“The chilly, wet days of fall have arrived at last, the early is gratefully absorbing the needed rain,” write Kate McCandless and Michael Newton, the guiding teachers of Mountain Rain Zen Community in Vancouver, BC. We’re also appreciating some rainy in the Bay Area after many dry months.
This Newsette includes two mournings, two literary launchings, and a request from Tassajara Zen Mountain Center.
At City Center we rang the densho 108 times for Layla Smith Bockhorst, who died on Thursday, November 3 at home, supported by family and sangha members. Layla was the guiding teacher for Branching Streams groups Open Circle in Helena MT and Mountain Source in Bolinas and Larkspur CA. She and her husband Jim came to SFZC in the early 70’s.
Mid City Zen in New Orleans LA has been grieving the loss of their friend, former board chair, and long-time Mid City Zen sangha member, Billy Southern. They joined with Houston Zen Center, where he was also active, in holding a weekly memorial service for 49 days. The closing ceremony will be on November 17.
Celebrations: David Guy, a long-time student at Chapel Hill Zen Center in NC, is launching his sixth novel, Hank Heals: A Novel of Miracles. It’s about a Zen teacher who supposedly has healing powers. Norman Fischer wrote in a blurb about the book, “In the course of the story we learn a lot of real stuff about Zen practice, zazen, and why people need to do it—and, not incidentally, about healing: physically, psychically, spiritually. You will enjoy and learn from this book.” It will be published by Monkfish on November 22.
Guiding teacher of Mill Valley Zen, Marc Lesser, writes: “I’m so excited to announce the launch of my brand-new podcast, Zen Bones: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times. “Why Zen Bones? Our world is in crisis and ever-shifting, and now more than ever, more wisdom, clarity, and courage are essential, especially in the world of work, business, and leadership.” This weekly 30-minute podcast will alternate between interviews (including Leo Babauta, Peter Coyote, and Jane Hirshfield), and teachings from Marc.
Tassajara is looking for kitchen volunteers with practice experience either at Tassajara or other silent retreat settings to support a retreat for wildland firefighters from January 2 – 11. This retreat will provide firefighters with much needed refuge, rest and renewal, as well as training in mindfulness, meditation, and sensory awareness. Preference will be given to those who can commit for the entire retreat. Please contact Lauren at email@example.com.
Tension is in the air about tomorrow’s elections in the U.S. So much rests on this election. If you are eligible to vote, please vote.