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Posts from the ‘Zen Practice’ Category

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

15
Apr
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What’s a Black Bodhisattva to Do?

by Kyva Holman

After an incident occurred close to home, Green Gulch resident Kyva Holman reflects carefully on how to juggle myriad considerations where race and Buddhist practice intersect with the complex conditions of our modern world. Kyva shares his personal perspective through the invitation of SFZC’s Cultural Awareness and Inclusivity Committee.

For some, taking refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha is not abstraction. It’s front-and-center reality. But what if that refuge is breached? Read more

15
Apr
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Congratulations to GGF and Tassajara Shusos

Qayyum Johnson served as shuso (head student) at Green Gulch Farm for its Spring 2015 Practice Period, led by Abiding Abbess Furyu Schoeder. Both are pictured below after the Shuso Ceremony on Monday, April 6, which closed the practice period at the end of a seven-day sesshin. Read more

31
Mar
Atom (plus detail), and DNA (plus detail).

Painting Enlightenment (A Preview): The Art and Science of the Heart Sutra

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

31
Mar
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Congratulations to City Center Shuso

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

30
Mar
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Suzuki Roshi in the South: Introducing Chapel Hill Zen Center

A Branching Streams sangha profile

Red Cedar Mountain Temple, perhaps better known as the Chapel Hill Zen Center (CHZC), is the only Soto Zen temple in Suzuki Roshi’s lineage located in the southeastern United States. “Red Cedar” refers to the many cedar trees on our property, and “mountain” is a traditional designation for a Soto temple. We are grateful to be hosting the next Branching Streams meeting of SFZC affiliated sanghas in May 2015. Read more

24
Mar
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Book Review for Zenju Earthlyn Manuel’s The Way of Tenderness: Awakening through Race, Sexuality, and Gender

Published by Wisdom Publications, 2015
Review by Shahara Godfrey

Reverend Zenju Earthlyn Manuel has written a thoughtful and poignant book titled The Way of Tenderness: Awakening through Race, Sexuality, and Gender. As a black lesbian Zen priest, she invites us to explore awakening through the challenges of race, sexuality and gender. Her audacious, fearless, courageous Buddhist framework reflects the potential for love and healing in a way rarely addressed within spiritual communities. Read more

24
Mar
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Zen’s Disruptive Tradition

The first in a series of monthly updates on the Sangha Project, from Robert Thomas

Can we use technology to wake up and experience liberation? Zen has a long tradition of using disruptive practices to wake up. Just sitting, or zazen—the core of Zen practice—is an exceedingly simple and deeply transformational practice that asks us to sit still and think not-thinking. What could be more disruptive? In the Sangha Project, we are exploring how cutting-edge technology might be used to cut through the conditioned habits and values that perpetuate suffering. These explorations and discoveries are the focus of this new monthly feature. Read more

18
Mar
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Roaming Zen: An Urban Walking Meditation

Since ancient times, walking has been an important activity for meditators. Nonetheless this mindfulness practice may seem to be an unusual focus for a daylong retreat at San Francisco Zen Center. On April 11, Roaming Zen: A Daylong Urban Walking Meditation Retreat offers participants a chance to venture much further than the zendo quadrant usually traversed during the daily “kinhin” period in the temple. Read more