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Posts tagged ‘Off Site’


Digital Sangha: Practicing the Way—Together

A monthly update on the Sangha Project, from Robert Thomas

When we first began experimenting with an online zendo, we wondered how it would feel to sit zazen in digital time-space. One of the first surprises was discovering how similar sitting together via a videoconferencing app was to sitting together in the meditation hall. Many group members have spoken about the sense of connection we feel and our deepening commitment to show up and support each other’s practice. Read more


Another Opportunity for Free Professional Advice on Estate Planning

Last week’s free workshop with Susan Olson, a financial planner at Abacus, was very helpful. We each got individual attention because the group was small. Susan presented simple ways to take care of estate planning—helping you make sure the assets of your estate go where you want them to. Besides being at Greens Restaurant (yummy snacks and cookies!), the presentation was informative, and it was fun. Read more


Supporting A Far-Flung Community of Practitioners

A monthly update on the Sangha Project, from Robert Thomas

During the past month, the Sangha Project has taken several important steps towards finalizing plans to build an online “home” for the global community of San Francisco Zen Center practitioners. Read more


Transmitting the Dharma through Online Courses

A monthly update on the Sangha Project, from Robert Thomas

In the last year I’ve been working with the San Francisco Zen Center Programs staff to offer two online courses, both successful. In the fall of 2014 I offered a 4-week course titled Manifesting the Wisdom of the Body with yoga teacher Samantha Ostergaard. For this course, 110 people from over 7 states and 2 countries participated and learned the basics of integrating Zen mindfulness with body awareness, movement and flexibility. In the spring of 2015, I offered a 7-week course on the fundamental practices and principles of Zen called Meeting This Moment, joining 95 participants from 15 states and 6 countries.

This month, I would like to share with you some brief thoughts about my experience of teaching and practicing together remotely, with the support of online tools. Read more

Seated from left: Linda Cutts, Linda Galijan and Konin Cardenas, with nuns from Vietnam (standing left) and Thailand (right; ordained in Bangladesh).

SFZC Central Abbess Reports Back from International Conference on Buddhist Women

Notes from Central Abbess Eijun Linda Cutts

The 14th Annual Sakyadhita International Conference on Buddhist Women was held last month in Yogyakarta, Indonesia—a beautiful country rich in Buddhist as well as Hindu and Muslim history. Almost a thousand people, predominantly ordained women from many countries, attended the seven days of meditation and ceremonies, presentations of scholarly papers, workshops, cultural events and living together in harmony. Read more

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Call for Volunteers for Pico Iyer Events, July 24-25

UPDATED: Volunteers are invited to help Zen Center with registration, ushering, and book sales, especially for the Saturday workshop below—in exchange for free admission. Events take place at Grace Cathedral and feature renowned journalist, author and lecturer Pico Iyer, along with Zen Center’s Abbess at Green Gulch Farm, Furyu Schroeder.  Read more

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Sangha Is Crucial to Our Way

A monthly update on the Sangha Project, from Robert Thomas

“Even though you say, ‘I have Buddha nature,’ that alone is not enough to make it work. If you do not have a friend or sangha, it won’t work.” In this quote, Suzuki Roshi emphasizes that sangha is crucial to our way. Do you agree? Read more

Okunion Cemetery on Mount Koya (Photo: Jordy Meow, Wikimedia Commons)

The Long Road to Sitting Still, by Pico Iyer

Part 1          [Skip to Part 2 or Part 3]          [Watch TED Talk: “The Art of Stillness”]

“There is no Garden of Eden” was the judgment that greeted me, as an impressionable boy, in the pages of my teenage hero, D.H. Lawrence, “the Hesperides never were.” Lawrence was my hero, though, precisely because he could never stay fixed in any one dogma, and was intensely alive to the limitations of his own perspective. So he continued, “Yet, in our very search for them, we touch the coasts of illusion and come into contact with other worlds.” Read more


Supporting Others with Your Practice; Practicing with the Support of Others: Dharma Buddies

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

Photo: Clare Hollander

Green Gulch Organic Produce Back in Season at Farmers’ Markets

Green Gulch Farm organic produce is available seasonally, from May through October. As this week’s featured photo shows, greens come fresh off the farm, and not without a little fresh hard work. (See also note below.*) Read more