Dear Dharma Friend,
In the early hours of the morning, the wake-up bell sounds and the resonant, rhythmic rap of the wooden han calls the community to the zendo. At Green Gulch Farm, and Tassajara these reminders to be upright reverberate over a landscape quickening to life — owls and frogs, crickets and jays, listen and add their voices. At City Center, the temple sounds are echoed by cars and sirens, and the footsteps of people walking their dogs.
These sounds are an invitation to enter the vast mind that connects us all, whether embodied in the zendo, sitting quietly in one’s room, or simply walking with mindful awareness on the way to work.
The Sounds of Zen Center
- Calls the community to the zendo for zazen. City Center, March 2011
- Calls the community to the Buddha Hall for lecture or class. City Center, March 2011
- Before Lecture Chant
- City Center, June 2011
- After Lecture Chant
- City Center, June 2011
Additional sounds will be added over the next 3 weeks.
The practice of zazen is the heart of the San Francisco Zen Center community. We sit here supported by the sound of the bell and the daily commitment of gathering together. And people across North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia join in the unbroken continuity of practice. Where-ever we are, we sit together as one body.
Then what happens? We leave the zendo, and with you enter the activity of the day! Sweeping the walkways, gardening, greeting guests, meeting each other, listening carefully, healing with words and actions, embracing and sustaining life in all it’s sorrow and beauty.
Zazen helps us meet life with clarity and a open heart so that even the most ordinary encounter is an occasion for awakening. Moment by moment we may breathe mindfully and allow all our preconceptions to drop, freeing us to respond with immediacy, in intimacy.
In the evening the bell and han call us together again for study, for dharma discussion, for sitting in silence, to nurture the transforming depth of ourselves and others.
This is the daily rhythm of practice at Zen Center and our vow is to share our practice with everyone. Together, day by day we create a culture of wisdom and compassion for the world.
For almost 50 years through the unbroken continuity of practice, the Zen Center community has become a quietly powerful support for living intimately. Zen Center offers a way to transform lives, develop good character, and in changing lives/hearts/minds it is healing the world.
It takes the sustained effort of a community — of you and me, the many that came before us, and the many who will follow — to keep the vital heart of Zen practice alive.
As an important part of this community, I invite you to make your contribution and to join with us in our efforts to continue to offer the practice of zazen.
With deepest respect and gratitude, Ways to Give:
Myogen Steve Stücky
Zen Center Central Abbot
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