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April 27, 2021 Newsette

It’s a bright morning in San Francisco. I’m enjoying the light on the branches and shiny leaves of the sycamore outside my window. We had a virtual full moon ceremony at City Center this morning, and I found myself longing to be in the Buddha hall chanting together again.

This week’s Newsette includes news of Tassajara’s first steps in reopening to students, more about the May 4t National Memorial Service mentioned last week, and the first Zen Sewing Teachers practice period.

Plans are developing for Branching Streams Flow On, our May 22, 9 a.m. to noon PT gathering. Please save the date. I will share a draft program in next week’s Newsette. This is a last request from Teresa Bouza,, for your favorite nature photos taken during the last year. She will be use the photos to create a video to show on May 22nd. Please send your photos by May 10th.

Thank you to the many Zen Centers and sanghas that have sent your annual contributions during the last two weeks. If you have not yet responded, you can contribute electronically with this link, or you can send a check to San Francisco Zen Center with the name of your sangha on the memo line and mail it to Tova Green, 300 Page Street, San Francisco CA 94102. Please contact me if your sangha is experiencing financial hardship.

Jon Voss will host the weekly Zoom Clinic on Wednesday April 21from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. PDT. You are welcome to share this information with sangha members who are hosting sangha Zoom events including zazen, service, classes, etc. Here is the Zoom link or Meeting ID: 222 402 816, Passcode: 057143.

There is some good news about Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. Although there won’t be a guest season this summer Tassajara is taking applications for summer students who want to do work practice for stays of two weeks or longer. The summer season begins April 6 and ends September 12.

Goyo Piper, the Tassajara Director, notes: ”Residents will be asked to do a wide variety of different jobs / tasks, often in the same day, whereas in a typical summer, a resident might work on just one crew. We will need to be putting energy into fuels reduction work to prepare for fire season.  Applicants need to be fully vaccinated.” Applications or questions can be sent to

 There will be a three month Fall Practice Period led by Senior Dharma Teacher Ryushin Paul Haller from September 13 to December 12. Applications will be available soon.

May We Gather, a Buddhist Memorial Ceremony for Asian American Ancestors will take place online on Tuesday May 4th, 4 pm PDT/7 pm EDT. Held forty-nine days after the Atlanta shootings in which eight people, of whom six were of Asian descent, were killed, the memorial ceremony arose in response to the need for mourning and renewal in the face of ongoing anti-Asian violence. 

Over 75 Asian American Buddhist partner temples in the U.S. and Canada have endorsed the Memorial. In addition, San Francisco Zen Center as well as twenty Branching Streams affiliates have signed on as ally sanghas for this event.

The organizers invite you to “explore the website, sign your temple/center up as a sponsor, and address the situation of the anti-Asian American racism that has surfaced in the U. S.” They encourage sanghas to consider hosting an in-person or virtual event in conjunction with May We Gather. “Your community may wish to hold a brief ritual or discussion immediately before or after the livestreamed event, which could be projected for community viewing. Alternatively, the ceremony will be recorded, and you are welcome to use the recording for an event at a later date.”

Many Branching Streams sewing teachers are members of the Zen Buddhist Sewing Teachers. ZBST is announcing Sew with Heart: Sewing teachers practice period.

“We are delighted to invite you to join our first national Zen sewing practice period. In association with Zen Buddhist Sewing Teachers ( and Every Day Zen (, ‘Sew With Heart’ will take place from June 3rd to December 11th, 2021. 

Practice period leadership includes Dharma teachers, Nyohō e teachers and senior students in both Zenkei Blanche Hartman’s and Tomoe Katagiri’s traditions, joining together to guide us all. This online practice period includes plenary events every 3 weeks, with guided activities for local and affinity groups i between the full sessions. Here is the link to the registration form and schedule.

I apologize for the length of this Newsette. Thank you for reading to the end!

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