As January unfolds, with the spike in Covid cases due to the omicron variant, more sanghas are returning to or continuing on Zoom and planning outdoor activities.
An example is an in-person winter walk offered by Zen Center North Shore in Beverly, MA. Here is their lovely invitation: “Join us for quiet contemplation and engagement with the natural world as we hike together at Lynn Woods. We’ll refrain from speaking in order to open wide the sense gates to the sights, smells and tangibles of this beautiful, protected space.”
Richmond Zen Center (in Virginia) offers a weekly Saturday morning “Boundless Meditation” at a local park: “Practice zazen together outside. Pines and clouds, eagles and riffles, breezes and crickets will illuminate your true nature. Following a 40 minute period of meditation, we enjoy walking meditation around the lake.” In addition, sangha leader Eden Kevin Heffernan is leading a walking meditation this week with Virginia Interfaith Power and Light. Virginia IPL works to engage faith communities in action on climate and environmental justice. Learn more about their efforts here >>.
In last week’s Newsette I mentioned a SFZC class on eco-activism, Finding Your Path to Eco-Activism, beginning January 11. In addition, Tassajara will be offering a retreat for environmental activists May 15-22. Dojin Sarah Emerson of Stone Creek Zen Center in Sebastopol Ca, one of the retreat leaders, wrote: “There are two spots open in the retreat. This retreat is sponsored by a generous foundation, so people can attend by donation, which we hope makes it accessible to a wider range of activists.” A flyer about the retreat, with contact information, is attached.
Some Online Classes and Book Discussions:
Houston Zen Center is offering Realizing Your Life, a five-week class on the Genjo Koan, from February 7 to March 7 from 6:30 to 8:30 CST. “Genjokoan distills many of Dōgen’s most important teachings into a single profound essay. This class will use Realizing Genjokoan, by a living Zen Master, Shohaku Okumura, as a gate to Master Dōgen’s unique and expansive vision of reality” and will be taught by Koun Matt Brownlie.
Richmond Zen Center’s Eden Kevin Heffernan is offering An Incomplete History of Zen Buddhism. The class begins Monday, January 10, and meets online every two weeks through March from 7 – 8:30 pm EST: “Eden will offer an introduction to histories, texts, and stories of Zen Ancestors and other vital figures important in the development of our tradition.” The primary text will be The Circle of the Way, by Barbara O’Brien.
Kannon Do Zen Meditation Center in Mountain View, CA offers a weekly book discussion of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi’s Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness. on Wednesdays from 7:55 to 9 p.m. PST: Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness Online Book DiscussionKannon Do.
May you stay healthy and find joy in the midst of winter.