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Newsette September 7, 2021

Yesterday I returned from a week at Tassajara. It was wonderful to see the sangha there growing and preparing for an in-person Fall Practice Period, which begins September 12. While there I heard of Hurricane Ida’s destructive path through Louisiana to New Jersey and New York. The new home of Mid-City Zen in New Orleans survived the storm with little damage, although parts of New Orleans are still without power.

Offerings from Branching Streams groups this Fall are varied and rich. Here are a few.

“Right Relationship, Healing and Nurturing Connection” is the focus of the Fall Practice Period at Mountain Rain Zen Community in Vancouver, BC.  As part of the practice period co-guiding teacher Myoshin Kate McCandless and Shinsen Reamick Lo are facilitating an eight-week study and practice group, Exploring Right Relationship with Indigenous Peoples, “open to anyone of settler/immigrant background, whether recent or generations past, who would like to deepen their understanding of history, culture, spirituality and lived experience of the indigenous peoples of Canada.”

Brooklyn Zen Center is launching a 10-month intensive program, The Bodhisattva Path of Liberation: Racial Suffering and Collective Transformation – “exploring, witnessing, and transforming the individual and collective suffering and harm caused by race and racism, and in particular by the identity of whiteness and the ideology of white supremacy.” This program, which begins in October, is currently limited to practitioners who identify or are identified as white. The schedule, format, cost, and application form are available here.

Roshi Cuca Kosen Montecel, the founder and guiding teacher of Living Water Zen in San Antonio, will lead a three-day online sesshin at San Antonio Zen Center September 19-21 on the theme Practicing with Uncertainty. Roshi Montecel is a teacher in the White Plum lineage. For further information or to register, email


Ancient Dragon Zen Gate’s guiding teacher Taigen Dan Leighton willexplore Dogen’s teachings about our Environment and its Awakening Capacity, and how Dogen links environment to devotional practice in an online seminar on Sunday October 3rd, from 1-4:30 pm Central Time. For a fuller description or to register, click here; for more information, contact

Here’s some good news from Austin Zen Center Choro Antonaccio, AZC’s Tanto (head of practice), will soon be entering a three-week period of ceremonies leading to Dharma Transmission with her teacher Konjin Gaelyn Godwin Roshi, in Houston at Auspicious Cloud Temple. Former Austin Zen Center Director Tim Kroll is now at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center where he will be Shuso (Head Student) for the Fall Practice Period. In a few days he will be priest-ordained by Paul Haller, who will lead the Tassajara Fall Practice Period. Austin Zen Center senior student, Pat Yingst, will also be heading to Tassajara for the practice period.

Today is the first day of the Jewish New Year – ushering in ten days that focus on being in right relationship with oneself, with others, one’s community, and the wide world. A practice I enjoy at this time is dipping slices of apples in honey and saying, “I wish you a sweet and fruitful year.” That is my wish for you.

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