Brother David Steindl-Rast and Ryushin Paul Haller returned to Tassajara last week to lead their annual retreat titled The Spirit of Practice: Christian and Zen. During their visit they graciously delivered the Wednesday evening dharma talk for Tassajara guests and residents, filling the retreat hall with laughter and conversation, and filling our hearts with the spirit of practice.
They began the evening with a reading and discussion of Mary Oliver’s poem “Praying,â€ after which they responded to questions from the audience. In this video we have captured a few of the rich exchanges of dialogue that unfolded that evening.
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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
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
Recently San Francisco Zen Center received a significant bequest from a couple in Monterey, California, who were inspired to remember Zen Center in their will primarily because of their relationship with Katherine Thanas. Read more
“One of the worst feelings is to feel utterly alone,” says former SFZC abbot Zoketsu Norman Fischer, “but it’s impossible to ever be alone.” In the brief excerpt below transcribed from video, Norman tells us why love and compassion are simply necessities, especially in these difficult times. Read more
Zenkei Blanche Hartman is shown below in a past Interdependence Day Parade at Tassajara. The annual event at Tassajara around Independence Day in the US celebrates—what else?—our inter-dependence. The photo was submitted by Soren Leaver on the Boundless Life blog, which has recently shifted its focus Read more
A Branching Streams sangha profile
Our sangha started meditating together in 1995 in the small town of Occidental, California; hence the word occidental in our name. The word also means western, which is where the Buddha Dharma is now being established. We are located one hour north of San Francisco and not far from the Pacific Ocean. We currently meet together right next to the beautiful Laguna de Santa Rosa in Sebastopol, California, an important ecological reserve and the largest freshwater wetlands complex on the northern California coast. Read more
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