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May We Gather-A National Buddhist Memorial Ceremony for Asian American Ancestors

May We Gather: A National Buddhist Memorial Ceremony for Asian American Ancestors (www.maywegather.org) is the first national Buddhist memorial service in response to anti-Asian violence. The ceremony will be livestreamed from Higashi Honganji Temple in Los Angeles, which was vandalized earlier this year. The event will be freely broadcast online and will bring together Asian American Buddhists and their allies to heal in community together.

On May 4th, 2021, exactly seven weeks, or forty-nine days, will have passed since the Atlanta shootings claimed the lives of eight people, six of them women of Asian descent, including the 63-year-old Buddhist Yong Ae Yue. In many Buddhist traditions, forty-nine days after death marks an important transition for the bereaved. May We Gather will feature Buddhist chanting and reflections from forty-nine Asian American Buddhist leaders of South, Southeast, and East Asian descent in a communal ritual to honor people who have died from acts of anti-Asian violence in the United States.

The 90-minute-long event will be held on Tuesday, May 4th, 2021 at 4pm PDT (7pm EDT). We welcome Asian American Buddhist temples and organizations as well as allied communities and individuals of all backgrounds to participate in this ceremony by endorsing the gathering, sharing it widely, and watching the livestream on May 4th.

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The Dharma of being Anti-racist – April 28- August 18

The Dharma of Being Anti-Racist: Accessing Skillful Engagement

Teaching Team:

Core Teachers: Rev. Liên Shutt and Dawn Haney
Facilitation Teachers: Dalila Bothwell, Linda Gonzalez, Korin Charlie Pokorny, Dojin Sarah Emerson

Description:

Would you like to skillfully practice anti-racism? The 8-Fold Path provides ways to enact:

  • Wisdom of understanding & thoughts
  • Meaningful meditations & practices with effort, mindfulness, & concentration
  • Fostering engaged behaviors in speech, action, & livelihood

Inquiring into the causes and conditions that have brought about our collective suffering from racism, this course will offer meditations, reflective writings, mindfulness practices, and interactive exercises to support grounding, settledness, and skillful action. We’ll connect to individual and collective agency as we practice skills for staying in discomfort and resilience.

Open to all who acknowledge systemic racism and are committed to examining the impact of being part of such a structure.

We are committed to a class ratio of 50% BIPOC to 50% white-identified participants.

for more information and to apply click here

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Stone Creek stands in solidarity with AAPI community

Stone Creek Zen Center stands in solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and condemns both the long history of oppression, and the recent waves of violence against AAPI persons. We acknowledge the deep roots of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in Sonoma County,; and the deep roots of Asian American buddhist practice in our community and in the United States.

In alignment with the Bodhisattva Vows, we call on our sangha members and all Zen practitioners who are not Asian American/ Pacific Islander to be on the lookout for, and to interrupt any violence- physical, verbal and otherwise- aimed at anyone in the AAPI community in this time of escalating attacks.

Please read Why Did Six Asian Women Have to Die in Order to be Seen? by 

Online Memorial honoring victims of Atlanta murders and all AAPI targeted violence on May 4th, 4pm (the 49th day following the shootings): https://www.maywegather.org/ (see posting on our main sight as well for more information)

Take a free online Bystander Intervention Training with Hollaback! (recommended in article above by Butterfly Tony Pham)

Or enroll in The Dharma of being Anti-racist (Dojin Sarah and Korin Charlie of Stone Creek are on the teaching team, so please reach out with questions)

There are also  many efforts in our community to stand in solidarity and here are some ways to support those efforts and get involved:

Asian American Alliance of Marin- resources page 

Anti Asian Violence Resources- national 

The Wechat project

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HEALING IS THE REVOLUTION- online evening conversation- March 13, 6-8PM PST

Join Dr. Denese Shervington and Dr. Lisa Richardson, along with Rev. Dojin Sarah Emerson, for a conversation to soothe your soul. The year 2020 may have been extremely challenging for many, and sometimes challenges provide the perfect opportunity for personal transformation. Big questions may arise such as what is reality and how do we face it? What resources do we have for healing and self-care? How do mental health principles meet Buddhist practice?

In this evening of conversation Dr. Shervington will bring her expertise in psychiatry, trauma, and community healing, paired with Dr. Richardson’s experience in Public Health and community resilience and Reverend Dojin’s deep understanding of Buddhist principles and practice engagement. They will share their own insights and invite the beloved community to ask questions and share as well. This event will be moderated by Lauren Dito Keith, a resident of Green Gulch Farm Zen Center.

Offered through San Francisco Zen Center

Saturday March 13, 6 – 8 pm PT

For more information or to register:  https://www.sfzc.org/calendar/events/online/healing-revolution-online-313

 

 

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Journeying Through Grief and Change with Fearlessness: Jizo Practice Group, Online 2/18 – 3/11

Four Thursdays: February 18, 25, March 4, 11, 4:30 – 6:30 pm PT

Led By Dōjin Sarah Emerson, Chris Fortin and Jenifer Block

In this time of difficulty and uncertainty, the archetype of Jizo Bodhisattva, an embodiment of fearlessness and great persistence, is a profound resource. Jizo vows to walk into the fires of suffering, and to accompany all beings across to the safety and equanimity of awakening.

Calling forth this spirit of creative and wholehearted engagement, we will deepen and stabilize our capacity to meet personal grief and loss and the collective grief of the global pandemic, racial violence and inequities, climate catastrophe, economic instability, societal and communal uncertainties.

The event is offered to deepen the qualities of Jizo Bodhisattva: unconditional love, great commitment, and unshakable fearlessness, in our practice and in the world. Our hope is that this offering will cultivate our individual and collective capacity to accept and engage with what is painful and difficult.

Jizo Practice Group

Our final session will be a Jizo Ceremony in which we bear witness to each other’s grief and loss and dedicate our efforts to the healing of our communities and in the world.  All are welcome, especially those in need of compassion, healing, and solace from the many losses, uncertainty and changes of these times.This is a unique opportunity to begin or deepen your bodhisattva practice. Together we will explore the meaning and power of Jizo Bodhisattva.  Meetings will include dharma talks, relevant reading, discussion, creative expression, as well as supporting one another in navigating the tricky places. We will introduce creative practices to nurture the qualities of Jizo: optimism, compassion, courage, and peace. We will study the Wheel of Life, and Jizo’s role in opening the doors of practice in the six realms of transmigration: gods, jealous gods, hungry ghosts, hell-beings, animals, and humans.

Advance registration required, this is not a drop-in group.

Offered through San Francisco Zen Center:

for more information and to register click here

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Spring Ango: The Eightfold Path We Walk Together

The ango this year will be online through zoom.
The theme of the ango will be “The Eightfold Path We Walk Together.”

• The Sunday talks on March 14 – April 4 will be on the topic of the ango.
• The ango study group will meet on Wednesday evenings, March 10 – April 7, 6:00 to 8:00 (possibly ending earlier on some evenings). During these meetings, participants are invited to offer brief (5-10 minute) presentations  to express and share their own understandings, experiences and living applications of one or more folds of the Eightfold Path. We particularly invite developing connections between the Eightfold Path and contemporary issues including social justice, living in the pandemic and the climate crisis.
• We plan to hold an ango practice day combined with the Sunday offering on March 21, 9:15 am – 3:00 pm.

The Eightfold Path is a classic exposition of the 4th Noble Truth of the Path (the 4 Noble Truths are the truths of suffering, the cause of suffering, freedom from suffering, and the path).

The Eightfold Path consists of:
1. Skillful View (or Understanding)
2. Skillful Intention (or Resolve or Vow)
3. Skillful Speech (or Conversation)
4. Skillful Action (or Conduct)
5. Skillful Livelihood (or Integration)
6. Skillful Effort (or Energy)
7. Skillful Mindfulness (or Recollection of Teachings)
8. Skillful Concentration (or Meditation)

There are a number of books which discuss the Eightfold Path. We would like to recommend the following as our base text:

The Eightfold Path edited by Jikyo Cheryl Wolfer (Temple Ground Press). It is a compilation of commentaries on each fold by contemporary woman Zen teachers.

The ango will be led by Dojin and Korin.

Suggested donation for Ango: members $110, non-members $150, if you’re having financial hardship, please email (see below),                no one turned away for lack of funds

Please sign up by sending an email to stonecreek@sonic.net

 

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Living my practice wholeheartedly: whiteness, race and the Bodhisattva vow- Feb 7

Living my practice wholeheartedly: whiteness, race and the Bodhisattva vow
for white practitioners
Sunday February 7, 2021 10:00 am – 5:00 pm PST
Teachers: Crystal Johnson, Dojin Sarah Emerson, Chris Fortin and Tova Green
While this year of pandemic has been disruptive and challenging in many ways, it has also created an opening, a space for greater awareness and urgency around issues of racial harm.  The murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery; the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 and the climate crisis, especially on the Black, Latinx and Native communities; and the speed with which so many people in America faced hunger, are all shocking outcomes of the system of race-based oppression in America.
As white people, especially those of us with class privilege, this can be both upsetting and overwhelming.  Our compassionate nature registers the suffering, yet our confusion makes it difficult to know what to do.  In this workshop, we offer brief talks, group discussion, reflection and time for Q&A to explore these states of distress, and examine how to move from the overwhelm, confusion, guilt, uncertainty and isolation to the joyful practice of compassion, fueled by the energy of the Bodhisattva vow.
To register:

Teachers:

Crystal Johnson is a retired clinical psychologist and a Community Teacher at the East Bay Meditation Center.  She has taught and co-taught white awareness courses in a number of sanghas, including White and Awakening in Sangha at EBMC, Unpacking Whiteness: Reflection and Action at SFZC, White and Awakening Together at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and Unpacking the Whiteness of Leadership for Branching Streams.

Sarah Emerson is a Head Priest at the Stone Creek Zen Center in Graton, CA.  With Chris Fortin, she co-leads a monthly Racial Literacy and Dharma Inquiry group and is part of the teaching team at East Bay Meditation Center for the White and Awakening in Sangha program.

Chris Fortin is a senior teacher at Everyday Zen Foundation and the guiding teacher of Dharma Heart Zen in Sonoma County, CA.

Tova Green is a resident priest at San Francisco Zen Center and liaison for Branching Streams, the network of Zen Centers in the Suzuki Roshi lineage. She co-leads a monthly Unpacking Whiteness affinity group at SFZC.

This program is a benefit for the East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, CA.

In registering for this daylong workshop, we are inviting you to support the work of the East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC) in Oakland, CA. Founded and led by a majority of POC teachers and practitioners, EBMC opened its doors in 2007 to provide a dharma refuge for people of color, members of the LGBTQI community, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented communities.

Through conscious cultivation of practices of Radical Inclusivity, Shared Leadership and Gift Economics, EBMC seeks to foster liberation, personal and interpersonal healing, social action, and inclusive community building.

Through our writings and workshops such as this one for white people, we offer support to other dharma communities and practitioners who are seeking to more fully live their practice in the world.

Please give as generously as you can to support this important work.

 

Presented by Everyday Zen and the East Bay Meditation Center, co-sponsored by Branching Streams, Dharma Heart Zen, San Francisco Zen Center and Stone Creek Zen

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New Years offerings: sitting 12/31/20 and 1/2 day retreat 1/2/21

1) Thursday 12/31- New Year’s Eve sitting from 3-6pm PST

To close out this momentous and challenging year, please join us for some quiet meditation together. We will alternate sitting and walking meditation.

Come and leave as you need.

On Stone Creek’s zoom- please email if you need the link: stonecreek@sonic.net

2) Saturday January 2nd-  New Year’s ½ Day Renewal Retreat and Jizo Ceremony, 2-5pm

For this afternoon, we will come together to sit, reflect and make space for our personal and collective grief to honor and give closure to the challenges that we met in 2020, and make some room in our hearts and lives for renewal and continued healing in 2021.

We will sit zazen, share some teachings about Jizo Bodhisattva (the bodhisattva of fearlessness who supports us in feeling and expressing our grief and loss, and crossing over into realms of connection and healing), and meet with one another in small groups. We will then share together in a Jizo Ceremony where we make small offerings and entrust them to the care and tending of Jizo’s great capacity.

Led by Dojin

Please register by Thursday 12/31 by emailing: stonecreek@sonic.net

Suggested donation, sliding scale $30-$60, no one turned away for lack of funds.