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Newsette – August 23, 2023

This week I’m including a reminder about the Branching Streams List-Serve, a mourning and a celebration, offerings and news from three sanghas, a fall class from the Shogagu Institute, and a teacher search from a cousin (Katagiri lineage) sangha.

Please consider joining the Branching Streams List-Serve if you would like to more easily share resources, request information from other sanghas, and work together on issues of mutual concern. It was created after the 2022 Branching Streams Conference in Austin, using Google Groups, and is available to readers of these Newsettes. If you’d like to join this separate group email,  please sign up here. You don’t need a Google account or gmail address to join; any email will work. If you have any questions, please contact Jon Voss, our Branching Streams webmaster.

In the last weeks, memorial services were held at Chapel Hill Zen Center, San Francisco Zen Center, and Green Gulch Farm for Curtis Fabens, Daishi Zenkai: Great Resolve, Complete Openness, who passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, August 10. Curtis began practicing at the CHZC in 2006, after visiting Tassajara for several weeks. He returned to Tassajara to begin his monastic training in 2010, where he was ordained as a priest by Zenshin Greg Fain. Curtis received Dharma Transmission at Berkeley Zen Center from Greg on the evening of Friday, June 28, 2023. Curtis is survived by his wife, Caitlin, and their seven-year-old daughter.. Cards and packages may be sent to Caitlin’s home address: 2171 Burton Dr Cambria CA 93428. She has set up a Go Fund Me Page.

Mazel Tov and Great Congratulations to Nomon Tim Burnett and Raizelah Bayen who were married on July 22, 2023, with Hoka Chris Fortin (a teacher at Everyday Zen in the S.F. Bay Area) officiating. Nomon is the guiding teacher of Red Cedar Zen Community in Bellingham WA. He writes: “It’s a great thing to practice relaxing as family and friends gather to celebrate and support our marriage, and to feel the incredible support of sangha. Amazing!”

Beginners Mind Zen Center in Northridge CA, whose founding and guiding teachers are Peter and Jane Schneider, will have a Shukke Tokudo ceremony on Saturday August 26 for Spencer Levy and Chris Burnham.

Brooklyn Zen Center writes, “We’re overjoyed to share that we now have a new Brooklyn Zen Center website. The website goes along with our new logo and brand identity. We got excited about our new look and decided to go a step further—we are very happy to unveil our BZC T-shirt campaign, featuring our new kechimyaku design by Cathleen Tseng!

When I visited Ashland Zen Center last September the first thing that caught my eye as I drove up was their Little Farm Stand. A lavender sachet I brought home with me is still fragrant! I was happy to read in their August Newsletter, “the Sangha Farm Stand is humming along! Numerous people have contributed potted plants, handmade crafts, gardening books, cookbooks, and treasures with a country flair. The Farm Stand, with the help of many hands, is proving to be a great fundraiser and an important outreach to the community.

Shogaku Zen Institute is announcing its Fall 2023 class: – Preaching the Dharma Practicum taught by Steve Kanji and Daishin McCabe, ONLINE for 11 Tuesday evenings, October 24, 2023 to January 9, 2024, 6:00 to 7:30 pm, Pacific Time. The fee is $600. To register, email For more information, email the instructors at or

Several months ago, members of Nebraska Zen Center reached out to speak with me as they were discerning how they might find a priest to lead their sangha. They recently finalized a plan to invite a Resident Teacher for a four to six-month period, rather than looking for a Guiding Teacher immediately. Here is the  NZC | Resident Teacher Blurb and the NZC Resident Teacher Position Description.