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Recent Articles

27
Aug

Search for SFZC’s New Vice President and Secretary (UPDATE)

UPDATE: The description for the Vice President position has been updated and the application period extended to September 20. The Secretary position is in the process of being filled and is not accepting new applications. 

San Francisco Zen Center is beginning the search for our next Vice President and Secretary. These vital roles will help shape the future of SFZC during this difficult time. Both positions will start sometime this Fall.

The search will be run by the Governance Committee of the Board of Directors. We invite applications from all interested and qualified candidates. Full job descriptions, listing both duties and qualifications, are available online here (for VP) and here (for Secretary).

If you would like to apply, please email a letter of interest and current resume directly to Dan Zigmond, our Governance Chair, at djz@shmonk.com by August 30, 2020. All applications will be received in confidence. The Governance Committee will request further information from qualified candidates after that deadline and conduct formal interviews of finalists in September.

17
Aug

HeartMind: An Interview with Artist Suiko Betsy McCall

By Cat Li Stevenson

Suiko Betsy McCall

Sangha News interviewed artist, founder, and Abbess of the Art Monastery, Suiko Betsy McCall. Suiko and Green Gulch Farm Abiding Abbess Fu Schroeder will be co-leading the online HeartMind: Art & Zen Workshop on August 28 – 30.

SN: Could you share a bit about your connection to SFZC?

I was a farm apprentice at Green Gulch Farm in 2014. When it was over, it was a big decision whether to stay on as a resident or go back to my life in Oakland. I ended up back in Oakland for a while and then came back to GGF for the January Intensive and eventually did a practice period. I started a romantic relationship with Qayyum Johnson, who was the Farm Manager, and lived with him there for a few years, splitting my time between GGF and Art Monastery. Read more

13
Aug

Saturday Sangha Study Group is Online

The Saturday Sangha has been an important and vital part of City Center’s practice life for the past twenty years. Before the Covid-19 pandemic closed the temple to visitors, each week non-residential practitioners came together on Saturday mornings to provide a variety of services: greeting newcomers, helping in the kitchen, and supporting in the zendo for zazen and the Buddha hall for lecture by sounding the liturgical instruments that signal the times and chants. They met during lunch, ate together, and engaged in study and discussion led by a senior priest.

The original inspiration for the group came from Teah Strozer who was Tanto (head of practice) of City Center at the time. When asked about her reasons for starting it, she said “I wanted to find a teaching venue for myself as head of practice and to support lay practice (non-residential in this case) more consciously and specifically.”   Read more

4
Aug

Clean Slate & the Botany of Zen: An Interview with Marcia Lieberman

By Cat Li Stevenson

Congratulations to Marcia Lieberman on the publication of her new book Clean Slate: Images From Dogen’s Garden. In this book, Marcia combines Dogen’s writings with photographs of the plants he might have seen while living in 13th C Japan. The book’s purpose is not to make a scientific analysis but to consider and imagine what beauty may have provoked his writing. 

Marcia Liebermasn is a teacher at San Francisco Zen Center and a photographer. Sangha News recently spoke with her about Clean Slate
Read more

27
Jul

A New President is Announced for SFZC

The SFZC Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Sozan Diego Miglioli as the next President of SFZC, beginning in 2021.

From Helen Degenhardt, SFZC Board Chair: “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Diego for the last year and a half. I admire his ability to think strategically, present ideas and concepts clearly, and listen to feedback.

“In one of our early conversations Diego made a comment that, in my view, wonderfully describes how he sees his work at Zen Center. When asked how he sees his role as Vice President, he replied: ‘I’m a Zen Student who happens to be a Vice President.’ I’m looking forward to our collaboration and am grateful he accepted the position.”

Diego will be taking over for Shinchi Linda Galijan who will be stepping down in January, 2021.

27
Jul

Unpacking Whiteness: An interview with Tova Green and Lucy Andrews

Tova Green Lucy Andrews

 

Unpacking Whiteness is a SFZC affinity group. Currently held online, these gatherings explore whiteness and the structures of racism through a Zen Buddhist lens so that practitioners learn to skillfully engage with and transform white racial conditioning and white supremacist systems. Unpacking Whiteness focuses on racial justice, interconnection, and liberation, with the intention that sangha members build brave and inclusive spaces in their homes, workplaces, communities, and at San Francisco Zen Center.

Newcomers and seasoned practitioners who identify as white are wholeheartedly welcome.

City Center resident Dawu Whitney spoke with Unpacking Whiteness facilitators Tova Green and Lucy Andrews about the history and intention of the group. Read more

17
Jul

Gratitude for Huey Johnson (1933-2020)

San Francisco Zen Center, Marin County and, indeed, anyone concerned about the environment, lost a great friend and benefactor with the death of Huey Johnson on July 12, 2020. Read more

16
Jul

Green Gulch Residents Display New Banner and Offer July 4th Sitting in Support of Black Lives

By Steph Blank

On July 4th, Green Gulch residents gathered again at the bell tower to bow together in silence and process to the top of the Green Gulch driveway at Highway 1. There, we sat zazen beneath a new Black
Lives Matter banner. The original banner that we had displayed had been removed without the community’s support.
For many years, July 4th has been a vibrantly celebrated holiday at Green Gulch – recognized as INTERdependence Day and celebrated with music and farm festivities. This year, seated silently on cushions and chairs alongside the steady traffic of Highway 1, we quietly offered our love and prayers for the freedom of all beings.

Read more

8
Jul

New Solar Panels Installed on Page Street

There has been an array of solar panels on the roof of Beginner’s Mind Temple at 300 Page Street since 2005. These panels produce 40-50% of the electricity used in the building, based on the available square footage for the array.

Late last year, with the availability of rebates from the City of San Francisco, and with the help of Interfaith Power and Light, a nation-wide environmental non-profit that works with religious institutions, San Francisco Zen Center hired Luminalt, a local firm, to install panels on the four other buildings that Zen Center owns on Page Street. (Abbess emerita Linda Ruth Cutts is a former board member of IPL.) Read more

2
Jul

ZMC Closure Statement

This week San Francisco Zen Center’s leadership made the difficult but necessary decision to close Tassajara for the remainder of the Guest Season and to cancel the Fall Work Period. While this is disappointing news, the health and safety of our guests and community is too important to risk.

The closing of Guest Season offers us a unique opportunity to address important and much needed fire prevention measures. Tassajara’s Fire Marshal Rob Thomas has friends in the wildland fire community who are interested in making Tassajara a safer place for residents, guests, and future emergency responders. We’re planning for a group of 5 to 10 people who can take crucial steps towards preparing the area for the high-alert fire seasons that are unfortunately expected this year and in the future.

The crew will work on a number of fire safety projects and begin clearing the surrounding underbrush to reduce flammable material.

Tassajara is grateful for your love and support as we navigate this extraordinary time. We look forward to when we can open the gates and share this beautiful valley with you once again. Read more