Thursday, February 26, 2015

SMZC in March - Many Ways to Join In the Practice

March 10 Tues. -
1st Spring Study Group

March 14 Sat. -
"Just This Moment"
1-Day Sitting

March 20-21 Fri. and Sat.-
SMZC Guest Lecture Series: Susan Moon

March 21 Sat. -
Introduction to Zen Workshop

March 28 Sat. -
Spring Workfest

Mar. 10-Apr 28   SPRING STUDY GROUP  Every Tuesday, 7:30 - 9 pm.
Investigating and "turning our radiance inward" through Zen practice, we begin to discover the intimate nature of Mind.  Shinko Kwong with senior students will be lecturing and leading discussions on Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo by Shohaku Okumura. This will be a six-week course.
Non-Members:  $65/$12 per class    General M: $60  Practicing M: $55

Mar. 14 Sat.  "JUST THIS MOMENT" ONE DAY SITTING 5:15 am to 5 pm An opportunity for beginners as well as experienced sitters to plunge into the heart of Zen practice.  8 periods of meditation, formal meals, chanting and work practice.  Includes Friday 6 pm dinner and overnight stay.
Non-Members: $65 General M: $55   Practicing M: $45

Mar. 20-21   GUEST SPEAKER  Susan Moon  Friday 7:30pm - Saturday 11 a.m.  Zendo.
Join us for a special presentation by Buddhist writer and teacher, Susan Moon. Susan is the author of The Hidden Lamp: Stories from 25 Centuries of Awakened Women, as well as the editor of “Not Turning Away: The Practice of Engaged Buddhism.” Moon was also the editor of “Turning Wheel,” a journal on socially engaged Buddhism. Susan has been a Zen student since 1976, practicing in the lineage of Suzuki Roshi at Berkeley Zen Center, Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery, Green Gulch Farm, and now with Zoketsu Norman Fischer’s Everyday Zen sangha. She received “entrustment” as a lay teacher in 2005.

An introduction to Zen teachings, Zendo form, rituals, instruction on zazen, and also main concepts as basic foundation for Zen practice.  For beginners and intermediate people who would like to gain more insight into the philosophy of Zen and how to actualize those principles in everyday life.  Includes vegetarian lunch.  $55.  Instructor: TBA

Mar. 28 Sat.  SPRING WORKFEST  8:30am – 4pm
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.

Sonoma Mountain Zen Center (  •  email:

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Julie Kashin Receives The Geido Position

Saturday, February 14, 2015 at 12 noon

The position of Geido refers to the various traditional Japanese art disciplines - Noh Theatre, Kado (Flower Arrangement), Shodo(Calligraphy), Sado(Tea Ceremony), and Yakimono(Pottery). All of these disciplines carry an ethical and aesthetic connotation. They teach an appreciation of the process of creation. To introduce discipline into their training, Japanese warriors followed the example of the arts that systematized practice through prescribed forms called Kata - imagine the tea ceremony and how structured the form is, so participants can have a glimpse of it’s inherent aesthetics and presence.

As a successor of Shunryu Suzuki-roshi, I was deeply influenced by his appreciation of subtle aesthetics and it’s important role in our everyday environment. When I was with Suzuki-roshi he never spoke directly about aesthetics, but he mostly demonstrated his respect for everyday objects by the way he would arrange the various things in his home and at Sokoji temple. He was very aware of his surroundings, and would place a flower arrangement, a calligraphy, or a Mingei teacup very carefully, displaying a sense of color and exquisite composition with a subtle beauty that was also calming. I wasn’t even aware that I was receiving this wonderful teaching about aesthetics, until years later when I noticed that I also developed an awareness and appreciation of arranging things in my environment with this subtleness to this day.

Julie Kashin will be given the title of Geido to hold this lineage of simple, ordinary aesthetics and form at Sonoma Mountain Zen Center.

Please come witness and congratulate Kashin in her new position. May ordinary aesthetics continue to flow throughout the grounds at Genjo-Ji.

Nine Bows,

Jakusho Kwong-roshi