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Newsette 10-10-2022

I returned from my journey to Vancouver yesterday, having driven over 2,500 miles. In addition to practicing with Branching Streams sanghas in Arcata CA, Ashland OR, Bellingham WA, and Vancouver BC, I visited Shasta Abbey, Great Vow Monastery, and dharma friends in Eureka CA and Eugene and Portland OR. I walked in redwood forests and on sandy beaches. 

Meanwhile, last week City Center launched our Fall Practice Period, led by Abbots Ed Sattizahn and David Zimmerman. On returning to work today, I learned of celebrations at Suzuki Roshi’s home temple in Japan, and the loss of Black Mountain Zen Centre’s space in Belfast, Northern Ireland due to a fire. I also received October newsletters from many sanghas and saw that two articles related to Branching Streams I’d written for SFZC’s Sangha News had been posted in my absence.

In order to keep this Newsette to a reasonable length, as well as to take some time to reflect on what I learned on my journey, this week’s Newsette will focus on the Rinsoin ceremonies, the Belfast fire, and will include links to my two Sangha News blogs. I’ll report on my journey in next week’s Newsette.

Rinsoin Ceremonies

Here is a message from Taiga Ito at the Soto Zen Buddhism International Center office in San Francisco: “This year is 550th Anniversary of Rinsoin in Yaezu, Japan, along with the 50th anniversary of Suzuki Roshi’s passing away. They will have celebration events and ceremonies on October 22 and 23. 

Regarding this wonderful occasion, our office is planning to send flowers and a celebration telegram on behalf of sanghas or teachers who wish to celebrate. The cost for the flowers and telegram are $100 each, and you could send either both flowers and a telegram, or only one of them.

Please return your reply to this mail by October 15th; (please do not be late)


Flowers= we will put your name or your Sangha’s name with the flowers, so please send the name you would like to send with the flowers.

Telegram= send your message of up to 25 words and your name. We will translate and send it.

Please made your payment to Soto Zen Buddhism International Center and send the check to our office, 1691 Laguna Street, San Francisco, CA 9411, tel. 415-567-7686.”

On October 3 a fire broke out in the building that housed Black Mountain Zen Centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland. All of the Zen Centre’s cushions, instruments, art work, and other belongings were destroyed. Djinn Gallagher, the abiding priest, started a Go-Fund-Me campaign to raise funds to recreate the Zendo in a new space. For photos and some words from Djinn, see their FaceBook page.

Ryan Wong, the Director of Brooklyn Zen Center, just published his first novel, Which Side Are You On. I interviewed Ryan for SFZC’s Sangha News. Here’s a link to the interview. I highly recommend the novel. 

Here’s the link to my interview with Alan Senauke about his becoming the second Abbot of Berkeley Zen Center and his reflections on his engaged Buddhist path.

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