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Newsette 10-4-2021

Here are some encouraging words from Taigen Leighton, guiding teacher of Ancient Dragon Zen Gate: “We are feeling the season changing in Chicago. It is cooler as we move into autumn, with all its rich, shifting, trembling colors. Our world continues to shift as well, and multiple situations of distress flourish along with flickerings of helpfulness. We engage all with equanimity, resilience, and dynamic balance as we open to responses to the various challenges. Our practice can make a difference.”

Several sanghas, including Berkeley, Houston, and Chapel Hill Zen Centers participate in Buddhist Global Relief’s Walk to Feed the Hungry every year. Houston Zen Center writes: “This year, once again, the COVID-19 pandemic prevents us from holding our walk. Thus we will instead be gathering via Zoom: Buddhist Action to Feed the Hungry Online Gatherings. Saturday, October 30th. [There was an East Coast event on October 2.] Buddhist groups from the Eastern, Southern, and Midwestern states will join together. for Dharma talks by distinguished Buddhist speakers on the theme of “putting compassion into action” and to learn about Buddhist Global Relief and the work of alleviating global hunger and poverty.” Individuals as well as sanghas are invited to participate.

Branching Streams Zen Centers and two other organizations are offering one-day to five-day retreats as well as several longer programs that may interest you.

One-day to Five-day retreats

Seattle Soto Zen is hosting a one-day online Zazenkai with Zoketsu Norman Fischer on Sunday, October 10, from 8:50 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PDT. The day includes a talk and Q&A with Zoketsu and a Wellbeing and Memorial Service, in addition to zazen. You can Register for this event here.

Valley Streams Zen Sangha in Sacramento, CA is holding an online retreat/one-day sitting with Ben Connelly on November 6. Ben’s topic is Yogacara – Integrating personal and social healing and liberation. This retreat will focus on the Indian Yogacara master Vasubandhu’s Thirty Verses on Consciousness Only. “We will move towards a deeper knowing that in every moment we are participating in the whole of the world in all its beauty and harms, and in every moment we can act for the liberation of all.” Suggested Dana is$40 to$80. Here is the link to register.

Tenshin Reb Anderson, Senior Dharma Teacher of San Francisco Zen Center, and the honorary founder of Houston Zen Center, will lead a 5-day in-person Intensive Retreat at Houston Zen Center’s Margaret Austin Center from Tuesday, November 2 at 7:00 pm to Sunday afternoon on November 7. The theme is “Zen Meditation, Great Compassion” Follow this link for more information or to register. The last day to register is October 19.

Longer programs

Austin Zen Center’s Fall Practice Period will be led by visiting teacher Rev. Kokyo Henkel from October 13 through December 11 focusing on the practices of lay woman ancestor Queen Srimala. In the Srimaladevi Simhanda Sutra, she teaches Buddha-nature as the pure essence of heart/mind which we all share. Read more & Register.

Stanford University is offering the Contemplation by Design Summit from October 25 to November 2., a free series of presentations to further individual, community, and planetary health and well-being. Several sessions focus on the climate crisis. You can learn more and register here.

I will be participating in an opening panel of the International Western Dharma Teachers Gathering, A Virtual Conference, from October 20 to 24. The theme of the Conference, sponsored by Lions Roar and the Hemera Foundation, is Facing Truth: Love, Equity & Justice on the Path of Awakening. Speakers will explore topics important to Dharma Teachers everywhere during our modern times.

As the season, and our world continues to shift and change, may our practice make a difference, as Taigen says.

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Newsette 9-27-2021

Perhaps some of you who have gardens are enjoying the last tomatoes, or the first winter squash. Yesterday I participated in an afternoon of gleaning at Green Gulch Farm, one of about forty volunteers who harvested over 300 pounds of collards, chard, kale, broccoli, and cabbage – good nourishing food left in the fields after the commercial harvest to donate to the wider community through several local organizations.

This Newsette features three offerings on racial justice, news from Just Show Up sangha, and a book recommendation.

Hollaback is launching a new training in Bystander Intervention to support Latinx communities in Public Spaces.  We are offering this free, one-hour, interactive webinar, in honor of Latinx Heritage Month (September 15th – October 15th) and to bring awareness to the increase of harassment toward the Latinx community in recent years. Register here. I have participated in several Hollaback bystander trainings in the past year and highly recommend them.

Houston Zen Center and Dawn Mountain dharma center are presenting Myokei Caine-Barrett Shonin speaking on A Story of a Fully Engaged Dharma Life, on Sunday, October 10th from 3 to 4:30 p.m. CST online.  Her talk is part of their ongoing series of events on Dharma and Social Justice

Registration is open until October 1 for the Soto Zen Buddhist Association’s class Many Communities, One Sangha: Exploring the Reality of Equity and Inclusion, with Rhonda Magee, Mushim Ikeda, and Crystal Johnson. The five week online class meets October 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time. You may find it useful to attend with several members of your sangha.

Just Show Up Zen Sangha in Southern California has started an online fall practice period, Seeing the Habits of Heart Mind Using the Five Precepts which goes through December 11th. Guiding teacher Ava Stanton writes, we will each choose a precept to live and practice with.  We will meet in small groups and as a sangha, speak in Practice Discussions and sit a final retreat together.  More information is available at our website.”

Ruth Ozeki is a priest affiliated with Everyday Zen, a novelist and filmmaker. I have been awaiting her new novel, The Book of Form and Emptiness, released last week. I find the characters in Ruth’s novels jump off the page and permeate my life long after I’ve turned the last page, and look forward to finding out who I will meet this time.

May you and your sanghas be healthy and strong.

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Newsette September 20, 2021

Although in San Francisco we are experiencing our usual belated summer days, the upper leaves of the Japanese maple in the SFZC courtyard are turning red, and we’ll have an Autumn Equinox ceremony on Wednesday. It’s also the time of the September full moon – the Harvest Moon.

These words were posted on the website of Two Streams Zen in western Massachusetts:

“We cannot see or hear autumn, or hold it in our hands. But when the leaves turn red and the ears of rice turn golden, they signal the arrival of autumn. When we hear the crickets chirping at night, or an autumn shower striking the eaves, or pick ripe apples and persimmons, we embrace autumn. Autumn becomes something to savor.
Shundo Aoyama Roshi, from Zen Seeds: Reflections of a Female Priest,
translated by Patricia Daien Bennage, Roshi

Some good news: Our Branching Streams website is now easy to access from the San Francisco Zen Center’s homepage if you scroll down to the bottom under “locations.”It has also been added to this page which features the three SFZC practice centers.

In this Newsette you will find several online practice offerings. In October, Taigen Leighton will offer another seminar on Dogen, Chapel Hill Zen Center will host a class on Dainin Katagiri’s teachings, Houston Zen Center will launch a class on the precepts, and Two Streams Zen will begin a virtual practice period. Also, Jaune Evans shares information about Healing Circles.

Taigen Leighton, guiding teacher of Ancient Dragon Zen Gate in Chicago, is offering a seminar on October 3from 1 to 4:30 CST on Dogen’s teachings about our Environment and its Awakening Capacity, and how Dogen links environmental awareness to devotional practice. For more information or to register, fill out this form:  https://www.ancientdragon.org/event/dogens-link-of-environment-and-devotion-seminar-by-taigen-pre-registration-required-2/

Chapel Hill Zen Center is launching a study group on the talks of Dainin Katagiri Roshi beginning September 21 from 6:45 to 8:00p.m. EDT. Here’s a link for more information.

Houston Zen Center is offering a series of six classes on The Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts, an intermediate class. It starts on  Monday, September 27 at 6:30 p.m. CST. “The practice of Zen allows each of us to sit upright in the middle of our life as it actually is. When we glimpse our true relationship with all beings, this naturally leads to an ethical way of life.” Here’s the link for more information or to register.

Two Streams Zen’s virtual practice period begins tonight. Their guiding teachers, Ryumon H. Baldoquin and Anraku Hondorp write: “In the spirit of living in awakement, in ease and acceptance with all that arises, we look forward to seeing you at this season’s Full Moon to Full Moon Virtual Practice Period, The Essence of Contentment, starting Monday, September 20 through Wednesday, October 20.

Jaune Evans, founding teacher of Heart of Compassion in Pt. Reyes, CA and a teacher at Everyday Zen hosts Healing Circles for those with cancer and autoimmunity each week. She recommends Healing Circles as a resource to all of us and our sangha members.

May you enjoy the light of the full moon and this season of harvesting.

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Newsette September 14, 2021

I’m happy to tell you that the Fall Practice period at Tassajara, led by Ryoshin Paul Haller, began yesterday with about 40 participants, including members of Austin Zen Center, Chapel Hill Zen Center, and Milwaukee Zen Center.

Ten sanghas have signed up for Branching Streams Sangha Weeks at Tassajara for Summer, 2022. Please let me know if your sangha is interested in going. There are still openings.

As folks seem to have settled into their zoom zendo rhythms, be it virtual or hybrid, we are discontinuing the zoom zendo clinics that Jon Voss has been facilitating. If you have issues you want to work out though, he remains available for free, 30 minute consultations, which you can book online here.

This Newsette highlights several ways Branching Streams groups are appreciating nature and tuning in to the climate crisis, as well as a few other offerings that may interest you.

Akazienzendo in Berlin is planting a 100 meter hedge as a sanctuary for birds, insects, and other beings at the country home of two members who host sesshins for the sangha. Guiding teacher Bernd Bender writes, “It is a sangha project that also aims at overcoming individual feelings of hopelessness, given the magnitude of the climate crisis.” If you would like to contribute to the realization of this project, here is a link to their Go Fund Me page.

September’s Full Moon, the harvest moon, is Monday, September 20th. Bozeman Zen Group in Montana is celebrating it in a unique way, gathering at a member’s house. After a half hour of sitting as the moon rises, they will “view the night sky from a high vantage point over the Gallatin Valley, and enjoy the cool evening with moonlight, firelight and the warmth of our sangha’s heart.” 

Richmond Zen in Virginia is offering a Mountains & Waters Field Trip, an overnight primitive camping trip. October 16-17. They write, “The Buddha and his first followers primarily practiced in forests and fields. We’ll head to a generous member’s forested land for zazen in the wild, nature exploration, and community with the more-than-human world. The land is a two-hour drive from Richmond.”

On September 30, All Beings Zen in Washington DC is hosting a talk by Rev. Konin Gaelyn Godwin (Abbot of the Houston Zen Center) and Rev. Taiga Ito (Soto Zen International) focusing on environmental dharma, and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Other events of interest:

Chapel Hill Zen Center announced a concert taking place in Chicago, the world premiere of A Brush With Our Time from composer Andrea Clearfield and librettist Doreen Rao. This piece for four voices, shakuhachi, percussion, and piano is based on the poetry of Zen artist Kazuaki Tanahashi, and explores the tension between peace and conflict.   The concert can be viewed and heard September 19-21.

Chris Fortin, guiding teacher of Dharma Heart Sangha in Sebastopol CA, and Jennifer Block are co-leading an online Jizo practice group, Journeying through Grief and Change with Fearlessness, from October 14 to November 11. “Each session includes Dharma teachings, discussion, small group sharing, and/or creative practices. The final session will be a Jizo Ceremony in which we bear witness to each other’s losses and dedicate our efforts to the healing of grief in our communities and in the world.”

Crystal Johnson, who led last year’s Branching Streams Unpacking Whiteness class will be leading an online White and Awakening Together class at Spirit Rock, on Sundays from October 3 to November 21, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Pacific Time. “This course is designed as a guided, collaborative exploration for people who self-identify as white, or for whom whiteness is a significant part of their identity. Previous experience with whiteness work and/or meditation is not required in order to benefit from this course.”

May you and your sanghas be well as we head towards the harvest moon and autumn equinox next week.

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Newsette September 7, 2021

Yesterday I returned from a week at Tassajara. It was wonderful to see the sangha there growing and preparing for an in-person Fall Practice Period, which begins September 12. While there I heard of Hurricane Ida’s destructive path through Louisiana to New Jersey and New York. The new home of Mid-City Zen in New Orleans survived the storm with little damage, although parts of New Orleans are still without power.

Offerings from Branching Streams groups this Fall are varied and rich. Here are a few.

“Right Relationship, Healing and Nurturing Connection” is the focus of the Fall Practice Period at Mountain Rain Zen Community in Vancouver, BC.  As part of the practice period co-guiding teacher Myoshin Kate McCandless and Shinsen Reamick Lo are facilitating an eight-week study and practice group, Exploring Right Relationship with Indigenous Peoples, “open to anyone of settler/immigrant background, whether recent or generations past, who would like to deepen their understanding of history, culture, spirituality and lived experience of the indigenous peoples of Canada.”

Brooklyn Zen Center is launching a 10-month intensive program, The Bodhisattva Path of Liberation: Racial Suffering and Collective Transformation – “exploring, witnessing, and transforming the individual and collective suffering and harm caused by race and racism, and in particular by the identity of whiteness and the ideology of white supremacy.” This program, which begins in October, is currently limited to practitioners who identify or are identified as white. The schedule, format, cost, and application form are available here.

Roshi Cuca Kosen Montecel, the founder and guiding teacher of Living Water Zen in San Antonio, will lead a three-day online sesshin at San Antonio Zen Center September 19-21 on the theme Practicing with Uncertainty. Roshi Montecel is a teacher in the White Plum lineage. For further information or to register, email info@sanantoniozen.org.

 

Ancient Dragon Zen Gate’s guiding teacher Taigen Dan Leighton willexplore Dogen’s teachings about our Environment and its Awakening Capacity, and how Dogen links environment to devotional practice in an online seminar on Sunday October 3rd, from 1-4:30 pm Central Time. For a fuller description or to register, click here; for more information, contact info@ancientdragon.org.

Here’s some good news from Austin Zen Center Choro Antonaccio, AZC’s Tanto (head of practice), will soon be entering a three-week period of ceremonies leading to Dharma Transmission with her teacher Konjin Gaelyn Godwin Roshi, in Houston at Auspicious Cloud Temple. Former Austin Zen Center Director Tim Kroll is now at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center where he will be Shuso (Head Student) for the Fall Practice Period. In a few days he will be priest-ordained by Paul Haller, who will lead the Tassajara Fall Practice Period. Austin Zen Center senior student, Pat Yingst, will also be heading to Tassajara for the practice period.

Today is the first day of the Jewish New Year – ushering in ten days that focus on being in right relationship with oneself, with others, one’s community, and the wide world. A practice I enjoy at this time is dipping slices of apples in honey and saying, “I wish you a sweet and fruitful year.” That is my wish for you.

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Newsette August 23, 2021

I hope you are in good health and finding practice nourishing in these still uncertain times.

Next Monday I will be leaving for a week at Tassajara to participate in work practice. There will be no Newsette next week.

Jon Voss will offer a Zoom Clinic this Wednesday, August 25 from 9 to 11 PDT. Here is the Zoom link or Meeting ID: 222 402 816, Passcode: 057143.

This Newsette includes news from Zen Centers in Columbia, South America; Chapel Hill and Austin; and a job announcement from San Francisco Zen Center.

Montaña de Silencia in Medellin, Columbia “is launching the first (to our knowledge) queer sangha in Spanish for Latin America. The group will officially introduce itself next Sunday at 10:00am through the Facebook page of Montaña de Silencio. It will meet online once a month.” They are looking for a LGBTQIA Spanish-speaking Zen practitioner who could lead one of the sittings every 4 months or so.”

Chapel Hill Zen Center is offering a workshop, Keizan’s Zazen, by Zoom on Saturday, September 25, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EDT. Koun Franz will speak on Keizan Jokin’s Zazen Yojinki or Notes on What to be Aware of in Zazen. The day will begin and and with zazen. To sign up or for questions, please contact Josho at info@ chzc.org.

I am intrigued by an online Conversation Cafe practice offered by Austin Zen Center last weekend. It’s described as “a simple and open community-based conversation-practice format for sangha members interested in having dialog with and hearing what really matters from other sangha members.” There are enough details on their webpage to replicate the process, which I’m planning to do at one of SFZC’s monthly Queer Dharma meeetings.

San Francisco Zen Center has an openin for the SFZC Reservations Manger. The ideal candidate for this position would have some experience with the three temples, especially Tassajara. If you know someone who is interested, have them mail their resume and cover letter tp job applications@sfzc.org. The start date is as soon as possible.

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Newsette 8-16-2021

This Newsette contains news from two Texas sanghas, a creative response to encourage Covid vaccinations, a request from a sangha in search of a sewing teacher, a sangha member’s interesting website, and a link to register for the Soto Zen Buddhist Association’s Fall course.

Jon Voss will be offering his Zoom clinic again next week, Wednesday, August 25 at 11a.m. PDT. Here is the Zoom link or Meeting ID: 222 402 816, Passcode: 057143.

Abbot Gaelyn Godwin of Houston Zen Center reports that members are preparing for another Sangha Day at their new retreat center, Margaret Austin Center/Auspicious Cloud West. “A convoy of members will spend the day at the 40 acres, cleaning, painting, and gardening. We are looking forward to it with enthusiasm and joy.” In order to open the retreat center HZC needs funds to purchase a new commercial refrigerator, replace decking around a building, and care for trees on the property. Here’s the link to read more about it or donate.

Choro Antonaccio, Tanto at Austin Zen Center, shared that “Kokyo Henkel and Shoho Kuebast are going to be in residence with us for four months starting this weekend. Kokyo will offer a Genzo-e August 27-31. At this time, we don’t know if we can be in person. He will also visit Houston Zen Center in Sept. for a 3-day retreat at their new retreat center, and lead Rohatsu here in December.”

The Global Vaccine Poem is a global community poem inviting all to share their voices to promote Covid-19 vaccination through the imaginative language of poetry. It is easy to add a verse, inspired by Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem “Dear Vaccine,” by following this link. Naomi, a poet who lives in San Antonio, Texas, has accepted our invitation to speak at the April, 2022 Branching Streams Conference, which will be held near Austin.

Kannon Do in Mountain View, CA: is looking for a new sewing teacher. Their current sewing teacher, Valorie Beer, will bow out at the end of the year. If you know of a sewing teacher who might be interested in stepping into the role, please have them contact Abbot Keido Les Kaye, medatwork@sbcglobal.net.

Vanessa Able, a priest at Kannon Do, launched a website in 2018 called The Dewdrop. It began as a weekly newsletter in which Vanessa posted Zen texts or interesting reads connected with practice and has grown to include interviews with Zen teachers, poetry, and “book bits.” You may want to check it out!

Registration is now open to everyone for the Soto Zen Buddhist Association’s fall online course Many Communities, One Sangha: Exploring the Reality of Equity & Inclusion with Rhonda Magee, Mushim Ikeda, and Crystal Johnson – a 5-session course that will take place on Saturdays in October from 1 to 3:30 p.m. PT. For more information, visit szba.org/courses. Here is a link to  a flyer. Please help spread the word!

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Branching Streams Newsette 8-9-2021

I am sending this Newsette on August 9, the 76th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki. I first went to Japan in 1986, when visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and spoke with Hibakushas (atomic bomb survivors) in Nagasaki. As a way of remembering these days I’d like to share a piece of music called “August 6” composed by a friend, Shinji Eshima.

The headlines today include reports of the largest wildfire in the history of California, wildfires in Greece and Turkey, with extremely hot temperatures. There is a surge of new Covid cases across the United States as well as in other countries. In Austin, TX, there is a shortage of intensive care beds, while the Governor prohibits cities in his state from requiring indoor masking and encouraging people to get vaccinated.

At this time, some sanghas are opening their doors again, some are meeting in person outdoors, and others are continuing a combination of in-person and virtual offerings. Protocols for meeting inside change from no masks to masks, as CDC and local guidelines keep changing.

Myoshin Kate McCandless and Shinmon Michael Newton, guiding teachers at Mountain Rain Zen Community in Vancouver BC write, “As we go forward into the fall, the time when we usually strengthen and intensify our practice, many are noticing the cumulative fatigue and emotional toll the pandemic has taken…As we transition to whatever the next phase of this second pandemic year brings, let’s recognize that we will need to renew our energy, rehabilitate relationships, and recommit to our practice. The home page of their website includes a slide show of photos from members’ gardens this summer – very inspiring!

This Newsette includes some good news from Houston Zen Center, several study opportunities coming in September and October, and a link to my interview with Zenju Earthlyn Manuel on her life-long love of poetry.

Jon Voss’s Zoom clinic resumes this week, on Wednesday August 11 from 11 to noon PDT. Here is the Zoom link or Meeting ID: 222 402 816, Passcode: 057143.

Houston Zen Center recently received the gift of the Margaret Austin Center, which provides a retreat center and 40 acres of land. Their announcement states, “The gift from the Margaret Austin Center board to HZC is … the fruit of a decades-long relationship among the members of Margaret Austin Center and Houston Zen Community, based in mutual respect, confidence, and trust.” . Congratulations to Abbot Gaelyn Godwin, board chair Royce Johnson, and all those who contributed to the unfolding of this gift.

Fall classes:

For meditators who want to enter Zen deeply, to investigate the mind of daily life, Houston Zen Center offers Entering the Path of Practice, an 8-week  advanced program of guided exploration, study and training.  The program begins on September 5.

The Soto Zen Buddhist Association is announcing its Fall course, Many Communities, One Sangha: Exploring the Reality of Equity & Inclusion with Rhonda Magee, Mushim Ikeda and Crystal Johnson. This 5-session online course will take place on Saturdays in October from 1-3:30 pm Pacific Time). Registration for the general public opens on August 13th. I will include registration information in next week’s Newsette.

The Shogaku Institute is offering Honoring Asian American Buddhists an 8-week online class from October 6 to December 10, Wednesdays, 6-8 pm PST, 7-9 pm MST, 8-10 pm CST, 9-11 pm EST. Here’s is a link to a flyer with more information about the course and how to register. The course begins with the history of Asian Buddhist immigration to America and ends with examining ways that we might identify and work to bridge some of the issues that often have kept ethnic and convert Buddhists apart.

Many sanghas have invited Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, founder of Still Breathing Zen to give talks during the last year – and many of us may not know about her life as a poet. Here’s the link to an interview I did with her about the importance of poetry in her life.

In the midst of many reminders of the fragility and preciousness of life on our planet, may our practice continue with persistence, creativity, vigor, and joy.

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Newsette 7-27-2021

This Newsette includes an update on the 2022 Tassajara Branching Streams Sangha weeks, a reminder about Jon Voss’s next Zoom Clinic, a link to an article I wrote about the Zen Buddhist Sewing Teachers’ first practice period, and an invitation to a dharma talk by Rhonda Magee.

Branching Streams Tassajara Sangha Weeks will be available throughout the summer guest season in 2022, from April 29 through September 11. Groups of up to ten participants plus a teacher can attend for 3, 4, or 7 nights. The fee for Sangha Week is $80 per night per person. If more than 10 members of a group wish to attend, they will need to book guest housing, which is more costly. Teacher housing for one teacher is complementary. 2022 Sangha weeks:

  • start on Friday and end of Monday (3-nights/Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
  • start on Monday and end on Friday (4-nights/Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday).
  • seven-night stays will be a combination of a 3 and a 4 night stay.

Please begin speaking with your sangha if you would like to reserve a space, and give me your first, second, and third choice of dates. Sanghas who were planning to attend in 2020 and were unable to due to Tassajara’s closure will be given priority in choice of dates. There should be enough openings for all the groups who would like to attend to do so. If you have any questions, please email me: branchingstreams@sfzc.org.

Jon Voss will be on vacation the last two weeks of July. His next Wednesday Zoom Clinic will be August 11.

If you’d like to learn more about the Zen Buddhist Sewing Teacher’s 6-month practice period, here is the link to an article I wrote for last week’s SFZC Sangha News. Sewing teachers from Branching Streams sanghas in the U.S., Europe, and Canada are participating.

One of my favorite teachers in the area of racial justice, Rhonda Magee, will be speaking online tomorrow, July 28 at 5:30 p.m. MDT/4:30 PDT, 7:30 EDT at Upaya Zen Center: The topic of her talk is Beginning Again: The Four Establishments of Mindfulness as Antidote to Identity-Based Suffering. Called by some the mother of the movement to integrate mindfulness and racial justice efforts, Rhonda is Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco, and has spent more than twenty years exploring the intersections of antiracist education, social justice, and contemplative practices. Here is the link: Live Dharma Talk .

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Newsette 7-20-2021

I have some good news for you this week about Branching Streams programs we’re planning for 2022.

We are planning an in-person Branching Streams Conference April 25-28, 2022 hosted by Austin Zen Center. The venue will be Ancient Yoga Center, a retreat center close to Austin. Please Save the Dates. More details will be forthcoming.

Branching Streams Tassajara Sangha Weeks will be available throughout the summer guest season in 2022, from April 29 through September 11. Groups of up to ten participants plus a teacher can attend for 3 or 4 nights. The fee for Sangha Week is $80 per night per person. Teacher housing is complementary. 2022 Sangha weeks:

  • start on Friday and end of Monday (3-nights/Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
  • start on Monday and end on Friday (4-nights/Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday).

Please begin speaking with your sangha if you would like to reserve a space, and give me your first, second, and third choice of dates. Sanghas who were planning to attend in 2021 and were unable to due to Tassajara’s closure will be given priority in choice of dates. There should be enough openings for all the groups who would like to attend to do so. If you have any questions, please email me.

Last Saturday’s informative Hybrid Zoom Zendo workshop, hosted by Jon Voss, featured presentations from Mid-City Zen in New Orleans; Milwaukee Zen Center; Centro Zen Soto in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Berkeley Zen Center; and Bodhi Oak Zen Center in Oakhurst, CA. By popular demand, the workshop was recorded for those who could not attend in person. Here is the link to a blog post with the video and presentations!

Jon will be on vacation the last two weeks of July. His next Wednesday Zoom Clinic will be August 11.

I’m attaching a gift from Kannon Do in Mountain View, CA and their guiding teacher, Les Kaye – an expanded version of the precepts, including both the traditional “prohibitory” style and a more positive rendering, suitable for the modern, western world. The second page provides background on how it was developed.