Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fall Happenings at SMZC!


Thursday Nov. 28 1pm-4pm
Thanksgiving on the Mountain
A Sangha-wide celebration of the traditional holiday in potluck fashion.  Everyone invited to bring their families and a savory dish to join the feast and give thanks together.  Please contact the office to sign-up (707) 545-8105 or smzc@szmc.net
Saturday, Nov. 30 10:30am - 12pm
Ametarasu's Mirror: An Autumn Journey
Roshi and Nyoze will present a some photos and videos from their very fruitful visit to Japan and Korea.
They will also share some of the priceless gifts they received on the sangha's behalf.
Also, Coming in February, 2014:
Special Kessei Practice Period
Please make sure to check out this important milestone for SMZC.

Finally, Tim Metzger has generously provided a video of Roshi and Nyoze's lecture, Social Media and Zen:The Paradox of Connection at Santa Rosa Junior College in October.
Check it out on Vimeo.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Social Media and Zen: The Paradox of Connection




Jakusho Kwong-roshi and Nyoze Kwong talk about the art of using social media and at the same time not letting social media use us. They talk about phones and tablets being created in order to make money and keep us all connected, but these devices unfortunately have no compassion, no consciousness or moral compass..."this must be wisely supplied by the user". They also caution us about mindlessly connecting to everyone but at the same time possibly losing that precious connection with oneself.


Social Media and Zen: The Paradox of Connection | Jakusho Kwong-roshi 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall Community Council Process - October 24 | Report on Summer Council





Teh Fall Community Council Process will be Saturday, October 26th from 9 am to 3 pm.
It will include a potluck lunch, so bring your favorite dish to share!



ONE BODY MOVING FORWARD -- SECOND COMMUNITY COUNCIL MEETING
by Neil Myers


On Saturday, July 20, 2013, over 40 sangha members and dharma friends gathered in the Meditation Hall for the second of four planned Council Meetings, to consider how SMZC might sustain a vital practice for years to come. They heard Kwong-roshi talk movingly of the value of a shared commitment to a living community. Then, under the guidance of experienced facilitator Zenobia Barlow, along with Nyoze and Shunryu, they worked for an hour with scissors, paste, media cut-outs and felt tipped markers, to freely illustrate personal “body” maps which, when studied, provided impetus to direct each person into one of the four societies identified in Okanogan Native American culture: Tradition, Vision, Action and Relationship

During and after lunch, in intense, spirited discussions that drew on every member, each society articulated views of specific approaches to what might be needed to carry SMZC coherently ahead. Afterwards, representatives summarized these discussions.

Tradition Society felt that the central thrust of Zen spirit involves “having confidence in our loving nature,” in order to “actualize the stillness inherent in our original purpose.” Members said that Zen tradition implies “keeping our feet on the ground,” “living by vow,” being aware of our “basic goodness,” and in influencing how “active parents” relate to their children.  Tradition, then, can be seen as a “container” in which illumination and stillness are communicated to others through “what we do and say,” eliciting a powerful “kindness and compassion” that allows us to “listen to others without getting in the way. ”

Vision Society recommended making SMZC more accessible, to members, friends, and the surrounding community. Their emphasis was on “a variety of welcomes,” on open friendliness, generosity, hospitality,  focus on families and children, and further contact with schools. Suggestions included team building and local outreach, informal activities and programs, lessons for kids on bowing, bell ringing, brief sittings, story-telling etc.  Care, humor and warmth were seen as crucial in this effort, in order to show that, beyond its formal practice.  Zen also means humanizing the dharma spirit in all of life.

 Action Society stipulated five practical points. It recommended maintaining the effort to establish strong executive positions, in order to manage SMZC affairs as a whole, and make the entire sangha more alert and responsive. It endorsed designating a Volunteer Coordinator, who with the Workleader could do outreach for volunteers, developing lists and prioritizing projects, in order to match skills to particular needs, etc.  It underscored the urgency of stabilizing our current financial situation, raising funding for yearly operations, and creating sustainable sources of income. And it advocated having volunteer members regularly meet new visitors, welcome them to SMZC, and answer their questions.

Relationship Society proposed improving the connection of newcomers and members to SMZC .  It suggested asking greeters to welcome newcomers, explaining procedures and activities. It proposed that handouts, maps, instruction sheets etc.be more available. It urged that we openly "celebrate" our status both as a rigorous Zen training center, and as a welcoming, family-friendly community. It suggested Saturday morning child-care, regular guided tours, family-oriented gatherings, informal social events in which members simply talk and get to know each other. It recommended developing a volunteer coordinator, to match members' skills and interests with opportunities to serve Zen center needs. In addition to dharma talks, it advised facilitating discussions of Zen in daily experience, in order to clarify the intimate link of our rich tradition with the demands of ordinary life.

Again, these vibrant, enthusiastic "One Body Moving Forward" Community Councils, to strengthen this unique practice place for years to come, are opportunities to make your own voice heard, and to contribute to the longterm health and survival of SMZC.  We're immensely grateful for your participation so far, and we want to warmly welcome you again to the two final Councils, on October 26,  2013, and January 11, 2014.

Here is our Dharma Treasure: it belongs to you, to us, to everyone!


Sonoma Mountain Zen Center (www.smzc.net)  •  email: smzc@smzc.net

Friday, September 27, 2013

Social Media and Zen: the Paradox of Connection | Santa Rosa Junior College - Arts And Lectures


Social Media and Zen: the Paradox of Connection

with Zen Master Jakusho Kwong


Friday, October 18th, 2013, 7:00 - 8:00 PM
Newman Auditorium, Emeritus Hall
Santa Rosa Campus
Zen Master Jakusho Kwong will explore the following questions:
  • Is this constant entanglement with 24/7 information and social media enslaving us?
  • What are the consequences and side effects of multi-tasking?
  • Is the time spent every day obsessively texting really fostering connection?
  • Our college community reflects society’s use of social media – constantly absorbed in the small world of their electronic devices – but at what price?
  • Is it possible to be both technologically connected and to be present in your daily life?
Roshi Jakusho Kwong will challenge our assumptions about this technological paradox, and ask us to consider our need to disentangle from these things to be truly alive. “When you are totally present in your life, everything is possible!”
Jakusho Kwong-roshi was born in Santa Rosa in 1935 and began studying Zen with Shunryu Suzuki-roshi in 1959. He received ordination at San Francisco Zen Center in 1970, and then founded the Sonoma Mountain Zen Center in 1973 as his commemoration to his teacher, becoming the Abbot. Kwong-roshi completed Dharma transmission in 1978 through Hoitsu Suzuki-roshi at Rinsoin, Japan. This authorized him as Dharma successor to Suzuki-roshi's lineage. He has been teaching Zen in the United States and Europe for more than 40 years. Kwong-roshi travels annually to Iceland and Poland to lead meditation intensives at SMZC’s affiliate Zen Centers. In 1995 he was one of the first western Zen monks to be officially recognized as a certified teacher of the Soto Zen School in Japan. He teaches ordinary Zen in everyday life is nothing special. “Zen," he says, "is the aliveness we bring to each moment.”



Santa Rosa Junior College - Arts And Lectures

VIDEO: Social Media and Zen: The Paradox of Connection


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sonoma Mandala Bazaar 2013


The 2013 Sonoma Mandala Bazaar will be held on Saturday, September 7

Whether you are interested in art, Zen or a unique experience, SMZC's annual bazaar has something for you! We hope to see you there!


The Fourth Annual Sonoma Mandala Bazaar on the Mountain is happening on Saturday, September 7, 2013, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., in support of Sonoma Mountain Zen Center.

Admission is free! Bring the whole family up to the mountain for a great time in a beautiful place. Many local craftspersons and artists will display their diverse work. Parking is free!

This video will show you all the fun and enjoyment you will experience at Sonoma Mountain Zen Center's annual Bazar.

The Mandala Bazaar offers an opportunity to see a variety of live performances, attend a Japanese tea ceremony performed by a master, view a wide variety of selected arts and crafts, and socialize among friends and family under the oaks on beautiful Sonoma Mountain. Sumptuous bento box lunches, assortments of delicious sweets, baked goods and refreshing drinks will also be offered for sale for your enjoyment. Performances and demonstrations
Buy raffle tickets in support of our fundraising goals!
Win the grand prize original framed calligraphy by Abbot Jakusho Kwong-roshi! See the Raffle page for additional wonderfula raffle prizes and how to purchase tickets.
Please visit the Mandala Bazaar pages at SMZC.NET for the Performance and Demonstration Schedule, Raffle Prizes, Vendors, and more:
Sonoma Mandala Bazaar 2013



























Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer Practice Period - July 29 to August 24




Our Zen Center offers a special practice period known as Ango, which means "peaceful dwelling," twice per year.  This refers to a peace within each person that is so pervasive and deep that it is inconceivable" (p. 84, No Beginning, No End).  Those who have experienced Ango know it's power.

Join us for our summer intensive, beginning July 29 at 7:30 p.m. and ending August 24 at 12 p.m.  This practice period includes six daily sittings, prostrations, oryoki meals, chanting, work practice, and study.  Ango is an ideal opportunity for the entire Sangha to participate in practice, whether in the Zendo, at work, or as a householder.



Sonoma Mountain Zen Center (smzc.net) • (707) 545-8105

email: smzc@smzc.net


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Summer Community Council Process - July 20




Saturday, July 20 • 9 am to 3 pm

This Summer Council is the second of a series of four councils.  The councils will help guide the Zen Center in transmitting its ancient tradition into the future while cultivating a thriving community.  Whether or not you attended the first council we invite you to join us for a day of activities based on the Okanogan Tribal Four Society Council Process.  A delicious potluck lunch will be served so bring your favorite dish.


see also - Mountain Wind: One Body Moving Forward Council Process

Sonoma Mountain Zen Center (smzc.net) • (707) 545-8105

email: smzc@smzc.net


Friday, June 21, 2013

Moment to Moment 1-Day Sitting on July 5-6






Members and friends,

Please join us for the Moment to Moment 1-Day Sitting on July 5-6. Kwong-roshi invites you to spend a day of "thinking non-thinking", just being exactly who you are moment to moment.

We will start at 7:30 Friday night and end at 5:00 pm Saturday.
Please call or email the office to make a reservation.  It is never too late to sign up.

The cost is $60 for Non-members, $50 for General Members and $40 for Practicing Members which includes overnight lodging.





Friday, April 5, 2013

Mountain Wind 2013



Current Volume: Second Quarter 2013


We are pleased to announce that our new volume of Mountain Wind is now available to subscribers. You should receive your copy shortly; or should have received an email notification.




Subscribe to receive the current volume



Entrusting Ceremony

Everything is constantly changing... (March23, 2012)
Fall becomes Winter and Winter becomes Spring, leaves fall to the ground and flowers bloom.This summer marks the 40th anniversary of the Zen Center. For 40 years the Zen Center has relied upon an organizational structure and decision-making processes which have served our community well. Looking back it is quite remarkable on what has been established and accomplished in this time since Roshi and Shinko first came to Sonoma Mountain with a vision to establish the Zen Center in honor of their teacher Shunryu Suzuki- roshi. Now it is time to reconsider the organizational structure and decision-making processes and transform it so that it can serve the Zen Center and Sangha for the next 40 years and beyond.
To begin this transition process Kwong-roshi has entrusted Cam Shunryu and Demian Nyoze with the title of “Kanin,” Executive Director, to fulfill his vision to sustain authentic Zen practice for future generations and to lead the Zen Center through this unfolding transition process. As Kanin they will make all the daily decisions in every aspect of the Zen Center that both Roshi and Shinko have made in the past. In this shift of responsibilities Roshi will remain as the spiritual leader and teacher of the Zen Center. This shift will free up Roshi’s schedule so that he can engage in further study, explore other areas of teaching and work on his many projects. Roshi is moving up and he encourages everyone to move up and support this transition.

Suzuki Family Visit


On March 27 & 28th our Sangha enjoyed the visit of Shungo Suzukui and his family. Shungo is the grandson of Suzuki-roshi and Dharma Successor of Suzuki-roshi’s son, Hoitsu Suzuki.




now available online: First Quarter 2013 (January - March)
• PDF

Shukke Tokudo Ordination Ceremony - October 20, 2012 


Calligraphy by Sodo Yokoyama-roshi




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ALL CONTRIBUTIONS HELP MAINTAIN THE BUDDHADHARMA!


Friday, March 29, 2013

One Body Moving Forward Council Process




Dear SMZC Friends,

How do you envision Sonoma Mountain Zen Center in 5 years...in 50 years?

An important council process regarding this question will be held from 9 am - 3 pm Saturday, April 27th. (more below)

We want to hear your voice!
Coming Together in Community!
Activating Wisdom!
Sustaining Lineage Manifesting Vision!

Nine deep bows,
Sonoma Mountain Zen Center


WHERE ARE WE GOING? – ZEN CENTER’S TRANSITION AND THE COUNCIL PROCESS

Everything is constantly changing.........Fall becomes Winter and Winter becomes Spring, leaves fall to the ground and flowers bloom.

This summer marks the 40th anniversary of the Zen Center.  For 40 years the Zen Center has relied upon an organizational structure and decision‐making processes which have served our community well.  Looking back it is quite remarkable on what has been established and accomplished in this time since Roshi and Shinko first came to Sonoma Mountain with a vision to establish the Zen Center in honor of their teacher Shunryu Suzuki‐roshi.  Now it is time to reconsider the organizational structure and decision-making processes and transform it so that it can serve the Zen Center and Sangha for the next 40 years and beyond.

To begin this transition process Kwong‐roshi has entrusted Cam Shunryu and Demian Nyoze with the title of “Kanin,” Executive Director, to fulfill his vision to sustain authentic Zen practice for future generations and to lead the Zen Center through this unfolding transition process. As Kanin they will make all the daily decisions in every aspect of the Zen Center that both Roshi and Shinko have made in the past.  In this shift of responsibilities Roshi will remain as the spiritual leader and teacher of the Zen Center. This shift will free up Roshi’s schedule so that he can engage in further study, explore other areas of teaching and work on his many projects. Roshi is moving up and he encourages everyone to move up and support this transition.

Essential to the Zen Center’s transition process is its Sangha and Community. Its voices are necessary to inform the future direction of the Zen Center. The Zen Center will host a series of councils to manifest these voices and the answer to the question, “How do we honor the wisdom of this ancient Dharma transmitted from Shunryu Suzuki‐roshi and Jakusho Kwong‐ roshi, our teachers, to practitioners far into the future?”  It is essential that each one of us attends these councils so that the true voice of the Sangha and Community can be heard. We are the “One Body Moving Forward.”

Roshi invites you to participate in each of the councils as we embark on this wonderful journey of transition together.

These council gatherings will be facilitated by Zenobia Barlow who has been a longtime supporter of the Zen Center and who received Jukai in 1985. She is the Executive Director and co‐ founder of the Center of Ecoliteracy. Each council will be different from each other and will consist of short projects, dialogue, communication and listening exercises.  Each council will build on the previous one culminating in a collective response to Roshi that will help him set the path of the Sonoma Mountain Zen Center for future generations.  Not only will the voice of the Sangha and Community be heard but the councils will help to cultivate a community to sustain the Zen Center over time.

The councils will be held at the Zen Center from 9 am to 3 pm and a delicious potluck lunch will be served, so bring your favorite dish.  The council dates are:

Spring Council ‐ Saturday, April 27, 2013
Summer Council ‐ Saturday, July 20, 2013
Fall Council – Saturday, October 26, 2013
Winter Council – Saturday, January 11, 2014




email: smzc@smzc.netSonoma Mountain Zen Center

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring Workfest 2013


Saturday March 30; 8:30 am – 4 pm

All Sangha members, families, and friends are invited to come for a day of fun and work in the spirit of traditional "barn-raising" effort and together action. Snacks and delicious lunch provided.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Buddha's Birthday Sesshin & Celebration 2013




Greetings all,

Please join us to honor and celebrate the Birth of the Buddha in each one of us.

We will sit sesshin from 7:30pm Wed. April 3rd through Saturday April 6th.

On Sunday April 7th at 1 pm we will celebrate with a ceremony and flower festival followed by a potluck.

If you would like to sign up for sesshin or volunteer to help with the celebration, call or email the office.



Sonoma Mountain Zen Center (smzc.net) • (707) 545-8105 • 
email: smzc@smzc.net

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Suzuki Family Visit


On March 27 and 28  Shungo Suzuki, son of Hoitsu Suzuki-roshi, will be visiting with his wife, Kumi, and kids from Japan. 

Wednesday - 12:00 p.m. offer incense at Shunryu Suzuki-roshi's stupa.
At 1:00 p.m. we will have lunch in the sangha house.  

Thursday - 5:15 a.m. zazen; 7:00 a.m. informal breakfast; 10:00 a.m. Suzuki family depart.

Everyone is invited to join us for this special visit lunch/breakfast/zazen.  Please notify the office if you would like to attend Wed. lunch either/or  Thurs. breakfast.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

March 9 "Actualizing This Moment" one day sitting





Buddhas and Boddhisatvas,

We are having a 1-day sitting on March 9th, Saturday. What a wonderful way to spend a Spring day...doing nothing.  Please take advantage of this opportunity to practice and train with Kwong-roshi, the SMZC sangha and all sentient beings. 

Anyone can register up, even to the last minute.

Hope to see you there!


email: smzc@smzc.netSonoma Mountain Zen Center

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Intro Workshop / Study Group / Sewing Buddh's Robe




Greetings Sangha,

This March we are having an Introduction to Zen Workshop, Study Group and One-Day Sitting all in the first couple weeks! See below for dates and attached info.

These are all great ways to get started if you've been considering getting deeper into your practice or if you know someone else who has an interest, let them know.

Introduction to Zen Workshop: Saturday March 2nd 9 am
Study Group (starts): Tuesday March 5th 7:30 pm
One-Day Sitting: Saturday March 9th 4:45 am






Sonoma Mountain Zen Center • (707) 545-8105 • email: smzc@smzc.net


Friday, January 4, 2013

Winter Ango 2013




Every year our Zen Center offers a special practice period known as Ango, which means "peaceful dwelling."  This refers to a peace within each person that is so pervasive and deep that it is inconceivable" (p. 84, No Beginning, No End).  Those who have experienced Ango know it's power.

Join us this February for our winter intensive, beginning January 28 at 7:30 p.m. and ending February 23 at 12 p.m.  This practice period includes six daily sittings, prostrations, oryoki meals, chanting, work practice, and study.  Ango is an ideal opportunity for the entire Sangha to participate in practice, whether in the Zendo, at work, or as a householder.


email: smzc@smzc.netSonoma Mountain Zen Center