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Newsette 6-18-2024

I returned from Tassajara on Sunday after co-leading Queer Dharma sangha week. A highlight was offering a Pride event in which many staff members and guests participated. Queer Dharma was there at the same time as my long-time dharma friends Kathryn Stark with Sonoma Valley Zen and Meg Levie with Stone Creek Zendo. It was wonderful to spend time with Meg and Kathryn in the valley where we practiced together over twenty years ago.

After my visit to Centro Zen L’Arco in Rome in April, I interviewed founding teacher Dario Girolami about his interfaith work and wrote a blog for SF Zen Center’s Sangha News. Here’s the link if you’d like to read it.

On June 9, Ancient Dragon Zen Gate in Chicago held its first Guiding Teacher Transition Celebration, including two ceremonies and a garden reception. Hōgetsu Laurie Belzer, a founding member of ADZG and dharma heir of Taiyo Lipscomb, was formally installed as the new Guiding Dharma Teacher in an entry ceremony. After almost two decades of leadership, Founding Guiding Teacher, Taigen Dan Leighton, was honored in a stepping down ceremony. Taigen will continue teaching at ADZG as Guiding Teacher Emeritus. “This leadership transition was the fruit of innumerable sincere efforts and a joyous occasion for our sangha.”

Santa Cruz Zen Center celebrated a priest ordination on June 14, when Sara McClellan was ordained by her teacher Neti Parekh. Neti, who trained at Santa Cruz Zen Center and was given dharma transmission by Kokyo Henkel, leads Twining Vines Zen Centre in Canberra,Australia. Sara’s new dharma name is DaFu KoRei, Gentle Breeze, Luminous Spirit.

Ashland (Oregon) Zen Center is hosting its 18th community-wide yard sale June 28 – 30.

“Browse a huge selection of [donated] furniture, toys, books, collectibles, clothes, home decor, kitchenware, sporting goods, linens and housewares. The Little Zen Farm Stand will also be open during the Yard Sale. Shop a wide variety of plants, preserves, fresh produce and more. Proceeds from the Yard Sale and Farm Stand support the ongoing Dharma offering at Ashland Zen Center.”

Crestone Zen Mountain Center (Colorado) is hosting an onsite and online retreat lead by Richard Baker Roshi from July 9 to July 14. The topic is “The Breath is the Teacher. The Body is the Path.” Click here for more information.

Konjin Gaelyn Godwin, and the staff of the International Center of Soto Zen Buddhism, based in San Francisco, is hosting an online presentation on Affordable and Clean Energy on Saturday June 29, from 2-4pm PDT. The speakers are Rev. Honda Shijo from Jodo shinshu Honganjiha, and Rev. Zengyu Paul Discoe, a Soto Zen teacher. “You and everyone in your sangha are invited to attend this free event. Please pre-register and a link will be sent to you. T

As the summer solstice approaches, our planet is once again experiencing its hottest summer. May you stay cool if you are living in an area experiencing extreme heat and may you and your loved ones be safe if you are in an area close to wildfires.