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Posts tagged ‘Wider Sangha’

22
Apr
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Introducing Montaña Despierta: A Place for Zen Buddhist Practice on the East Coast of Mexico

A Branching Streams sangha profile

Montaña Despierta (Awakened Mountain, in Spanish) is a space dedicated to the practice of Buddhist meditation in the heart of Xalapa, a city located in eastern Mexico. It was founded in 2008 by several spiritual friends that came together under the mentorship and guidance of Dharma Teacher and Central Abbess of San Francisco Zen Center Eijun Linda Ruth Cutts. Since then Montaña Despierta has become a special place, unique in a society that has seemed so alien to the teachings of Buddhism. Read more

22
Apr
From left: Sojun Mel Weitsman, SFZC Branching Streams Liaison Steve Weintraub, SFZC Central Abbess Eijun Linda Cutts attending the ceremony.

Austin Zen Center Installs Its First Abbot

On Saturday, April 11, Kosho McCall, an SFZC alumnus and former head of practice at Tassajara, was installed as abbot of Austin Zen Center in a Mountain Seat Ceremony. Kosho has been leading the Branching Streams affiliate for six years now. The ceremony was attended and celebrated by a strong contingent of San Francisco Zen Center official representatives and alumni, some of whom are shown in the photos below, as well as Suzuki Roshi’s son and grandson from Japan. Read more

22
Apr
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Using Your Smart Phone to Water the Seeds of Compassion and Wisdom

A monthly update on the Sangha Project, from Robert Thomas

Many of us are unsure about our relationship to our personal technology. Does it make us more anxious or stressed out and less able to connect with the people right in front of us, people we care about and love? Or can technology also support us to extend practice throughout our lives? Read more

20
Apr
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Tim Buckley, Early Student and Branching Streams Sangha Leader, Passes Away

SFZC alumnus Jokan Zenshin Thomas (“Tim”) Buckley passed away at his home in Maine on April 17. Tim led the Branching Streams member sangha Great River Zendo in West Bath, ME. Read more

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

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

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