San Francisco Zen Center Dharma Talks
Summary: Public lectures given at San Francisco Zen Center
07/16/2023, Furyu Schroeder, dharma talk at Green Gulch Farm. A discussion of Dogen Zenji’s instructions to the Head Cook with examples from our own kitchen practice here at San Francisco Zen Center.
In this dharma talk from Beginner's Mind Temple, Shosan Victoria Austin asks: How do we approach barriers and obstacles to meditation, to invite steadiness and comfort in these times? How do we serve our varied abilities and needs to establish a life of peaceful, harmonious practice?
07/12/2023, Tenzen David Zimmerman, dharma talk at City Center. In this dharma talk from Beginner's Mind Temple, Central Abbot Tenzen David Zimmerman shares the heartbreaking yet ultimately inspiring story of Patacara, one of Buddhism's first female ancestors, to illustrate how we might maintain our compassion, resilience, and presence of mind as we navigate times of great loss and suffering.
07/09/2023, Dojin Sarah Emerson, dharma talk at Green Gulch Farm. Ritual is a way to heal ourselves, each other, and the earth.
07/02/2023, Kokyo Henkel, dharma talk at Green Gulch Farm. Three barriers to pass through, from Case 47 in the Gateless Barrier koan collection: where is your buddha-nature right now, how can you be free of birth and death when dying, and where do you go after death?
Shundo David Haye, in this dharma talk from Beginner’s Mind Temple, discusses a story between the Third and Fourth Ancestors in China, and offers ways to be free to meet the present moment without being caught up in our karmic conditioning.
06/25/2023, Furyu Schroeder, dharma talk at Green Gulch Farm. This talk is about radical kindness and warm hearted candor, freed from malice of any kind. Inspired by the conjoining of Zen and Quaker values.
Rev. Dr. Wakoh Shannon Hickey, BCC, in this dharma talk from Beginner’s Mind Temple, describes a 1984 encounter with Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority that provoked a crisis leading her to come out as lesbian, to enter the path of Zen, and to study the question of how to assert one’s dignity and value without demonizing those who would deny it. She addresses the current backlash against advances in LGBTQIA+ civil rights and describes her own growing understanding of Trans people’s struggles. In her current work as an interfaith hospice chaplain, she illustrates how Zen teaching and practice help her navigate encounters with dying people, and to love and serve even those who express bigoted beliefs.
06/18/2023, Wendy Johnson, dharma talk at Green Gulch Farm. In this time of climate challenge and unrest, the engaged practice of Dharma and Ecology offers a grounded response.
06/17/2024, Keiryu Liên Shutt and Jisan Tova Green, dharma talk at City Center. Keiryu Liên Shutt and Jisan Tova Green, in this shared dharma talk from Beginner’s Mind Temple, investigate what jukai (also known as lay ordination, Bodhisattva initiation, or receiving the precepts) is about.
06/14/2023, Sozan Michael McCord, dharma talk at City Center. Sozan Michael McCord, in this dharma talk from Beginner’s Mind Temple, explores what freedom means, and asks whether we really know that we are free.
06/11/2023, Jiryu Rutschman-Byler, dharma talk at Green Gulch Farm. Jiryu shares teachings on continuously welcoming our problems as our practice, by exploring Suzuki Roshi’s comment that “if your everyday life is not based on this kind of spirit of repeating it forever, you cannot cope with the problems you will have day after day.”
06/10/2023, Kyoshin Wendy Lewis, dharma talk at City Center. Kyoshin Wendy Lewis, in this dharma talk from Beginner’s Mind Temple, considers liberation from the humanist perspective as a poignant, balanced understanding and perception of the world and the human condition. Freedom is characterized by sacrifice in a sense of purpose, dedication, and joy, and grounded in morality, understanding, and communication.
06/07/2023, Chikudo Catherine Spaeth, dharma talk at City Center. Chikudo Catherine Spaeth, in this talk from Beginner's mind temple, investigates how communal relationships are affected by and can perpetuate or interrupt shame, envy and disappointment. Featuring excerpts from Shunryu Suzuki's own translation of the Sandokai (Harmony of Difference and Equality).
06/04/2023, Eijun Linda Cutts, dharma talk at Green Gulch Farm. The Avatamsaka Sutra says that everyone without exception is endowed with the wisdom and virtue of the Buddhas, however because of of delusion and attachments they do not realize it. The practice of bowing where self and other are not two embodies this teaching.