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Newsette – May 24, 2021

It was wonderful to see so many of you at Saturday’s gathering, Branching Streams Flow On. Thirty-five Branching Streams sanghas in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany, Italy, and Greece participated. Three themes were highlighted through Abbot Gaelyn Godwin’s talk on “The Climate of Our Time” and  breakout groups on Climate Chaos, The Sacred Work of Racial Justice, and Transitioning to Hybrid Zendo Offerings.

This is a time of transition for many Zen Centers, including San Francisco Zen Center. At City Center we had our first in-person work circle this morning after 15 months of Zoom work meetings.  Several sanghas are doing member surveys as they make plans to reopen while maintaining the capacity to include online participation.

You can bring your questions about anything related to Zoom to Jon Voss’s Zoom Clinic which meets on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to noon, Pacific time. Here is the Zoom link or Meeting ID: 222 402 816, Passcode: 057143.

Most of you will be reading this Newsette on May 25th, the one year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder. This year has brought a heightened awareness of racial injustice in the U.S. Pamela Ayo Yetunde, Community Dharma Leader, Zen practitioner, chaplain, and author is offering George Floyd, the Bodhisattva’s Cry, and the Paramita of Persistence, a San Francisco Zen Center program on Thursday June 10th from 4 to 6 p.m. PT.

Last summer Branching Streams offered our first course, Unpacking Whiteness led by Crystal Johnson. If you missed it, a similar course led by Crystal is being offered by the Soto Zen Buddhist Association: Unpacking Whiteness; exploring the delusion of race from a Buddhist perspective. Dates: June 6, 13, 20, and 27 from 1-3:30 Pacific.For more information or to register: .” 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.

Taigen Leighton is offering an Online Seminar on Dogen’s Being Time and view of temporality, and its implications for Joanna Macy’s teaching of Deep Time and reinhabiting time, on Saturday, June 19th from 2pm to 5:30 p.m. EST/11am to 2:30pm PST. For more information or to register contact:

In a prior Newsette I shared an invitation from the Zen Buddhist Sewing Teachers and Everyday Zen to participate in their first 6-month practice period, “Sew With Heart.”  It begins on June 3rd. The entire schedule is on the registration form. If you wish to participate, please register before May 28th.

Royce Johnson of Houston Zen Center received a request from a practitioner in  the U.K. who writes:  “My name is Christopher Jarrell and I am a retired social worker and counsellor, and I am autistic. I live in the UK and have been a practicing Buddhist for about thirty years. I’m researching for a book with a working title of Buddhism, Sangha and Autism: An Anthology of Personal Stories, which has been accepted for publication by Jessica Kingsley Publishers (London and New York). I’m writing to ask for your help in reaching out to potential autistic Buddhist contributors.” If you know sangha members who might like to contribute to this anthology they can contact Christopher directly. His email address is .

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