August 22, 2012
Featured Photo August 22

As part of the ZC50 Aug 11-13 weekend events, there was a ceremony to inaugurate the Peace Bell at City Center.

Abbess Kiku Christina Lehnherr officiated. From left, Abbot Myogen Steve Stücky, Al Farrow, Shinji Eshima, and Tova Green.

From the ceremony on Monday, August 13

Statement from Tova Green: “We are gathered here in front of this bell, given to us by Al Farrow, who has created this contemporary version of ‘swords into plowshares.’ Crafted from bullets and war materials, it is a reminder to us that – in reflecting on our intention – we can changed the world and that the power of intention allows us to see how we can do that. In this ceremony we welcome this bell and empower its sound to bring peace and harmony to all beings throughout the entire universe. May the sound of it always remind us of the capacity in each of us to be at peace and to manifest peace.”

Tova interviewed artist Al Farrow for a Sangha News article in May 2012.

Abbess Kiku Christina Lehnherr offered this statement at the ceremony: “On June 4 Zen Center held a concert at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in celebration of our 50th anniversary. This concert was shaped by Shinji Eshima, who invited his friends from the San Francisco Ballet and Ballet Orchestra to perform. He also invited Al Farrow to create this bell made of bullets. The concert was called ‘Resounding Compassion‘ and embodied Zen Center’s intention to cultivate compassion and peace in our sangha, in our wider community, and in the world. During World War II Suzuki Roshi had to give the Rinso-in temple bell to the Japanese navy to be melted down for ship propellers. This was heart-breaking for him. I wonder how he would feel today to see this bell made of bullets find a home at Zen Center. May we all embody its message.”

Photo by Susana Millman

See a slideshow of the Monday, August 13 events including more photos by Susana Millman, as well as photos by Shundo David Haye and Kate Sommers-Dawes.