Author Archives: TetsuGen KeiDo

Oct 1st @11am Memorial Service for Bodhidharma (Darumaki)

katsuo-ji_daruma_07Daruma-san, a round red-colored doll, is known as a good-luck talisman associated with temples and shrines. The good fortune associated with Bodhidharma (Daruma) comes from the legend that no matter how many times Bodhidharma fell down he would always get up.

In the areas where silk worms are cultivated, there is a custom of painting in one of the eyes on the Daruma doll if the worms produce much silk thread in spring and painting in the other one of Daruma’s eyes if the worms produced much silk thread in autumn.

bdhmraBodhidharma, the inspiration for the Daruma doll, was originally one of the ancestral teachers of The Soto Zen School. He was the first Ancestors of Zen in China and also known as Bodai Daruma Daishi.

The red Daruma doll seen throughout Japan was originally modeled on this great teacher who sat facing a wall unflinchingly for nine years and lived to the old age of 150.

Bodhidharma died on October 5th. Early autumn is the harvest time in Japan and also the time when the autumn silkworm is cultivated. For this reason, this ceremony includes our feeling of gratitude to Bodhidharma as well as a prayer for a good harvest in the next year. There is also the wish expressed that those who participate in the ceremony will enjoy a long life.

24th of September @10:15am – Guest Speaker Shokan, Jordan Thorn

Buddha-709119-300x225Please  join us this Saturday for a Dharma talk by Shokan Jordan Thorn. Jordan has been at SF Zen Center for 30 years. Ordained in 1977, later received Dharma Transmission from Zoketsu Norman Fischer, he lives at SFZC’s City Center. He came to SF Zen Center as a result of the beat poetry movement that was of interest to  several Zen students in it’s early years and met as he arrived his soon to be friend, Issan Dorsey upon his arrival. He has lived at all three SFZC practice centers, has served in a variety of roles on senior staff and as an Officer, and was susho (head student) at Tassajara. Recently he served as City Center Tanto (Head of Practice) and became SF Zen Center’s Treasurer/CFO in September 2011 (a role he held before) and he is the teacher of a few of the HSZC Sangha members.

Saturdays include the early morning sitting & service beginning at 6:30am, a brief drop-in meditation instruction at 8:30 am. And again zazen at 9:25 am. We are offered a Dharma talk at 10:15 am followed by tea and cookies and socializing.

Please join us this Saturday and we hope to see you often!

Queer Meditation – Beginning Tuesday, 27 September @6pm


Beginning Tuesday, 27 September, the Hartford Street Zen Center will host a weekly mindfulness and meditation get-together for our LGBTQI community, family, and friends. Continuing in the spirit of our founding Abbot, Rev. Issan Tommy Dorsey, our intention is to extend the special welcome for persons in sexual/gender minorities which Rev. Issan was among the first in the US to make a principle of Dharma study and practice.

This special hour from 6 to 7 p.m. will include mindful sitting, discussion, question & answer, helpful pointers for practice, and perhaps other features of importance to our community. There is no charge, but our temple, Issan-ji (One Mountain Temple), does depend upon donations from the Sangha (the community of practitioners) for its survival, so your generosity is deeply appreciated.

Please feel invited to participate in this Dharma practice event, at a place where LGBTQI students of Dharma have always been welcome.

To learn more of our history, see the excellent biography of Rev. Issan, “Street Zen”, written by his close friend Tensho David Schneider.

May all beings be happy, may they be joyous and live in safety.

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