25 April @10:15am – Guest Speaker, Ko Shin Steven Tierney

Please join us for a Dharma talk Next Saturday by Ko Shin Steven Tierney, Ed.D. CAS who is Professor of Counseling Psychology and Untitled-22221Chair of the Community Mental Health Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. A certified addiction specialist, he is the Co- Founder of the San Francisco Mindfulness Foundation, providing relapse prevention and mindfulness- based services to individuals and families. Steven has been studying and practicing Buddhism for more than 20 years and was ordained by Michael Wenger on January 6, 2013. Steven’s commitment is to a community based Buddhism and he has spent the last ten years extending Buddha’s teachings to those living with addictions, in recovery and those facing serious health and mental health challenges.

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 and then socializing,  tea and cookies.

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18 April: 10:15am – Guest Speaker, Kōnin Cardenas

Please join us next Saturday  for a Dharma talk offered by Kōnin Cardenas.

Kōnin is A nun ordained in the Soto Zen Buddhist tradition who began practicing Zen in 1987 and was ordained in 2007, currently working as a QY18Spiritual Care Counselor for Pathways Hospice in the East Bay area (near San Francisco), and the Dorm Manager for the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley. Also the leader of “Dharma en Español,” a Spanish-language Zen study group at San Francisco Zen Center (SFZC) and co-chair of the SFZC Cultural Awareness and Inclusivity Committee and an amateur calligrapher and sumi-e painter, occasionally giving classes in sutra copying. During the past 10 years Kōnin has been primarily engaged in Buddhist monastic practice, inter-faith chaplaincy, non-profit development, and volunteer management. In previous roles she served as a finance professional, Kōnin was a Mortgage Banking Subject Matter Expert, educating residential lenders on reinsurance structures, and a Vice President at a boutique investment bank executing middle-market software mergers and acquisitions with an MBA from University of California, Berkeley and the mother of a wonderful 23-year-old woman.

Her long-term vision is to found a women’s residential center that integrates Buddhist study and zazen with community service and socially-engaged leadership training.

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 and then socializing,  tea and cookies.

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

hanamatsuri1We’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, please join us!

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4 April – the Full Moon Ceremony!

April is the full pink moon from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. other names for this month’s celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, pink-moonand among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.

And as such, it is our renewal of our Bodhisattva vows this upcoming Saturday morning after the Saturday Morning Dharma talk for this full moon.

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 8:30am. And again zazen at 9:25 am. We wrap up with a dharma talk at 10:15am followed by ceremony when applicable and then right to social time, tea and cookies. Please join us!

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28 Mar @ 10:15am – Dharma talk by Daiko Tanzen, David Bullock

Join us this Saturday for  A talk at 10:15am offered by  Rev. Daiko Tanzen, David Bullock; Untitled-1our current connection to the early days of Hartford Street’s Zen Center founding, the garden’s long term friend, current Board President and many other capacities past and present of HSZC (as well as the past Maitri); and he was ordained by the temple’s founder – Rev. Issan Dorsey.

Every Saturday we offer early morning zazen (seated meditation), 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 a ceremony if applicable, then tea and cookies with socializing. Please know you are welcome and invited!

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Spring Equinox & Higan-e (currently)

In Japanese, there is a proverb that says “Hot and cold weather last until the equinox”. This week-long ceremony takes place on the spring and fall equinoxes, the middle of an important week when the weather is usually very good.imagae

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 on the first day of the week. On the equinox (the middle day of this week) rice cakes covered with bean jam called ohagi or botamochi are offered. 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.

Visiting the temple

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. For those people living far away from the family grave, it is especially good to visit the temple and family grave during Higan. This is a good way to learn the warm-heartedness customarily expressed during Higan of giving rice cakes covered with bean jam to the neighbors and one’s relatives.

Visiting the family grave

A visit to the family grave first begins with cleaning the grave stone and grave site. It is particularly important to scour places that easily become dirty such as water basins and flower vases. Older wooden stupas are mindfully removed and disposed of according to temple instructions. Once the grave has been cleaned, fresh offerings of water, incense, and favorite delicacies of the deceased ancestors’ are made. 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.

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21 March, Saturday – Guest Speaker Renshin Bunce @ 10:15am

Renshin Bunce was a resident of SF Zen Center from 2001 to 2008, first for three years at Tassajara and then for four more years at City Center. She has helped hundreds of students sew their rakusus in Untitledthe SFZC sewing room, where she currently leads a class with Tim Wicks every other Saturday afternoon. And she is an author of the book Entering the Monastery.

She is a great caring support in the process of the sewing of Buddha’s robe (rakusu) and a tremendous good humor and a very warm heart. She is also known for her photographs, and her page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/renshin/ has been called “The Zen Center Yearbook.”

Ren made jukai with Myogen Steve Stücky in 1996, when he gave her the name Renshin Jiko (Lotus Heart/Mind, Boundless Compassion); was priest ordained with Zenkei Blanche Hartman in 2003; was Shuso with Myogen-roshi at Tassajara in 2008; and received Dharma Transmission from him in 2013. She lives on the Peninsula, where she works as a hospice chaplain.

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.

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TONIGHT! tea & conversation with a zen scholar- Taigen Dan Leighton 7:30pm, friday 20th of march

Taigen will be in the SF, Bay Area and has graciously accepted our invitation to tea. Taigen and Rev Myo share the same teacher and Dharma predecessor Tenshin Reb Anderson and he has a new book coming out and agreed to join us for casual conversation for an hour or so…j4

Taigen began his Zen practice in 1975 at the New York Zen Center, training under Kando Nakajima roshi. He studied at Columbia University, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in East Asian studies. Leighton worked as a television and film editor in New York, and then San Francisco.

In 1978, he moved to California and eventually became a resident at San Francisco Zen Center, where he worked at Tassajara Bakery and other of Zen Center’s businesses. In subsequent years, Leighton practiced in residence at all of the San Francisco Zen Center facilities, including Green Gulch Farm Zen Center and Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. In 1986, Leighton was ordained as a priest by Tenshin Reb Anderson (in the latter’s first ordination ceremony).

He lived in Japan from 1990–1992, translating Dōgen texts with Shohaku Okumura and training under various masters. In 1994, Leighton founded the Mountain Source Sangha in Bolinas, San Rafael, and San Francisco, California (of which Ancient Dragon Zen Gate is a sister temple).

In 2000, Leighton received shiho, or Dharma transmission, from Tenshin Anderson. He taught for four years at Loyola University, Chicago and has taught since 1994 at the Institute of Buddhist Studies, part of the Berkeley Graduate Theological Union, from which Leighton has a Ph.D. degree.

Please join us to have tea and casual conversation as he tours the bay area to also promote his new book being released in early April. Just This Is It: Dongshan and the Practice of Suchness

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14 March – honoring the first Buddhist nun and mother

220px-Prince_Siddhartha_with_his_maternal_aunt_Queen_Mahaprajapati_GotamiNext Saturday is the annual observance of  Mahapajapati‘s life as well as a great opportunity to celebrate women in Buddhism through the first female nun. It is also shortly after international Women’s day.  Mahapajapati Gotami, the first woman to be ordained from the Buddha and to join the Sangha. She was the Buddha’s maternal aunt and adopted mother after her sister, Queen Maya (Mahāmāyā), the Buddha’s birth mother, died.

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. Dharma talk at 10:15 am followed by ceremony (when we have one) and then tea and cookies. We also have a regular schedule 6 days each week.

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

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7 March, Saturday – Full Moon Ceremony 11am

It is our renewal of our Bodhisattva vows this upcoming Saturday morning after the Saturday Morning Dharma talk.

The ceremony takes about crowmoona 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.

March is the full worm moon, as the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear, heralding the return of the robins. the more northern tribes knew this moon as the full crow moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter; or the full crust moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night. the full sap moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variation. to the settlers, it was also known as the lenten moon, and was considered to be the last full moon of winter.

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

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