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
A disciple of Buddha does not misuse sexuality. —from the 16 Bodhisattva Precepts
This vow of deep intention is a guiding principle for living harmoniously with others, one that we formally take at ordinations and renew each month in Full Moon Ceremonies. Not separate from it is the intention to watch carefully for sexual misconduct when there is an abuse of power in hierarchical relationships in our communities and workplaces, including between Buddhist teachers and their students. Read more
Last Friday evening, four young men were shot and killed near City Center’s street corner in San Francisco. For Zen Center residents and neighbors, it was a shocking reminder of the tragic violence that plagues our neighborhoods and cities. With heavy hearts we offer our condolences to the families and friends of the victims. Read more
It’s a new year, and time to celebrate new and improved facilities, the fruits of last year’s labor. After nine months of renovating existing structures and building new ones throughout 2014, more of the visions of Zen Center’s Widening the Circle Capital Campaign have become realities, this time at Green Gulch Farm. These buildings are now being enjoyed by staff, residents and visitors as improved living, working, learning and practice spaces. Read more
The Japanese tradition of chanoyu (literally “hot water for tea”) developed centuries ago, heavily influenced by Zen practice, by the understanding that there is no separation between our ordinary practical life (eg, cleaning the tearoom, making a bowl of tea) and our spiritual life. Read more
Last weekend, the Golden Gate Bridge was closed for nearly two days, the longest closure in its history, to install a robust median barrier between traffic moving in opposite directions. Green Gulch resident Grace Damman has been making a push for this addition since a horrific accident on the bridge in 2008 that severely injured her and left her disabled. Read more