to stage the evening’s performance.
Listening to Sojun Mel Weitsman recall his experience as Suzuki Roshi’s student is the closest I will ever get to meeting Suzuki Roshi himself. And, perhaps had I met him in person, I might have been one of the ones who wandered off after morning zazen and didn’t return, too agitated to stay put, too eager to pour my bustling energy into worldly pursuits. But Mel, he was one of the ones who returned again and again to morning zazen with this unknown teacher of a strange practice. He returned until his ankles stopped hurting in zazen and his thoughts emptied out and he knew that his constant search for a spiritual practice was over.