Racial Literacy and Dharma Monthly Book Club – Wednesday December 19

6:45 – 8:30 pm

All people are raised with cultural conditioning around race. If we were raised in the U.S., and especially if we identify as “white” or “European-descended,” our conditioning tends to include a value for colorblindness, which can make it difficult for to acknowledge, let alone investigate, our racial biases. This book group is intended to expand our racial literacy, as Micheal Eric Dyson puts it, to develop a more intimate understanding together of racial oppression and the suffering it causes across color lines in the U.S., and to engage this as our practice in Zen of turning towards suffering as the gate of awakening and liberation.

Pre-registration for the group is requested each month, so that everyone can have the page assignments, articles, and to consider the agreements before each meeting.

To register, or for more information please email:

Facilitated by: Hoka Chris Fortin and Dojin Sarah Emerson

The two teachers facilitating the group identify as white, U.S. citizens, and Zen Buddhist priests. We understand the limitations of our experiences in relation to race, and strive to bring cultural humility to our facilitation of these groups.

Next Meeting:  Wed. November 29 6-8pm

The book for November will be Unaccompanied by Javier Zamora.


Summer Reading:For July and August, we are suggesting three books: one non-fiction, one fiction, and one Dharma and Race specific.

For the Summer Reading, we are asking that everyone read at least one book…and all three if possible
The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander
Now and then a book comes along that might in time touch the public and educate social commentators, policymakers, and politicians about a glaring wrong that we have been living with that we also somehow don’t know how to face. The New Jim Crow: Mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness…is such a work.” -The New York Review of Books
Beloved, by Toni Morrison
Puliter Prize winner for fiction in 1986.A New York Times survey of writers and literary critics ranked it the best work of American fiction from 1981 to 2006. This novel looks at the family of Sethe in the aftermath of escaping slavery.

Radical Dharma, by Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Lama Rod Owens, and Dr. Jasmine Syedullah
Igniting a long-overdue dialogue about how the legacy of racial injustice and white supremacy plays out in society at large and Buddhist communities in particular, this urgent call to action outlines a new dharma that takes into account the ways that racism and privilege prevent our collective awakening.


Previous Months:

-June: When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrice Khan-Cullors and asha bandale

-May: Homegoing by Ya’a Gyasi

-April: So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

-March: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward and instead of an article, we are asking members to watch the film “I Am Not Your Negro” (available through PBS and streaming through Amazon)

- February:  Waking Up White by Peggy Irving

It was decided by the January group that going forward we will read one book per month, so beginning in Feb. and going forward we will read the whole book for each meeting.

-January: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

-December 13: Tears We Cannot Stop: a Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson pages 123-end
article: “We’re Still Here”
-November/December: Tears We Cannot Stop: a Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson

November 8: pages 1-123

and article: “Waking Up to Whiteness” by Greg Snyder








Edmee and Burt are hosting a weekly gathering that will offer zazen and discussion open to anyone interested. Drop ins are welcome.

When: Tuesday 6:30 to-7:45 pm

6:30 to 6:55 pm Zazen, silent meditation practice
7:00 to 7:45 pm Informal discussion

Please accept our invitation and “come as you are” to participate in an informal conversation about the impact of meditation practice in our lives: from Zen Buddhism to any other traditions. We will explore how to stay curious and open when confronted with the stress of daily life and work.

If you have any question, please send us an email:
Burt Quinn:



ZF Flyer Color- 2018_001

Handcrafted treasures and gifts
Buddhas and Spiritual Practice Supplies
Silent auction
Delectable homemade jams and treats
Buddha’s Attic rummage sale
Books and antiques


At the Masonic Center

373 North Main Street, Sebastopol – just across from the Safeway

For more information: 707.829.1129 or

A benefit for Stone Creek Zen Center


Jizo Bodhisattva

Jizo Retreat at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center with Dojin and Chris Fortin

June 21-24

Come explore the practices and qualities embodied by Jizo Bodhisattva, fearless guardian of children, travelers, pilgrims, those who grieve, and those who are crossing over.

Jizo Bodhisattva, whose name means “Earth Womb,” is the being who represents the archetype of fearlessness and a deep caring heart in Buddhism. Inspired by Jizo’s Great Vow to help all beings cross over from places of suffering, we will explore what this effort means to us, and how we each express it in our own lives. We will also engage and practice with all the qualities Jizo embodies: fearlessness, love, connection, and nourishment, through art, writing, ritual, hiking, and meditation; while being refreshed by the quiet, wonderful food, community, and mountains, and waters of Tassajara.

for more information and to register: Jizo



11:30 – 4:30

As white practitioners in the U.S., we have been, and are, shaped by social, economic and other systems that benefit us at the expense of people of color. To the extent that we are unaware of this system of white privilege and racial conditioning, we are not free to make skillful choices about how to act within it. Rather, we unwittingly behave in ways that lead to suffering for ourselves, our fellow practitioners, our community and the larger society.

In this 1/2 day of practice, guided meditation, self-reflection and dialog we will investigate our acculturated belief systems and how they serve as barriers to awakening, both our own and others’. We will explore ways of moving towards greater freedom and the opportunities for action that open as our minds become less encumbered by constructed identities.

To register, please send an email to:

BYO bag lunch. Suggested donation $40, proceeds will go to support East Bay Meditation Center, no one turned away,.

Led by Crystal Johnson, Chris Fortin and Dojin Sarah Emerson.