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Branching Streams Newsette 6-28-2021

Some good news about Tassajara: the 2021 Willow Fire is 73% contained and Tassajara is no longer in critical danger. As Tassajara is still under an evacuation warning status, the Tassajara Fire Crew will remain there until further notice. SFZC thanks all of those who have been following the situation and keeping Tassajara in your thoughts.

Updates about the Willow fire are posted on the SFZC website.

Many sanghas are partially reopening while continuing to make their offerings available via Zoom. If you would like some support with the technical side of this transition, you may wish to attend:

A Branching Streams Workshop

After Covid — Technology and the Zendo, A Practical Approach

Facilitated by Jon Voss

Saturday, July 17, 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. PDT/12:00-1:30 p.m. EDT

 Zoom link or Meeting ID: 222 402 816, Passcode:057143

By popular demand, we’re offering a 90 minute online program to explore how various sanghas are making their temples accessible with technology. We’ll be going behind the scenes at a handful of hybrid zendos to learn what technology solutions people have come up with, from computer and a/v hardware to aesthetic and privacy considerations. We’ll also leave ample time for Q&A so you can ask your own questions about various technology setups. No registration is needed. Please share this invitation with your sangha members.

Jon Voss’s Zoom clinic, which was launched in March 2020, is now meeting every two weeks. The next meeting is this Wednesday, June 30, from 11 to 12 PDT. Here is the Zoom link or Meeting ID: 222 402 816, Passcode:057143.

 On Sunday, July 4, Taigen Leighton, Ancient Dragon Zen Gate’s guiding teacher will give his annual Interdependence Day talk, celebrating the intersection of American ideals of freedom with Buddhist liberation. 

I wish you all a nourishing Interdependence Day weekend.

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Branching Streams Newsette 6-21-2021

This has been an eventful week for Branching Streams as well as for many in the U.S.

Last Thursday we held our first online gathering of European/British Branching Streams Teachers and Leaders. The Branching Streams Advisory Group met to plan our next workshop. And many sanghas celebrated the summer solstice as well as the new U.S. national holiday, Juneteenth, a recognition of emancipation from slavery as well as of all the ways in which African Americans still are not free.

You may have heard about the Willow fire, which began on June 17, three miles from Tassajara. Most residents were evacuated the next morning and fire crews are on site. The best way to get updates about the fire is on the sfzc.org website.

The workshop below evolved from the breakout group on hybrid zendos Jon Voss led at our Branching Streams Flow On conference on May 22nd:

A Branching Streams Workshop

After Covid — Technology and the Zendo, A Practical Approach

Facilitated by Jon Voss

Saturday, July 17, 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. PDT/12:00-1:30 p.m. EDT

By popular demand, we’re offering a 90 minute online program to explore how various sanghas are making their temples accessible with technology. We’ll be going behind the scenes at a handful of hybrid zendos to learn what technology solutions people have come up with, from computer and a/v hardware to aesthetic and privacy considerations. We’ll also leave ample time for Q&A so you can ask your own questions about various technology setups. No registration is needed. We’ll send a Zoom link closer to the time of the event.

Last week eighteen teachers and leaders from Britain and nine countries in Europe (Austria, Finland, Germany, Greece, Northern Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland), met via Zoom.

Participants discussed ways to build the connections between all the groups represented. There was also shared interest in exploring how Zen training, including chaplaincy training, can evolve in Europe, responses to the climate crisis, and how groups can continue to benefit from the positive aspects of Zoom as in-person meetings become possible again.

Welcome to Branching Stream’s new affiliate, Brattleboro Zen Center in Vermont, whose guiding teacher is Hakusho Johan Ostland. Hakusho trained at Green Gulch Farm and Tassajara and was ordained by GGF Abiding Abbess Fu Schroeder.

Austin Zen Center is seeking a new Administrative Assistant. – to support day-to-day temple management in collaboration with senior leadership. This ~30hr/wk. position requires a consistently warm and welcoming presence, someone technologically inclined and extremely well-organized. Read more…Prospective candidates may apply via our our Indeed Posting

Jon Voss’s Zoom clinic will not meet this week and will be back on Wednesday, June 30th

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Branching Streams Newsette 6-14-021

I’ve had several meetings today regarding Branching Streams and want to share with you two events we are planning.

The first is a meeting of European teachers and leaders in the Suzuki Roshi lineage, which will occur this Thursday, June 17th. There will be about fifteen participants from Zen Centers and sanghas in eight countries. This initial meeting will provide an opportunity for networking and sharing common concerns and resources. I will report on it in my next Newsette.

The Branching Streams Advisory Group met today to debrief our May 22 gathering, Branching Streams Flow On, and to plan our next offering, on “hybrid zendos.” Many centers are beginning to reopen for in-person zazen and other programs, while wanting to stay connected with sangha members who live at a distance. We will have a description of the program and a date soon.

Jon Voss’s Zoom clinic will meet twice this month, on Wednesdays June 16th and 30th from 11 a.m. to noon PDT. Here is the Zoom link or Meeting ID: 222 402 816, Passcode:057143.

Joan Amaral of Zen Center North Shore shared news of an important series, Abuse, Sex, and the Sangha: Conversations for Healing, hosted by Buddhist Currents. On Saturday, June 26, from 3:30 to 5 p.m ET, they will offer “Speaking As, With, and For Survivors” with Lama Willa Miller, Chozen Bays Roshi, Rev. Grace Shireson, and Carol Merchasin. You can register in advance here.

Several years ago, Hakusho Johan Ostland, a San Francisco Zen Center priest, was a Branching Streams intern at Ancient Dragon Zen Gate in Chicago. Hakusho now lives in Vermont, where he is establishing the Brattleboro Zen Center. He will return to Ancient Dragon to give an online summer solstice talk on June 20th from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. CST.

May you enjoy these days of longest sunshine as we approach the summer solstice.

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Newsette 6-3-2021

It is now early June, and summer solstice is only a few weeks away. I’ve been reading some of your newsletters and notice that some Zen Centers are beginning to open their zendos to in-person zazen and to half-day or daylong retreats. Other groups are taking advantage of the longer days and warm weather to hold sittings and daylong retreats outside. As we in the U.S. continue to venture out and reconnect with friends and family, I’m aware of the many parts of the world in which this is still not possible.

For those of you who attended Branching Streams Flow On two weeks ago, please complete the Survey I emailed yesterday so we can use your suggestions for planning our next offerings. For everyone, if you’d like to watch Teresa Bouza’s seven-minute video of nature photos and words, here’s the link.

I will be on vacation next week and my next Newsette will be sent the week of June 14th.

Zoom Clinics with Jon Voss will be offered every two weeks instead of weekly, on Wednesdays from 11 to noon PDT, June 16 and 30. Here is the Zoom link or Meeting ID: 222 402 816, Passcode:057143.

Here are a few offerings coming up this weekend and next week, all online.

Valley Streams Zen Sangha in Sacramento, CA is offering “Allowing Emptiness to Fill the Page,” a one-day Zen and Writing retreat on Saturday, June 5from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. PDT, led by author and lay Zen teacher Beth Jacobs. one-day retreat and writing workshop led by author and lay Zen teacher Beth Jacobs, Ph.D.

Sandra Barros Pena will be giving the June 6 Sunday dharma talk on “The Bodhisattva Vows as Heart-Based Action” at Zen Center North Shore at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Sandra will be Zooming in from Argentina where she works in a community clinic with women who have experienced sexual abuse or gender violence.

At Ancient Dragon Zen Gate, the Sunday morning talk on June 6th (zazen at 9:30, talk at 10:10 CDT) will be given by anthropologist Juan Pablo Restrepo, their participant from Patagonia in Argentina, speaking on “Spiritual Practice in the Age of Ecological Crisis.”

Also on Sunday June 6, Mountain Rain Zen Community in Vancouver, BC will have a memorial service for the 215 native children whose remains were discovered recently on the grounds of one of Canada’s largest residential schools in Kamloops—”holding the grieving communities in our hearts.”

Alan Senauke, Abbot of Berkeley Zen Center, is part of a team producing the Burma Spring Film Festival June 4 – 13. He says, “Extraordinary films and beautifully constructed panels, all of which throw a bright light on life in Burma/Myanmar today.”

May you be well.