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Posts from the ‘Features’ Category

28
Oct
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Wearing Buddha’s Robe: The Rakusu

Words from the Wearers
Article by Kogan Sheldon

“What’s that bib you’re wearing?” “This,” the wearer says, “is my rakusu.” Some of us are humorous, some shy or very reverent, some proud or patient, or all of those things—as we show others the many finely stitched panels of the rakusu, our “Buddha bib.” Usually admiration follows, accompanied by an examination of the back of this miniature representation of the robe that Shakyamuni wore. Here the person’s teacher has done calligraphy, perhaps some art as well, and has written the vow-taker’s Dharma name on the white silk facing. A poem may be there, or a koan (teaching challenge). Read more

21
Oct
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Practicing with Issues of Misconduct, Conflict and Reconciliation at San Francisco Zen Center

A Message to the SFZC Sangha (Residents, Employees and the Wider Sangha) from Central Abbess Eijun Linda Cutts, President Susan O’Connell and Director of People Development Mark Lancaster

Recently, such as at the community meeting with the Zen Center Board on September 17, there have been a number of questions raised about how conflict is handled at Zen Center and, in particular, how allegations of serious misconduct are investigated and how we work with the aspect of confidentiality that surrounds such investigations. Read more

21
Oct
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Zen Student Reports on Climate March and Develops Environmentally Focused Events at SFZC

There’s a collective urgency now, which I hope is enough to inspire sitting and action.

The above quote captures the tone from a presentation on October 3 by City Center resident Milo Burn after his return from the People’s Climate March in New York on September 21. Milo traveled there on “the Climate Train,” which made the cross-country trip an event in itself, as 170 activists spent travel time together in workshops and inspiring each other, all while on board Amtrak. Read more

8
Oct
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A Stove Story

A Photo Essay by Chris Shelton

When City Center’s old stoves were replaced this fall after 20 years serving in the background—but at the core—of Zen Center life, Zen student Chris Shelton documented the project in photos and reflected on the significance of that transition and of kitchen work practice at the temple. Read more

30
Sep
Central Abbess Eijun Linda Cutts

A Fall Message from Central Abbess Eijun Linda Cutts

Dear Sangha Members,

As I am about to leave for Tassajara for the Fall Practice Period, I wanted to let you know some things that are on my mind both at San Francisco Zen Center and in the wider world we share and create together. Read more

23
Sep
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Book Review for Zen and the White Whale: A Buddhist Rendering of Moby-Dick, by Daniel Herman

Published by Lehigh University Press, with Rowman & Littlefield, 2014
Review by Catherine Gammon

Once upon a time, not so long ago, a young Zen student practicing at Tassajara read Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick on the suggestion of a friend at the monastery. Maybe Daniel Herman would have gone on from there to study literature and complete his PhD, even to write his dissertation on the very novel and the very subject, without the happy circumstance of having met Melville’s whale for the first time in the mountains of the Ventana Wilderness, in the deep heart-opening canyon that is Tassajara. Maybe that dissertation would even have become a book. And maybe not. Certainly not this book. Read more

23
Sep
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Yin and Zen for Coming to Stillness

by Lisa Marie Jansen, ERYT

In this post, yoga teacher and intuitive healer Lisa Jansen comments on her Yin beginning, the benefits she has experienced from this style of yoga, and why she is inspired to share it in combination with Zen teachings. Along with co-teacher Daiyu Judith Randall, Lisa offers Yin Yoga and Zen at City Center on Saturday, October 18, from 1 to 4:15 pm. Read more

16
Sep

Giver, Receiver and Gift: Closing Words from Tassajara Director Shinchi Linda Galijan

Shinchi Linda Galijan by Robert ErdmannSeptember 15, 2014
Right now, Tassajara is very quiet. It’s just after 9 am on Monday morning. Guest season ended yesterday; we said goodbye to the last of our guests by mid-afternoon. We chanted the Heart Sutra and closed the front gate, signaling the transition to work period and the cloistered fall and winter months. As part of the dedication during the ceremony, we read the names of the students who participated in the 2014 Summer Practice Period, expressing gratitude for everyone’s hard work and dedication to practice.  Read more

5
Sep
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An Interview with Denise Shephard, Alum of Establishing the Path of Practice

Most times the most precious parts of ourselves are dwarfed by a preoccupation with mundane, functional tasks that fill our days and thoughts. I’m talking about kindness, love and joy—our humanity. But when we hit a wall, we sometimes stop and invert the paradigm, putting our humanity first, our to-do list second.

In this interview, sangha member Denise Shephard shares her story of Establishing the Path of Practice (EPP). It is a singular and universal story of attempting to invert the paradigm. Read more

2
Sep
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Beginner’s Mind Zen Center: An Introduction to Northridge’s Neighborhood Zendo

The name comes from the Zen Buddhist term “beginner’s mind,” which describes an openness, eagerness and lack of preconception in living one’s life.  —from beginnersmindzencenter.org

A Branching Streams sangha profile by Cody Farley (Northridge, CA)
(A series of articles introducing sanghas affiliated with San Francisco Zen Center in the Branching Streams network) Read more