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Posts from the ‘Features’ Category

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
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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

26
Aug
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Writing to Angulimala: The Zen Center Prison Correspondence Program

by Jeffrey Schneider, Outreach Coordinator
(Artwork by prisoners*)

I often look up from my desk at a drawing, rendered in almost photographic realism, of Suzuki Roshi. It was sent to me by one of my prison pen pals. Armando is on death row in San Quentin, and we’ve been corresponding for several years now. Read more

19
Aug
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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

12
Aug
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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