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
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
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
Shown here is a close-up from a wild honeybee nest at Green Gulch. This past winter Green Gulch Farm installed its first log hive in an oak tree to introduce a natural nest habitat for honeybees. Read more
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we raised $1800 for Zen Center’s outreach programs through the recent book sale.
The funds will be used for Buddhist books for prisoners, our food programs for needy men and women and our other efforts in the community.
Earlier this month, a new crop of farm and garden apprentices began their six-month programs at Green Gulch Farm. These vibrant, enthusiastic students, along with other members of the farm and garden crews, maintain the One Farm Season blog, with updates and reflections on their experience. The photo below from Betsy McCall came from a post on July 1 last year, in which she recalled her April start as an apprentice. Her post begins with a quote from Lauren Bouyea (then garden manager): Read more
Three short videos with Do-On Robert Thomas
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
In an Advanced Buddhist Studies Lecture on Friday, April 24, Dr. Paula Arai will exhibit and discuss paintings by a Japanese contemplative scientist that meld insights from scientific expertise with the Buddhist tradition of contemplative calligraphy. Integrating the sacred words of a Buddhist text prized for its liberative power with images both microscopic and cosmic, the Zen ink paintings on exhibit offer visual counsel on how reality can be perceived through the lens of wisdom to see the realm of compassion. (See full description of lecture.)
Below are some examples with enlarged details from paintings by Iwasaki Tsuneo (1917-2002), whose work will be discussed in the lecture on April 24. Read more
Congratulations and thanks to Tim Kroll for serving as shuso (head student) for the Winter 2015 Practice Period at City Center, led by Urban Temple Dharma Teacher Ryushin Paul Haller. Both are pictured below after the Shuso Ceremony on Saturday, March 28, which closed the practice period at the end of a seven-day sesshin. Read more