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Branching Streams is a network of affiliate Dharma centers and Sanghas in the Zen lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

IN THIS COLUMN:
Reflections on Camping Sesshin
Tips for connecting your community through Zoom from Jon Voss
New Book: Clean Slate, by Marcia Lieberman

Reflections on Camping Sesshin

by Eishin Nancy Easton

Zazen by the shore of Lake Michigan

Since 2016, Ancient Dragon Zen Gate has held an annual three-day Camping Sesshin that combines traditional Zen forms and Dharma teachings within the natural setting provided by Illinois Beach State Park. Our sesshin takes place in a sheltered, open-air environment, and opportunities for tent camping are available for overnight participants. Daily Dharma talks, discussions, communal meals and nature walks are offered by our co-leaders Eishin Nancy Easton and Gyoshin Laurel Ross, and other senior students under the guidance of Guiding Dharma Teacher Taigen Dan Leighton. This sesshin offers us an opportunity to bring our practice to an encounter with the natural world, without venturing far from home.

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Tips for connecting your community through Zoom from Jon Voss

San Francisco Zen Center, and many others, are using Zoom to power online zendos, classes, practice discussions and the like. Zoom (https://zoom.us/) provides video conferencing services for individuals and organizations alike. It has become an essential part of both business and social life during the coronavirus pandemic. You do not need a Zoom account to participate, but you will need to download free software, available for Mac, PC, iPhone and Android devices. Free call-in numbers are also available for those without computer access.

If you’re interested in learning more, Jon Voss (bio: http://consulting.jumpslide.com/jon) is now hosting a weekly drop-in clinic for Branches and Streams members Wednesdays at 11am Pacific. Jon hosts the Mid City Zen virtual zendo, as well as SFZC morning zazen occasionally. Please see our new Resources for Online Zendos and Zoom Hosts, or contact jon@jumpslide.com if you have any questions.

Read More (2nd article in the newsletter)

New Book: Clean Slate, by Marcia Lieberman

Clean Slate by Marcia Lieberman

Clean Slate by Marcia Lieberman

Marcia Lieberman has authored a new book, Clean Slate: Images from Dogen’s Garden. Here is a blurb from Dale Wright, author of The Six Perfections: Buddhism and the Cultivation of Character:

It’s hard to imagine a more apt portal to the heart of Dogen’s Soto Zen sensibility than Marcia Lieberman’s Clean Slate. Her brilliant photographs isolate fragments of plants from Dogen’s Japanese gardens in various stages of life’s impermanence so vividly that the fragrance seeps through the medium. Breathe in: black pine, camelia, wisteria, magnolia. Responses from five lifelong Dogen affectionados and an introductory doorway to Dogen from Soto teacher Taigen Leighton let the extraordinary Zen master and these botanical sentient beings speak to us directly. Just breathe, savoring “mountains and waters”– no translation required.

See more on the book, including a letter from Marcia Lieberman introducing the book, here.

IN THIS COLUMN:
Branching Streams Newsette for July 29, 2020
Online Course: Unpacking the Whiteness of Leadership
Tova Green’s Letter to Branching Streams Teachers and Leaders about COVID-19
Map of Affiliates

Branching Streams Newsette for July 29, 2020

This Newsette includes glimpses of Ancient Dragon Zen Gate’s Camping Sesshin and an outdoor work-day at Milwaukee Zen Center. If you have found ways to practice in nature, please share your experiences.

This Newsette also contains an update about the launch of Unpacking the Whiteness of Leadership last weekend and a workshop next weekend with Paula Arai offered by Kannon Do in Mountain View CA.

Read this week’s Newsette

Online Course: Unpacking the Whiteness of Leadership

Branching Streams is proposing a new online course: Unpacking the Whiteness of Leadership. For teachers, board members, and sangha members, the course will be led by Crystal Johnson (bio). We will need 30 or more participants to offer this course. Here is the course description:

This is a time in America when white people’s awareness of the terrible impact of racial inequity has increased dramatically in the context of the pandemic and following the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. As dharma practitioners and leaders, how can we use the energy of this time to confront and address the suffering of racial injustice and move toward greater inclusiveness and racial equity in our sanghas?

Branching Streams seeks to address this question through a new course, Unpacking the Whiteness of Leadership, designed for dharma practitioners and leaders who wish to promote, nurture and maintain a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community.

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Tova Green’s Letter to Branching Streams Teachers and Leaders about COVID-19

Branching Streams liaison Tova Green recently sent a letter to Branching Streams affiliate Sanghas regarding the ongoing global COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic. The letter concerns best practices for Sanghas as they decide how to navigate the ongoing health crisis. You can read Tova’s letter here.

Map of Affiliates

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