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.
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
Dear people of color community of San Francisco Zen Center, Green Gulch Farm and Tassajara,
San Francisco Zen Center is exploring how to build awareness and equity in dharma practice, and in the workings of all our centers—City Center, Green Gulch and Tassajara. As part of this intention, a team at Zen Center has undertaken an assessment to build understanding of how to support this vision. Members of this team include Central Abbess Linda Cutts, City Center Abbot Ed Sattizahn, Vice President Tova Green, SFZC Cultural Awareness Advocate Lee Lipp, City Center Director Shundo David Haye, Zen Center Board member Bruce Fortin and consultant Arinna Weisman. Read more
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
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
Way-Seeking Mind: Lay Wanderings in East/West Heart/Mind Scapes
A talk by Jeff Broadbent in the City Center dining room (free; by donation)
Tuesday, August 19, 7:30 pm Read more
This slide show contains an excerpt from the chapter titled “Enjoy Your Life” in Not Always So by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. The book is based on Suzuki Roshi’s lectures that were selected and edited by Edward Brown. The photos of Tassajara in this slide show were taken over the last three months of summer guest season by Shundo David Haye.
This summer Sojun Mel Weitsman will be leading a retreat at Tassajara which will focus on the teachings of Suzuki Roshi, Presenting Suzuki Roshi’s Teachings. In addition, Abbot Rinso Ed Sattizahn, also a student of Suzuki Roshi, leads a class this fall at City Center on Suzuki Roshi’s Way of Practice.
by Jay Pennington, Sangha News editor
A coach, consultant and Zen priest, Lisa Hoffman has had 25 years of experience guiding the leadership of nonprofit organizations, gaining useful experience in skillfully handling conflict of various kinds. On Saturday, August 16, she shares what she has learned both in the working world and through the dharma, in the afternoon workshop Meeting Conflict with Compassion at City Center. Below she answers a few questions about this universal topic, offering some clues about how Buddhist teachings can help us approach disagreement and anger skillfully. Read more
Having featured Branching Streams sangha profiles for four affiliated member groups in far-flung locations over the past several months, Sangha News turns its focus local, to the many Soto Zen groups within the Suzuki Roshi lineage that have sprung up right around SFZC. This first local article provides a flavor for five such sanghas just within the city limits, while future articles are planned to address other parts of the Bay Area. Below are brief descriptions of the colorful San Francisco sangha life from these groups beyond 300 Page Street.* Read more
Text and photos by Shundo David Haye
Zen teacher and photographer Shundo Haye is someone who loves the outdoors. He describes the delightful peculiarities of the Green Gulch terrain and offers a selection of photos from his own explorations in a slideshow below. He co-leads The Inner and Outer Worlds: A Daylong Retreat with Zen, Photography and Hiking, with Jokai Carolyn Cavanagh on Saturday, August 9. Read more