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Posts from the ‘Features’ Category

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

29
Apr
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Green Gulch Dharma Teacher Daigan Lueck Passes Away

Daigan Tatsudo David William Lueck (Great Vow, Accomplished the Way)
January 27, 1931 – April 26, 2015

Daigan Lueck was born in Minneapolis in 1931. He served as a medic in the US Army during the Korean Conflict and remained in Asia for some years, living in Japan. Read more

22
Apr
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Introducing Montaña Despierta: A Place for Zen Buddhist Practice on the East Coast of Mexico

A Branching Streams sangha profile

Montaña Despierta (Awakened Mountain, in Spanish) is a space dedicated to the practice of Buddhist meditation in the heart of Xalapa, a city located in eastern Mexico. It was founded in 2008 by several spiritual friends that came together under the mentorship and guidance of Dharma Teacher and Central Abbess of San Francisco Zen Center Eijun Linda Ruth Cutts. Since then Montaña Despierta has become a special place, unique in a society that has seemed so alien to the teachings of Buddhism. Read more

22
Apr
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Using Your Smart Phone to Water the Seeds of Compassion and Wisdom

A monthly update on the Sangha Project, from Robert Thomas

Many of us are unsure about our relationship to our personal technology. Does it make us more anxious or stressed out and less able to connect with the people right in front of us, people we care about and love? Or can technology also support us to extend practice throughout our lives? Read more

15
Apr
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Debunking Three Myths of Practice

Three short videos with Do-On Robert Thomas

Myth 1          [Myth 2]          [Myth 3]

The Buddha said, “Do not dwell in the past; do not dream of the future; concentrate the mind on the present moment.” Zen is the practice of meeting this moment. The Buddha discovered that by being completely and fully in the present moment, we can wake up to our true nature—our Buddha-nature.

In this short video below (3 minutes), SFZC dharma teacher Do-On Robert Thomas unpacks the first of three myths around what it takes to practice Zen. Read more

15
Apr
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Dr. Grace Dammann Reflects on the Experience of Filming States of Grace

Green Gulch Farm Zen Center resident Grace Dammann, MD, survived a near-fatal head-on collision on the Golden Gate Bridge in 2008. After more than seven weeks in a coma and a dozen surgeries, she miraculously awakened with her mental facilities intact; her body, however, was left shattered. Read more