24 April 10:15am – Guest Speaker: Rev. Ryuei McCormick

nichiren-on-sado-islandPlease join us this Saturday morning, 24 April, for a Dharma talk by Rev. Ryuei, Michael McCormick, who was ordained to the Nichiren-shū (Lotus Sutra School) ministry in 2001 by Rev. Ryusho Matsuda, of the San Jose Nichiren Temple.

Rev. McCormick is also a long-time practitioner of zazen (seated meditation) and a student of the writings of Dōgen-zenji.

Every Saturday we offer early morning zazen (seated meditation), morning service, a brief drop-in meditation instruction at 8:30 am. And again zazen at 9:25 am. We wrap up with a dharma talk at 10:15 am (followed by ceremony if applicable) and then socializing,  tea and cookies.


Spring is here & HSZC is closed April 21st!

unnamedThe Christian Holiday of Easter is upon us already this Sunday and so our Monthly Monday holiday influence closure day of April 21st will follow the holiday on April 20th.

This holiday is also in our country in general a celebration of spring and new births for people and for our adorable fellow feather and furry animal friends. Please enjoy this day off with some new born spirit and we will see you Tuesday Morning April 22nd at 6am!

And… Dont forget Rev Myo will provide the lecture at SFZC on April 24th at 7:30pm and tickets are required. Link to tickets and details below. HSZC’s study hour will be cancelled due to this event.

24 April – Thursday @7:30pm – The Platform Sutra: A Guest from Outside Creation @ SFZC

Untitled-1Our Abbot, Rev. Myo Lahey will provide a lecture @ SFZC for advanced Buddhist studies on: The Platform Sutra, or T’an Ch’ing, of the Sixth Ancestor, also known simply as the Sutra of Hui Neng, is a pivotal work in the history and development of Ch’an (Chinese) or Zen (Ch’an’s name in Japan) Buddhism in China. It is probably the only work in the Chinese scriptural canon that is of Chinese origin, is not allegedly spoken by Buddha himself, and yet is accorded the status of a sutra, or a direct revelation of the Buddha Word. In it we find many of the characteristics of Ch’an which would come to be identified with that form of Buddha Dharma. It is also striking in the contrasts it exposes between the Ch’an style and more traditional sutra-based teachings.

Click here to purchase a ticket!


Saturday April12 – Full Moon Ceremony

Moon-fullWe’ll have the monthly Full-Moon Ceremony renewal of our Bodhisattva vows Saturday morning after the Dharma talk.

The ceremony takes about a half-hour and involves some thirty full prostrations, but simple standing bows are also all right if prostrations are too strenuous. All are welcome to join in this ceremony/celebration.

Every Saturday we offer early morning zazen (seated meditation), morning service, a brief drop-in meditation instruction at 8:30 am. And again zazen at 9:25 am. We wrap up with a dharma talk at 10:15 am followed by ceremony is applicable and then/or right to tea and cookies.


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5 April – Saturday; Buddha’s Birthday! Vaiśākha or Hanamatsuri (花祭)


We’ll have a Dharma talk as usual at 10:15 a.m., and afterwards a ceremony celebrating the birth of the baby Buddha in which we circumambulate the zendo (meditation hall) while chanting the Heart of Great Perfect Wisdom Sutra. Subsequently we’ll repair to the dining room for the birthday party itself. Everyone is welcome!


Zendo closed Wed AM, April 2nd.

See you Wed evening!


Tuesday, April 1st – open to the public, Event

TmonasteryWe would like to remind all that a Tibetan Lineage Nun Robina Courtinwill be giving a talk at HSZC tomorrow (Tuesday April 1) at 7pm.  Because she usually has a significant interest or following we are having to cancel evening Zazen to rearrange our space and as a first come, first seated event we expect that people will show up when we would normally be in a period of Zazen or chanting. All are welcome to attend and keep in mind she usually draws a bit of a crowd so first come first seated and our space and capacity to seat is limited. We will see you again back to our regular schedule Wed., April 2nd. And “no” this isn’t an Aprils fool joke!

Also a reminder we are closed today, open tomorrow morning at 6am for morning schedule and closed again in the evening for this event.

The individuals hosting this event request dana (donation) of $10-$15 and all questions go to: Albert.Kaba@gmail.com


Zendo closed Monday all day & Tuesday Evening

dark_bamboo_Wallpaper_mx4s01.jpgOnce each month, we’ll be taking a Monday as a rest day for the residents here at Issan-ji. On months when there is a national holiday, the legal holiday will be the Monday we’re closed. Otherwise, please keep an eye out for an announcement letting you know on which Monday the usual zendo (meditation hall) schedule will be suspended; this month, we’ve chosen Cesar Chavez Day, Monday, 31 March. Please join us again for practice the following Tuesday morning, bright and early at 6 a.m. Blessings and peace to all!


Spring Equinox: Higan-e

mochi2In Japanese, there is a proverb that says “Hot and cold weather last until the equinox”.

Higan is the teaching that leads people from the world of delusion to the world of awakening. There are six components of this teaching: giving, precepts, perseverance, diligence, zazen, and wisdom. It is taught that if we carry out these practices we will be blessed with happiness and good fortune.

On the day before Higan, it is the custom in a Japanese home to clean the Buddha altar, to straighten up the various Buddha implements, and to change the flowers on the altar. It is also customary to make offerings of rice dumplings, rice cakes covered with bean jam called ohagi or botamochi. And once again on the final day of the week, dumplings made from rice flour are offered. During this time, offerings of food, special sweets, and fruit are also made. It is customary at this time to visit the temple to present offerings of pounded-rice cakes (mochi), sweets, fruit, and so on to the principal image of Buddha as well as the family ancestors.

It is also the custom at Higan to visit the family grave to express our gratitude to the family ancestors. In Japan the temple priest is then asked to chant a sutra at the grave, at this time, we join our hands in wholehearted prayer.

Following the visit to the gravesite, it is proper to remove the food offerings. No one likes to see spoiled offerings and they are also unsanitary. It is also good to clean up the special gravesite for graves that are no longer tended by family members and offer incense and flowers. In Japan, this is thought to express the beauty of one’s heart and mind.