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Newsette 10-4-2021

Here are some encouraging words from Taigen Leighton, guiding teacher of Ancient Dragon Zen Gate: “We are feeling the season changing in Chicago. It is cooler as we move into autumn, with all its rich, shifting, trembling colors. Our world continues to shift as well, and multiple situations of distress flourish along with flickerings of helpfulness. We engage all with equanimity, resilience, and dynamic balance as we open to responses to the various challenges. Our practice can make a difference.”

Several sanghas, including Berkeley, Houston, and Chapel Hill Zen Centers participate in Buddhist Global Relief’s Walk to Feed the Hungry every year. Houston Zen Center writes: “This year, once again, the COVID-19 pandemic prevents us from holding our walk. Thus we will instead be gathering via Zoom: Buddhist Action to Feed the Hungry Online Gatherings. Saturday, October 30th. [There was an East Coast event on October 2.] Buddhist groups from the Eastern, Southern, and Midwestern states will join together. for Dharma talks by distinguished Buddhist speakers on the theme of “putting compassion into action” and to learn about Buddhist Global Relief and the work of alleviating global hunger and poverty.” Individuals as well as sanghas are invited to participate.

Branching Streams Zen Centers and two other organizations are offering one-day to five-day retreats as well as several longer programs that may interest you.

One-day to Five-day retreats

Seattle Soto Zen is hosting a one-day online Zazenkai with Zoketsu Norman Fischer on Sunday, October 10, from 8:50 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PDT. The day includes a talk and Q&A with Zoketsu and a Wellbeing and Memorial Service, in addition to zazen. You can Register for this event here.

Valley Streams Zen Sangha in Sacramento, CA is holding an online retreat/one-day sitting with Ben Connelly on November 6. Ben’s topic is Yogacara – Integrating personal and social healing and liberation. This retreat will focus on the Indian Yogacara master Vasubandhu’s Thirty Verses on Consciousness Only. “We will move towards a deeper knowing that in every moment we are participating in the whole of the world in all its beauty and harms, and in every moment we can act for the liberation of all.” Suggested Dana is$40 to$80. Here is the link to register.

Tenshin Reb Anderson, Senior Dharma Teacher of San Francisco Zen Center, and the honorary founder of Houston Zen Center, will lead a 5-day in-person Intensive Retreat at Houston Zen Center’s Margaret Austin Center from Tuesday, November 2 at 7:00 pm to Sunday afternoon on November 7. The theme is “Zen Meditation, Great Compassion” Follow this link for more information or to register. The last day to register is October 19.

Longer programs

Austin Zen Center’s Fall Practice Period will be led by visiting teacher Rev. Kokyo Henkel from October 13 through December 11 focusing on the practices of lay woman ancestor Queen Srimala. In the Srimaladevi Simhanda Sutra, she teaches Buddha-nature as the pure essence of heart/mind which we all share. Read more & Register.

Stanford University is offering the Contemplation by Design Summit from October 25 to November 2., a free series of presentations to further individual, community, and planetary health and well-being. Several sessions focus on the climate crisis. You can learn more and register here.

I will be participating in an opening panel of the International Western Dharma Teachers Gathering, A Virtual Conference, from October 20 to 24. The theme of the Conference, sponsored by Lions Roar and the Hemera Foundation, is Facing Truth: Love, Equity & Justice on the Path of Awakening. Speakers will explore topics important to Dharma Teachers everywhere during our modern times.

As the season, and our world continues to shift and change, may our practice make a difference, as Taigen says.

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