May 11, 2016
Jane Hirshfield Brings Her Poetry to the Dharma Lamp Circle

The Dharma Lamp Circle, a group of SFZC legacy givers, enjoyed an evening of poetry and connection featuring a reading by Jane Hirshfield, and a ceremonial lighting of lotus lamps led by Central Abbess Eijun Linda Cutts.

The delightful event took place on April 27 at the home of Zen Center supporter and donor Glady Thacher. As a souvenir, each member of the circle was given a “broadside” − a fine-art printing designed by Layla Smith Bockhorst − of Jane Hirshfield’s poem “Tree”.


by Jane Hirshfield

It is foolish
to let a young redwood
grow next to a house.

Even in this
one lifetime,
you will have to choose.

That great calm being,
this clutter of soup pots and books—

Already the first branch-tips brush at the window.
Softly, calmly, immensity taps at your life.

From Given Sugar, Given Salt (1992)


Central Abbess Eijun Linda Cutts, right, leads the lotus lamp ceremony. Jane Hirshfield is at center


Glady Thacher with her lotus lamp


Lotus lamps before the ceremony

If you would like to know more about the Dharma Lamp Circle and Zen Center’s legacy-giving program, click here. 

Photos by Myles Cowherd.