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Newsette – January 12, 2022

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.

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Newsette – January 4, 2022

In reading your newsletters I have seen that many of you welcomed the New Year on December 31st with outdoor fire ceremonies, zazen by Zoom, and/or ringing a bell 108 times. At City Center we greeted January 1st with a service in the Buddha Hall and a jundo to all the altars, offering light, fragrance and bows, ending on the roof where we chanted the refuges in Pali and toasted the New Year.

May this year bring us closer together as we continue to face the climate crisis, the Covid pandemic, racial injustice and economic inequality, and so many other huge issues.

As we head into 2022 with the uncertainties we are facing, we are still planning to hold an in-person Branching Streams Conference sponsored by Austin Zen Center from April 25 to 28 at Ancient Yoga Center, half an hour from Austin. The theme is Healing Relationships (with ourselves, one another, in our sanghas, and with our planet). The program includes a morning with poet Naomi Shihab Nye and a day-long workshop with Stephanie Kaza on The Work that Reconnects. Please save the dates!

The schedule for this summer’s Tassajara Branching Streams Sangha Weeks is nearly full. There is one 3-night stay in June (June 3-5) that just opened up, and several 3 and 4-night openings: August 8-11, 12-14, 15-18, and September 9-11. Please let me know in the next two weeks if your sangha would like one of those spaces. Anna Malo, from Tassajara Reservations, will be sending a letter to the sanghas that have signed up. She and the Tassajara Reservations team will handle all Sangha Week questions from that point on.

In this Newsette I will focus only on two programs in response to the climate crisis. More news about classes, dharma talks, and other sangha offerings will appear in next week’s Newsette.

Brattleboro Zen Center (in Vermont) is planning weekly in-person meditations outdoors, as a way to engage as a sangha around the climate emergency. Founding teacher Hakusho Ostlund writes, “While meditation isn’t the solution to all the world’s problems and sitting for a specific cause should never be an excuse to abstain from more overt ways of social engagement, I believe there is great power in ritual action.”

San Francisco Zen center is offering a six-week class, beginning January 11,  Finding Your Path to Eco-Activism. “This class series is designed to educate, inspire, empower, and activate deeper and more effective Earth activism among its participants.” Each class will include presentations by Tim Ream, a longtime Zen student and eco-activist, and a guest presenter. “Love for the Earth is a prerequisite. No activist experience required.” As this new year begins, may you stay healthy, warm, and nourished by Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha

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Newsette 12-14-2021

The nights are still growing longer and the days shorter as we move toward the Winter Solstice. Many sanghas are planning gatherings to celebrate the return of the light and to welcome the new year. And poetry is in the air – several sanghas are offering poetry events, including readings, a haiku walk, and Zen Poetry classes.

Sanghas held Rohatsu sesshins at different times this year. On Sunday December 12, Brooklyn Zen Center finished their first in-person, in Brooklyn, Rohatsu retreat in two years with 50 people attending. Laura O’Laughlin, their co-guiding teacher writes: “It was powerful, joyful and poignant to be together again for Rohatsu. If all goes well, we will rent a large parish house space on Saturdays at Christ Church in Cobble Hill starting in January (if the variant doesn’t stop us again).  Father Mark, the pastor there, kindly let us use the space for our five-day sesshin. We included a long work period each day organizing and cleaning the parish house, which was needed care.  We were building the temple while sitting in the temple!”

December offerings

Zen Center North Shore (MA) is offering two poetry nights. Sangha members will be sharing their own or others’ poetry on December 16th and Norman Fischer will be reading his poetry on December 23rd from 7:15 to 8:30 EST. “When we invited Everyday Zen founder and spiritual director Norman Fischer to Zoom over to us, he told us that the last books he’s written are all poems. We asked him if he would share them with us and are so happy that he agreed. You can read more about Norman Fischer here in a piece written by one of his students. Here is the link to his reading:  ZenZoom Poetry with Norman Fischer 

In Chicago, Gyoshin Laurel Ross, a priest at Ancient Dragon Zen Gate will be offering a Haiku nature walk on December 16th.from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. CST. “We will walk in relative silence enjoying whatever Mother Nature has to offer that morning—possibly rain of course. We will carry note pads or sketch pads or cameras and not write poetry as we walk but make notes or sketches of our experiences.  Participants will be invited to write haiku afterwards and share them with the rest of us if they wish.”

Many sanghas, including Zen Center North Shore and Mountain Rain Zen Community in Vancouver, B.C. are offering winter solstice celebrations. ZCNS will have an outdoor bonfire, hot cocoa, and a full moon ceremony. Mountain Rain sangha members are invited to bring poetry, visual art, or songs to share about the turning of the season, darkness and light

Ancient Dragon Zen Gate has invited one of their regular visiting teachers, Zenshin Florence Caplow, to give their year-end Sunday talk December 26th, as well as their inaugural 2022 Monday evening talk January 3rd. Florence is a Teacher in our Suzuki Roshi Zen lineage, as well as a Unitarian Universalist minister. She is a long-time environmental activist and the co-editor of The Hidden Lamp: Stories from Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women. Please see our website schedule for information on all our events.”

If you are looking for a way to be with others virtually on New Year’s Eve, you may want to join Mountain Rain’s inter-sangha gathering on Friday, December 31, from 8 a.m. to midnight: Sitting and Chanting for Peace. “Please join Mountain Rain and friends from other sanghas in a New Year’s Eve retreat to cultivate peace in our hearts, our families, our communities, and in our world. Each hour will consist of 40 minutes sitting meditation, ten minutes walking meditation and 10 minutes chanting. Usually we close by ringing the temple bell 108 times to dispel our many delusions.

On New Year’s Day in Milwaukee, the local Buddhist Peace Fellowship chapter offers a New Year’s Peace Gathering, Cultivating Joy in Uncertain Times at 10 a.m. CST. It will be both in-person and on Zoom (zoom link available at info@mkzen.org). The morning consists of silent meditation, recitation, readings on Cultivating Joy, discussion, and a sock drive.

Offerings in 2022

For poetry lovers, Houston Zen Center is offering a six-week class in Zen Poetry, taught by Muso Constance Braden. It will be offered both in person and online on Tuesday nights from 6:30 to 8:30 CST beginning January 4, 2022.

Milwaukee Zen Center is also offering a six-week Zen Poetry class beginning January 17, 2021. “In this six-weeks class, we will become acquainted with ancient and contemporary Zen poets and also find a new approach to Dogen Zenji’s work.”I think this class will be in-person only. For more information, email info@mkzen.org.

Please let me know if your center or sangha is offering New Years Eve or Day events. I will include them in next week’s Newsette.

Please cherish yourselves!

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Newsette 12-7-2021

I am back in touch after the weeks of Thanksgiving and Rohatsu Sesshin. City Center’s sesshin was in-person (truly wonderful!), with about 30 participants in the zendo and Buddha Hall. On December 3rd we held a special memorial service on the 50th anniversary of his death. The next day we celebrated Buddha’s enlightenment joyfully in the morning and had a Shuso ceremony for Roger Hillyard, who was a warm and energetic Shuso for the Fall practice period. Yesterday I attended Green Gulch Farm’s Shuso ceremony. Michael Gelfond from Presidio Hill Zen Group in San Francisco was Shuso. And Tassajara’s Shuso ceremony will be on December 10, with Tim Kroll, who practiced at Austin Zen Center for many years, as Shuso. All three centers have had in-person Fall practice periods.

Sanghas from coast to coast in the U.S. and Canada – including Brooklyn Zen Center in New York, Austin Zen Center and San Antonio Zen Center in Texas, Red Cedar Zen Community in Bellingham WA, and Mountain Rain Zen Community in Vancouver, B.C. – are still sitting Rohatsu sesshin. Ian Case writes in the Brooklyn Zen Center newsletter, “This week we celebrate and commemorate the Buddha’s enlightenment and his awakening to the fundamental truth of our interconnectedness with all things. May we awaken together and realize spiritual friendship for the benefit of all beings.”

This is also, for many Zen Centers and sanghas, a time for year-end fundraising. Please consider giving generously to your own sangha or to others, as we come to the end of a year that has been financially challenging for many individuals, families and sanghas.

News from sanghas in England and Germany:

Recently Totnes sangha in Devon, England has been engaging deeply with the local parish church of Saint Mary’s in its “Unity in Diversity” programme, where different faiths have come together around the Climate Conference COP26 and the Covid pandemic. The church was built in the 13th Century; people have been worshipping here for well over 800 years!

A few months ago, we heard from Akazienzendo in Berlin about their plans to plant a long hedge in Obersdorf, in the country, where they host sesshins. Charlotte, Gisela, Bernd, and Zaher wrote: “A big truck from a local nursery delivered the plants on Friday morning, and for a day our yard was full of rock pears, rowan, willow saplings, white hawthorn, elder, cornelian cherries and roses. We labeled each one, and now the new hedge has taken its place on our land. Soon, we have no doubt, it will unfold all its qualities as a refuge and food source for birds, insects, and all sorts of creatures. We are still completely filled with the energy and also the friendliness and harmony of planting together with 20 members of the sangha – which was possible thanks to your financial support.”

“After the last climate demonstration in Berlin, shortly before the German elections, Greta Thunberg was asked in an interview what success meant to her. She answered: If we can say we have done everything we can to save this earth, that is success to her. Please let’s not stop trying to do everything we can to help this wonderful planet in its great diversity; each and everyone in his/her private sphere, and especially to continue to work together and network. Thank you very much!”

Last week my interview with Hakusho Ostlund about establishing Brattleboro Zen Center in Vermont during the pandemic was published in San Francisco Zen Center’s Sangha News.

Looking ahead, if you’d like to bring in the New Year by sitting with others, Brooklyn Zen Center will be hosting an online sit and celebration. “Please join us for this intimate celebration of community and collective practice, in what is the longest running BZC celebration – we have been doing it since 2005! Registration for this offering closes December 30. More information and registration is available here.”

May you feel nourished by our shared practice at this time of year, which is for many a time of both grieving and celebration.

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Starting and Growing a Sangha During the Pandemic

Hakusho Ostlund
Hakusho Ostlund

In the spring of 2020, San Francisco Zen Center resident and priest Hakusho Ostlund and his wife Marie Py decided to step out into the wider world. Hakusho had held several positions at SFZC during his 14 years of residency, including tanto (head of practice) at Tassajara and had begun taking online classes at the Institute for Buddhist Studies in Berkeley.

When Marie was hired for a job in Brattleboro, VT, she and Hakusho left Tassajara and moved there. After years of community living, Hakusho found it challenging to live in a town where he didn’t know anyone and with only one person. He wanted to practice with a local Zen group as a way of settling into the community. There had been a Zen group in Brattleboro prior to the pandemic but it was no longer meeting.

At first, he thought he would wait and start a Zen group post-pandemic. In an email exchange Zoketsu Norman Fischer said, “Maybe you should start your local Zen center now, not wait until Covid is over.” So Hakusho decided to take the first step.

He began by creating the Brattleboro Zen Center website, making flyers and posting them at the Brattleboro food co-op, bookstore, and library, and creating a mailing list. Within a few days people contacted him. A woman he met at the Food Co-op, who practiced insight meditation, knew others and helped spread the word. Hakusho started online, offering zazen five mornings a week. He added a weekly dharma event with discussion, some talks, and a half-day sitting one Saturday a month. “It’s been encouraging to offer what nourishes me in my practice, and find that people respond.” Currently the group is renting a space that will allow them to meet in person at the beginning of 2022.

Hakusho appreciates Zen forms and ceremonies and refers to himself as “a high church guy.” He is wondering how to transmit the forms in a way that is appropriate for his new sangha. He asks himself, when they meet in person would it be best to start more formally or to begin simply and add? As it will be tricky in the new space to face the wall for zazen, he wonders whether the practitioners should be required to do so.

Starting on Zoom meant that expenses were minimal, especially as he had no rent and had a free forty-minute Zoom license. However, more is involved in getting established in a physical space: teaching the forms; purchasing altar supplies, a statue, and instruments; beginning to fundraise to cover other expenses (and hopefully a modest stipend for himself at some point). Hakusho is also setting up a board and working on by-laws and a mission statement. To balance the additional time these activities take, Hakusho notes, “It’s so much fun and energizes my practice.”

Five years earlier, during his Branching Streams Fellowship at Ancient Dragon Zen Gate in Chicago, Hakusho learned about what it takes for a smaller sangha to thrive. He made connections with Taigen Leighton, the guiding teacher, and with Eishun Nancy Easton, a senior student who had been on the ADZG board for many years. Eishun has advised Hakusho on how to establish his board. He has also begun networking with other Branching Streams Zen teachers and with Zen teachers from other lineages in New Hampshire and Vermont.

Hakusho with members of Brattleboro Zen Center
Hakusho with members of Brattleboro Zen Center

Hakusho envisions the sangha he is establishing as a force for good in the world. Several sangha members, concerned about the climate crisis, meet weekly to explore options for addressing this urgent issue. They began by gathering signatures on postcards as part of a Just Transition climate action sponsored by 350 VT, calling on the Vermont Climate Council and legislators to bring about a transition from fossil fuels to a just and climate-resilient Vermont. “It is the first step in an exploration of how we as a Sangha may bring the ethics, concentration, and wisdom of our tradition into concrete beneficial action in the world.”

There are two aspects of Zen practice that Hakusho finds particularly meaningful. “One is ritual, how we pay homage to the Zen ancestors and engage in a practice of gratitude and humility through forms and ceremonies. The other is sangha, the recognition that awakening takes place in relationship. While the former grounds our practice in tradition, the latter asks us to be flexible and kind as we adapt to one another and the world we live in. My aspiration is to establish the Brattleboro Zen Center at the intersection of tradition and community.”

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Newsette 11-18-2021

Yesterday I hosted a second online gathering of European Branching Streams leaders, with participants from England, Northern Ireland, Sweden, Finland, France, Italy, and Germany. The conversation focused on how European sanghas are meeting the complexities and uncertainties of the Covid pandemic, and in particular the tensions around reopening and vaccinations. The group will meet again in February, 2022.

In the light of the recent climate summit in Glasgow, several sanghas are focusing on the climate crisis.

Brattleboro Zen Center (Vermont) members are engaging in their first climate change action with a table outside the Brattleboro Co-op. They are sharing information and asking people to sign postcards calling on the Vermont Climate Council and legislators to bring about transition from fossil fuels to a just and climate-resilient Vermont, working with 350 VT. Founding teacher Hakusho Ostlund writes: “This is the first step in an exploration of how we as a Sangha may bring the ethics, concentration, and wisdom of our tradition into concrete beneficial action in the world.”

Ava Stanton, guiding teacher of Just Show Up Zen Sangha in Santa Monica CA, invites other Branching Streams leaders to sign a letter drafted by Green Faith, a global faith community organization working for climate justice: https://fossilfueltreaty.org/faith-letter

Good news from Brooklyn Zen Center (New York): “We are very pleased to announce that starting in January 2022, we will have an ongoing place to practice in person together in Brooklyn. We will be renting the Parish house at Christ Church in Cobble Hill every Saturday from 8am to 6pm. We are excited to be partnering with Father Mark and his community who share our commitment to justice and love. This auspicious turn of events affords us the opportunity to be together for our Rohatsu retreat this year.

More good news from Chicago’s Ancient Dragon Zen Gate: Guiding Dharma Teacher Taigen Leighton writes, “Due to Covid, at the end of last year our Ancient Dragon Zen Gate sangha sadly had to abandon our Irving Park Road temple after twelve years. We have sustained a robust program on Zoom, with a great many fine participants joining our sangha from more than a dozen states and several countries overseas. Many of our former regular participants have yearned for opportunities to again practice together in person. I am delighted to announce that starting Sunday November 21st, our Sunday morning and Monday evening events will be in-person at Ebenezer Lutheran Church in Northside Chicago at 1650 W Foster Avenue.” Their events will be available on Zoom as well.

Red Cedar Zen Community in Bellingham, Washington shared a haiku by Jack Kerouac in their recent newsletter with an invitation to sangha members to submit haiku poems on the theme of “Awakening.” Some of the poems will be included in their next newsletter, which will be published during Rohatsu week. Here is Kerouac’s haiku:

The taste/of rain/why kneel? – Jack Kerouac –

As we head into the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving, I’d like to share Taigen Leighton’s words, from his Ancient Dragon Zen Gate newsletter: Thanksgiving “derives from the pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock, which I visited as a child. But that event is a tragedy heralding a holocaust for Native Americans, starting with those same pilgrims who repaid the generosity of nearby native peoples with brutal violence. Nevertheless, separate from that history I have celebrated Thanksgiving as an American Buddhist holiday, honoring the practices of gratitude and generosity…Gratitude naturally inspires generosity, the first transcendent bodhisattva practice of offering support to those around us.”

I wish you a nourishing Season of Gratitude and Generosity.

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Newsette 11-8-2021

Many of us in the U.S. experienced the end of Daylights Savings Time this weekend. This can be disorienting as our bodies get accustomed to lighter mornings and darker late afternoons. In her message to the Bozeman (Montana) Zen Group, guiding teacher Karen DeCotis quoted Dōgen Zenji’s Uji: The way the self arrays itself is the form of the entire world. See each thing in this entire world as a moment of time….

I’m in the process of coordinating meetings for Branching Streams European leaders and priests and am keenly aware of the differences in time zones between California, the U.K., central Europe, and Greece.

Here’s a reminder to save the dates, April 25—28, 2022, for the Branching Streams in-person Conference hosted by Austin Zen Center at Ancient Yoga Center. The theme is Healing Relationships – with Ourselves, One Another, Our Communities, Our Planet

Many sanghas held Sejiki ceremonies last week, although Houston Zen Center will be holding their ceremony on November 21st. This is an excerpt from their description of the ceremony: “This yearly ceremony honors everyone who has passed away, all our friends and loved ones, and all those who are forgotten by others.” To remember those who died of COVID, Ashland (Oregon) Zen Center undertook a Covid Memorial Flag project over the last year which culminated at Sejiki. Kigetsu Ramana Waymire and Tendo Stacy Waymire, sent a description of the project with photos,in case your sangha would like to embark on a similar project.

Kosen Gregory Snyder, Brooklyn Zen Center’s dharma teacher, is inviting the sangha to take up a dana practice for Buddhist Global Relief’s annual fundraiser. Their mission is to “reduce the suffering of chronic hunger and poverty, educate children in need, support sustainable agriculture, and empower vulnerable women.” read more here about their food assistance work—emergency COVID relief, hot meal programs, and more.Brooklyn Zen Center created a fundraising page for their sangha. Berkeley Zen Center, Chapel Hill Zen Center and Houston Zen Center have also supported Buddhist Global Relief’s work.

In acknowledging National Native American History Month, Richmond (VA) Zen Center will have a movie night and show Songs My Brothers Taught Me, directed by Academy-award winning Chloe Zhao (Nomadland). Songs depicts the stark realities of contemporary Native American life. This film selection follows their Difference + Unity book discussion on Joy Harjo’s memoir, Crazy Brave. Discussion will follow.

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Sharing A Covid Memorial Flag Project

Ashland Zen Center undertook a Covid Memorial Flag project over the last year which culminated in late October at Segaki (also known as Sejiki). We sewed several thousand little flags made of plain white fabric, each flag honoring one person by name who died of COVID-19. Each flag shared a person’s age, where they died, and something unique about them. The Covid Memorial Flags were on display at Ashland Zen Center for several days in October and our memorial service during Segaki included these names. 

For the installation we strung flags at eye level between poles lining the path from our front gate to the Memorial Garden at the back of our land. Visitors were able to walk the length of the installation absorbing the names, and lives, and bearing witness to the unimaginable scale of the Pandemic, one life at a time. 

This project began when the United States passed the grim milestone of 100,000 dead. How could we become intimate with this unimaginably large number? We wanted to learn the names of people who had died of COVID-19. To do that our sangha combed through news reports, obituaries, social media and online memorials across the country. We found that learning about one person at a time was a deeply moving experience of connection. 

If any Branching Streams sanghas would like to make Covid Memorial Flags, our flag pattern is at https://www.ashlandzencenter.org/covid-memorial-flags/ We also have a limited number of flag-making kits to share. Each kit has white fabric, white cord, bells, names and instructions.  

Kigetsu Ramana Waymire and Tendo Stacy Waymire
priests@ashlandzencenter.org

More press coverage: https://www.mailtribune.com/top-stories/2021/10/22/pandemic-memorial-flag-project-opens/

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Newsette 11-1-2021

It’s a rainy day (still a rare occurrence) in San Francisco. The leaves of the large Japanese maple in the City Center courtyard are turning red, and we’ve started heating the 300 Page Street building – all signs that we’re shifting from autumn towards winter.

Planning for the 2022 in-person Branching Streams Conference is well underway. The dates are April 25 to April 28 (Monday to Thursday). Austin Zen Center is hosting the conference at Ancient Yoga Center, about half an hour from Austin. The theme is Healing Relationships – with Ourselves, One Another, Our Communities, Our Planet. Poet Naomi Shihab Nye will join us, and Stephanie Kaza will return to lead The Work that Reconnects. There will be Healing Circles, zazen and service, opportunities to meet informally, network about shared concerns, share music and stories, rest and renew, after so many stressful months. More details about registration will be available in January. Meanwhile, please save the dates!

So many Branching Streams sanghas have signed up for Tassajara 2022 Sangha Weeks that very few spaces remain. Still available are these dates: July 15-17 (three nights), August 5-7 (three nights), 8-11 (four nights), 12-14, 15-18, 19-21, and September 9-11 (three nights). Please let me know if your sangha would like to reserve any of those dates.

When I welcomed Red Cedar Zen Community in last week’s Newsette, I mistakenly said that Zoketsu Norman Fischer is the guiding teacher. Norman is the Founding Teacher. The Guiding Teacher is Nomon Tim Burnett. Norman supported Tim in founding the group in 1971.

Please send me any news you’d like to share with the Branching Streams network.

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Newsette 10-25-2021

After over 24 hours of rain, much welcomed after months of drought in the Bay Area, the sun is dispersing clouds and drying glistening raindrops on the maple tree and bushes in the City Center courtyard.

I am happy to welcome a new member to Branching Streams, Red Cedar Zen Community in Bellingham Washington. Founded in 1991, Red Cedar ZC is affiliated with Everyday Zen Foundation. Zoketsu Norman Fischer is their founding teacher, and Nomon Tim Burnett is their guiding teacher. Here is their Mission Statement: “The Red Cedar Zen Community follows the Soto Zen style of Shunryu Suzuki. We support practice with a spirit of cooperation, extending the essence of Buddha’s teachings into everyday life.” They are currently searching for a new meeting space.

A Men’s Retreat will be held at at Hokyoji in Eitzen, MN from October 28 to 31 (thank you, Chapel Hill Zen Center, for sharing news of this retreat). Retreat leaders, Marc Anderson and Bob Zeglovitch, and participants will investigate “what it means to be male and explore the terrain of awakened, energetic and mature masculinity. The retreat is suitable for all levels of experience – everyone will explore new terrain.” Here is a link to the retreat flyer).

Tonight, Valley Streams Zen Center in Sacramento, CA is featuring a recorded talk, Love and Rage – The Path of Liberation Through Anger with Lama Rod Owens, interviewed by Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz. Lama Rod Owens is an author, activist, African American gay man and authorized lama in the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism who explores spiritual practices that transform anger and rage into a force of healing.

San Francisco Zen Center is offering a one-day retreat with Rev. angel Kyodo williams and Green Gulch Farm Abiding Abbess Fu Schroeder, Toward a More Radical Dharma: A Path and Framework for Liberation on Saturday, November 13from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time. The final hour will be a special session for dharma teaches and leaders.