I flew to New York last week to visit a friend who is in hospice care in Brooklyn. While there, I was fortunate to be able to participate in Brooklyn Zen Center’s Saturday program, including a talk by Dojin Sarah Emerson. Sarah shared her responses to the many recent gun deaths in California and several other states. She articulated the grief many of us are feeling, and suggested ways we can acknowledge the pain, find resilience, and reach out to others.
The Brooklyn Zen Center felt like a place of refuge for me that morning, and likely was for the many sangha members who attended. I want to thank Sarah and co-guiding teacher Charlie Pokorny, and Director Ryan Wong for meeting with me while I was in Brooklyn and introducing me to their neighborhoods.
Some things to celebrate:
Welcome to a new Branching Streams affiliate, Forest City Zen Group in London, Ontario, Canada. Here’s the link to their website. Their teacher, Kuden Paul Boyle, recently received dharma transmission from Josho Pat Phelan, the guiding teacher of Chapel Hill (NC) Zen Center.
Sonoma Valley Zen recently had a lay entrustment ceremony for Silver John Hall, Ginzan Shoho (Silver Mountain/Shining Practice). Silver, who received entrustment from his teacher Shosan Victoria Austin, has been assisting Kathryn Stark, the guiding teacher of SNZ, in leading the sangha.
Bernd Bender, guiding teacher of Akazienzendo in Berlin, wrote, “After seven years of practicing in Akazien Street in Berlin, we said goodbye to that space with a closing ceremony on January 26th. We opened our new zendo on Tempelhhofer Ufer on January 29th with a small ceremony followed by tea and champagne.”
Brattleboro Zen Center has moved to a dedicated space which allows them to expand their offerings. Guiding teacher Hakusho Ostlund notes: “Having crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s on our new lease and the required insurance, we are overjoyed to share that we have just moved into the Centre Congregational Church… Papers were signed Friday morning and the move completed the same afternoon, so that we were able to hold yesterday’s half-day sitting in the new zendo, getting more intimate with the space through sitting in it.”
On another note, the Branching Streams Website has been updated to receive your annual contribution for 2023. Your contribution can be made at any time during this calendar year. You can contribute electronically on the Branching Streams website, or with a check to San Francisco Zen Center with your sangha’s name on the memo line. Please send your check to 300 Page Street, San Francisco CA 94102, attention Tova Green. The suggested contribution is $100 for sanghas with fewer than 25 members and $250 for those with 25 or more members.