March is the only month that contains a date that is a full sentence (March 4th). It also a month that marks movement toward spring: daylight savings time begins again (spring forward). With all this energy of moving toward the future in the air, it is a good time to take stock of where we are and where we might be going. In honor of this pivotal time the bookstore is offering a complimentary “stepping stones” greeting card with purchase of $25.00 or more throughout the month of March. Read more
I feel absolutely committed to the often-awkward work of agitating for greater awareness of the severe crisis our species has wrought upon the planet, much the same as I am committed to acknowledging my own mistakes and confusions. —Qayyum Johnson
Several recent events at or involving Green Gulch Farm have underscored both the concern felt at Zen Center for the environment and the wonderful partnerships forged by leaders at Zen Center to express that concern. Here are a few notes about what has been going on, with links to related content. Read more
Text and photos from Michael Joshin Thiele
The idea for a honeybee sanctuary at Green Gulch Farm emerged out of concern for the survival of bees and the health of the global biosphere. The vision of organizers is to develop new approaches to apiculture and the study of the natural life forces and instinctual needs of bees. Initially the health of the bees will be the primary focus of the honeybee sanctuary. The long-term goal is to create a self-sustaining apiary, which links local wild honeybees to a bee-centric approach to apiculture. Read more
by Shinchi Linda Galijan, Tassajara Director
The storms of the past few days brought over 5 inches of very welcome rain, bringing us to a total of over 17 inches so far this season, which is close to normal. Tassajara Creek is running high and fast—and loud!—and Cabarga Creek, that runs under the little bridge, is booming. Along the road are sparkling waterfalls amid the fresh mosses, ferns and bright spring grasses. In front of the zendo, crocuses, narcissus, daffodils and iris are a source of deep delight. Week by week, the days get visibly longer, and the play of light and shadows on the green mountains changes with the changing seasons. Read more
How can contemplative practices and rigorous scientific studies best inform each other for a greater common good? Internationally recognized scholars and contemplatives will explore this issue in what promises to be a thought-provoking, multi-disciplinary conference. Please join us for this special event, Mindfulness and Compassion: The Art and Science of Contemplative Practice, June 3-7 at San Francisco State University (SFSU). Among the distinguished faculty is Central Abbess Eijun Linda Cutts. Read more
At the bottom of a recent article in the media about the open letter mentioned in last week’s Sangha News addressing sexual misconduct and abuse of power by Zen teachers, the Huffington Post re-ran a slide show of prominent “Female Buddhist Leaders.” Included in the lineup were these notable SFZC women: Senior Dharma Teacher Zenkei Blanche Hartman, Central Abbess Eijun Linda Cutts, and Green Gulch Farm resident Emila Heller. See “90 Zen Teachers Pledge To Change Culture That Fosters Abuse” on huffingtonpost.com, and scroll to the end of the article to view the entire slide show. Read more
The Zen Center Board met on January 21 at Greens Restaurant for an all-day retreat and meeting.
The Board unanimously approved signing a memorandum of understanding with BRIDGE Housing Corporation and approved the continuing search for a building site among a number of possibilities for a Zen-inspired Senior Living Center.
The Board discussed progress on the Sangha Project and will formally address it again at the February meeting.
This letter is an invitation to attend a meeting for people of color (POC) in the San Francisco Zen Center community. This is a follow-up to a meeting held on September 17, 2014 at City Center, which was facilitated by Phil Hutchings, and an earlier meeting with Arinna Weisman, who has been working with SFZC on building an inclusive sangha. Read more