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Newsette 1-9-2024

We continue to include Hozan Alan Senauke in our well-being ceremonies, as do many Branching Streams sanghas. For updates from Hozan’s family, or to leave messages of support, you can visit his Caring Bridge page at:

This Newsette includes an event that occurred on New Year’s Day in Washington, DC, two book recommendations, a request from a Branching Streams teacher, and news of three wider community offerings that may be of interest.

On New Year’s Day a two hundred sixty-six-year-old temple bell was installed at the National Arboretum in Washington DC. The installation ceremony included the chanting of the Enmei Jukku Kannon Gyo by eight members of All Beings Zen Sangha and guiding teacher Inryu Ponce-Barger shared some words. A local TV station televised the event. Here is the link. An inscription on the bell began with these words: “One strike permeates all things.”

Recent books about beloved teachers:

Seeing One Thing Through: The Zen Life And Teachings Of Sojun Mel Weitsman, with an introduction by Hozan Alan Senauke and a forward by Norman Fischer.

Seeing One Thing Through begins with a series of autobiographical memories and reflections going back to Sojun’s boyhood in Southern California, his coming of age as an artist and a seeker in the vibrant San Francisco of the 1950s, and his first meeting with Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. The larger portion of the book is a collection of Sojun’s edited talks, his articulation of “ordinary mind,” and his strong belief that Zen as a way of life is available to all. 

Remembering Myogen Steve Stucky by Renshin Bunce

Renshin, the guiding teacher of Beginner’s Mind Zen in Eureka, CA, writes: “In the years since the death of my teacher, I’ve noticed that I repeatedly tell the same handful of stories about him. Also, when I’m around San Francisco Zen Center, students approach me to tell me their stories, to tell me how touched they were by him… Now, in the hope of sharing some part of him with Zen students in the future, I offer this book. The first part is my memories, the second is a collection of stories from friends and family, the third is a collection of his teachings in the three months between his diagnosis and death, and the fourth is his obituary. May it serve to benefit the awakening of all beings.”

Advice requested by a leader of a Branching Streams sangha. He would like to accept donations from sangha members and would like to open a bank account in his Sangha’s name, without becoming a 501(c)3. If you have experience in receiving donations in this way, please let me know and I will connect you and the sangha leader via email.

Community offerings that may interest you:

Dr. Paula Arai will be offering a program, Bowing to Lotuses Blooming in the Mud, Gratitude as an Agent for Change on Sunday January 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The program will be in person at the Institute for Buddhist Studies in Berkeley CA and online. Registration is still open, and a flyer is attached. This program launches the Soto Zen Buddhist Association’s monthly, year-long series Celebrating the Voices of Women in Buddhism; Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, planned by the SZBA DEIA committee.

Before the ‘May We Gather’ pilgrimage in March (in Antioch, CA), May We Gather has partnered with the Asian Pacific American Religions Research Initiative, Tricycle Magazine, and an amazing group of panelists to have an online three-part series beginning Wednesday 1/24.

The series is entitled Resilience, Recovery, Repair.

Rev. Lien Shutt is offering a twelve-week online course, The Dharma of Being Antiracist, starting February 6.   The teaching team includes Crystal Johnson, who led the Branching Streams-sponsored Unpacking Whiteness series in 2020. The course will follow the outline of Lien’s new book, Home Is Here: Practicing Antiracism With The Engaged Eightfold Path, where she teaches the practices of the Eightfold Path as a means for healing from the trauma of race and racism. The course is open to all and will alternate between teaching sessions and small affinity group sessions, with readings and exercises in between. You can click here for more information, teacher bios, and to apply. 

May the words on the bell ring true for all of us: One strike/one sound/one breath permeates all things.