You can now register for our spring gathering, Branching Streams Flow On, Saturday, May 22 from 9 a.m. to noon PT/noon to 3 PM/ET. Registration is free of charge and is open to sangha members as well as teachers and leaders. The gathering features Konjin Gaeyln Godwin, Abbot of Houston Zen Center, sharing her perspective on the climate emergency followed by longer breakout groups on three topics of interest to many sanghas – the climate crisis, social action and racial justice, and creating hybrid zendos and events. There will be time to connect with one another in small groups, watch a video of your nature photos (until May 10th you can still send photos to firstname.lastname@example.org), enjoy music, and participate in a ceremony.
Jon Voss continues to help participants find creative solutions to Zoom questions in his weekly Zoom Clinic on Wednesday May 5from 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.
Here are several offerings from centers in different parts of the U. S. and details about an Unpacking Whiteness course from the Soto Zen Buddhist Association.
Milwaukee Zen Center’s guiding teacher Reirin Gumbel will teach a six week class on Dogen’s Uji, Being-Time, beginning May 17. Reirin has been participating in interfaith events around racial justice. She recently gave a talk at the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee on Racial Equity and notes, “My Buddhist approach seems to be welcome and appreciated. It is an eye-opener that the problems we are currently facing have a common theme: the inter-connectedness and interdependence of all life.”
Houston Zen Center will soon embark on an Intensive Practice Period/Ango of the Boundless Mind from May 30 to June 17 led by Abbot Gaelyn Godwin, and Shuso Head Student Jika Gayle Klaybor. “We will merge practice and everyday activities, along with study of the Four Boundless Minds of Bodhisattva practice: Loving-Kindness, Compassion, Empathetic Joy, and Equanimity.”
Brooklyn Zen Center’s country home, Ancestral Heart Zen Monastery, has been sharing Letters from the Garden since early March, when snow still covered the mountains. In these letters, Ella Antell, the Head of Garden and Grounds at the monastery, has been describing the process of getting a large vegetable and flower garden up and running. “From the growing of seedlings, to the putting up of fences and the harvesting of the first spinach, we have been able to follow the amazing progress of the garden, under the care of the gardening monastics and the nurturing forces of mother Earth.” All of this is available on the BZC website here.
Hoka Chris Fortin, guiding teacher of Dharma Heart Zen and Lotus Sangha in Sebastopol, CA is co-leading a Jizo Ceremony for Those Who Have Died (SFZC Online) with Jennifer Block, and Dojin Sarah Emerson. These ceremonies create a caring and healing space for those who have lost loved ones of any age.
You may be interested in Minnesota Zen Meditation Center’s events with their Spring Guest Teacher, Osho Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, leader of the Branching Streams group Still Breathing. Zenju will speak on “Accessing Peace In the Midst of Chaos on Friday May 14, 7 – 8:15 pm. No registration is necessary, offered by donation. Click here to join the talk via Zoom. She will also lead a retreat via Zoom on Saturday May 15, 9 am – 4pm Click here to register.
Unpacking Whiteness; exploring the delusion of race from a Buddhist perspective, a 4-session online course, led and facilitated by Crystal Johnson, is being offered by the Soto Zen Buddhist Association (SZBA). “This class, taught from a Buddhist perspective, is designed as a collaborative exploration of our conditioning as white people, and a time to develop skills for interrupting racism and building diverse community. It is designed for white people who are learning about whiteness” Dates: June 6, 13, 20, and 27 from 1-3:30 Pacific.
“We offer sliding scale registration and invite you to give as generously as you can. The course is open to everyone, regardless of donation level. For more information or to register: www.szba.org/courses .” This event will benefit the East Bay Meditation Center and fund the initiation of the SZBA’s BIPOC Support Fund; a fund to support Black, Indigenous and People of Color in Soto Zen lineages.
As I send this Newsette at 9 p.m. PT, I realize that many of you will read it on May 4th, the day of the May We Gather National Memorial Ceremony for Asian American Ancestors. I hope to see you there.