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February 1, 2021 Newsette

I am still feeling the joy of yesterday’s Mountain Seat Ceremony at Berkeley Zen Center. Among over 350 Zoom participants I noted teachers and members from nearly thirty Branching Streams sanghas, from coast to coast in the U.S., as well as from Canada and Italy. 

A request from Fushin Susan Schoenbohm, Ancient Dragon Zen Gate board member, who writes: “We are starting here what we are calling a Sangha Care Committee, which checks in with sangha members who might be in need of some kind of assistance and sees what we can do to help.” Susan is looking for other sanghas that have such committees, “to learn about what their “mission” statement might be, and some best practices that might guide us going forward.” Please let both Susan and me know if you have such a committee or program/practice in your sangha. Her email address is

Jon Voss will be offering an intermediate/advanced Zoom Clinic on Wednesday, February 3rd, from 11 to 12 PST. Here’s the Zoom link or Meeting ID: 222 402 816, Passcode: 057143.

In the midst of winter several sanghas are beginning or have recently begun Winter Practice Periods and other programs that are all available online.

Ava Stanton, guiding teacher of Just Show Up Sangha notes:  We are starting a Practice Period , Yasodhara’s Path, on Friday, February 5th.  Information about our online Practice Period is at The Just Show Up Zen Sangha Blog or

Chapel Hill Zen Center and Richmond Zen and are collaborating on a monthlong Winter Practice Intensive, Sunday, January 31 through Sunday, February 28, 2021 Via Zoom co-led by their guiding teachers Josho Pat Phelan and Eden Heffernan. This is an innovative model for sharing teachers and teachings that other centers may wish to explore. In addition to zazenthe intensive includes Dharma talks, Way-seeking Mind talks, group Dharma discussions, and weekly teas.

Houston Zen Center is offering a program for meditators who want to enter Zen deeply, to investigate the mind of daily life: Entering the Path of Practice (EPP), an advanced program of guided exploration, study and training. Zen Priests Tim Schorre and Royce Johnson will lead the program. Entering the Path of Practice is organized as three eight-week-long modules, each module emphasizing one of the three treasures: BUDDHA (great teachers and practitioners of the Way), DHARMA (teachings and practice) and SANGHA (the community of practitioners).Registration ends on February 7th.

Some upcoming dharma talks that may be of interest:

Austin Zen Center is hosting Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, founding teacher of Still Breathing  Zen group on Saturday, February 13th at 10 am Central Time. The talk is titled, “The Deepest Peace in the Midst of Chaos.” Zenju’s most recent book, the Deepest Peace, Contemplations from a Season of Stillness, was published in December, 2020.

On Sunday February 21st , from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Central Time, as part of Ancient Dragon Zen Gate’s series of Black women guest teachers, Breeshia Wade will speak. Breeshia from lived in Chicago and practiced at Ancient Dragon’s temple or at their Hyde Park group. Breeshia now lives in Los Angeles and works as a hospice chaplain. She has written a powerful new book coming out later this month, Grieving While Black: An Antiracist Take on Oppression and Sorrow.  

Wishing you all good health and sustained energy as we enter a new month.

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