Monthly Archives: September 2010

New Dogen translation to be celebrated in San Francisco

From San Francisco Zen Center

The world’s foremost Zen scholars and practitioners will unite for the Zen Translation Forum: Dogen Lost and Found in Translation, from November 5 – 7, 2010, to honor the monumental release of Treasury of the True Dharma Eye: Zen Master Dogen’s Shobo Genzo, edited by Kazuaki Tanahashi, as well as to honor all translators and scholars of Dogen in other projects and to learn from them, with three days of panel discussions, Q&A sessions and dharma talks at four Bay Area locations, including San Francisco Zen Center, Fort Mason Conference Center, Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, and Greens Restaurant. For the full schedule of events and speakers, click here.

Kazuaki Tanahashi’s translation is featured in the current issue of Buddhadharma. Read an excerpt of his introduction to the translation here.

Canyon Sam receives PEN award

Canyon Sam, a Chinese-American Buddhist, was recently honored with the PEN Open Book Award for her new book Sky Train: Tibetan Women on the Edge of History.

A press release from the University of Washington Press describes Canyon Sam’s book as “a deeply felt, cutting edge memoir of the courage of four Tibetan women when China invaded their country in 1959 — and their survival through imprisonment, torture and spiritual oppression… It chronicles the vast changes to Tibetan people and landscapes by a greater connection with the Chinese through the new high-speed ‘sky train’ that connects Lhasa to China.” The book also includes a foreword by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

The PEN Open Book Award highlights literary excellence among authors of color in the United States. Sam’s book was also granted an “Outstanding” rating by the American Library Association.

Sogyal Rinpoche embarks on US teaching tour: New York, Stanford University, San Francisco, San Diego

Posted by Rigpa Fellowship

With his unique teaching style, Sogyal Rinpoche makes Tibetan Buddhism relevant to modern people of all faiths, drawing out its universal message while losing none of its authenticity, purity, and power. The “What Meditation Really Is” teaching tour speaks to the heart of our greatest human wish: to be happy.

We all want to be happy. But often the relentless pace and challenges of life make it impossible to know where to look for happiness. Join Rinpoche as he teaches us, through public talks, weekend teachings, Read More »

Shambhala streams live Pema Chodron event

The  “Smile at Fear” weekend retreat with Pema Chödrön is sold out, but Shambhala Publications is making it possible for her fans to  still attend, wherever they happen to be.

Shambhala Publications, publisher of some of Pema’s most loved and bestselling books, including Comfortable with Uncertainty and The Places that Scare You, is streaming the three-day event live and offering an on-demand video that’s available for 60 days after the event. Pema Chödrön rarely makes public appearances, so her upcoming “Smile at Fear” retreat is a rare opportunity to practice and study with Pema in real time, as she teaches wisdom learned from her own teacher, Chögyam Trungpa. Read More »

Remembering Zen teacher Stefano Mui Barragato: Memorial and burial service planned for this weekend

By Rod Meade Sperry

Word has broken that Zen teacher Stefano Mui Barragato, of Treetop Zen Center in Maine, has passed away.

Stef — his Dharma name was Mui, but those who knew him often called him Stef — became a Zen priest in 1983 and received dharma transmission from Bernie Glassman in 1996. At Maezumi Roshi’s later urging, Stef moved to New York and offered dharma practice opportunities among a small sangha there, and to prisoners in an upstate “supermax” prison. Read More »

Buddhist Global Relief fundraising event

Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi will be leading a walk to raise money for Buddhist Global Relief hunger relief projects in the US, Asia, and Africa, on Saturday, October 16. The 5 mile (8 kilometer) walk will begin at  South Mountain Reservation, in South Orange, NJ.

People who don’t live in the area are invited to support the walk in other ways. You can conduct your own walk in your area, and create a fundraising page for yourself, a team, or your sangha to raise funds for BGR hunger relief projects. If you can’t walk but still want to contribute, you can sponsor Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi’s walk on his fundraising page. To register for the walk or fundraise, click here.

Brandeis University scholarship honors life of American-Tibetan monk

From Brandeis University, via Business Wire

The family of the late Daja Wangchuk Meston Greenberg has established a scholarship in his name at his alma mater, Brandeis University . The Daja Wangchuk Meston Greenberg ’96 Memorial Scholarship will be awarded annually to a Brandeis student whose personal story, like Daja’s, involves overcoming adversity and who demonstrates great promise in areas of academic, social, and/or political work.

Daja passed away at the age of 39 on July 11 in Weston, Mass. An American born in Switzerland and raised from childhood in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Nepal, he earned a B.A. (cum laude) in sociology, having had little formal schooling before coming to America. Read More »

What’s your experience as a woman on the Buddhist path?

From Tynette Deveaux, editor of Buddhadharma, The Practitioner’s Quarterly

In the next issue of Buddhadharma we’re focusing on the challenges—and opportunities—facing women in Western Buddhism.

We want to hear from YOU about your experiences. Are there gender issues in your Buddhist community? Do you face particular obstacles as a woman practitioner? Is gender even an issue for you in the context of Buddhist practice and community?

(Do note that we’d like to hear from men as well on this issue.) Join the conversation on SunSpace now. Read More »

Silent auction of John Daido Loori photographs

Monday, October 4, 2010 • 6 – 9 pm

A silent auction to benefit Zen Mountain Monastery’s new Zen Arts Hall will be held at Ramscale West Village Lofts at 463 West Street, 13th fl., New York, NY 10014. Proceeds from the auction will go to the building fund for Zen Mountain Monastery’s new Sangha House, an 8,200-square-foot LEED-certified building that will provide a venue for exhibitions, performances, lectures, and conferences that will encourage the exploration of art as a spiritual practice. This approach is central to the training within the Mountains and Rivers Order, as it was handed down by its founder and abbot, John Daido Loori, and stresses his commitment to use art as a tool for self-study. Read More »

Eido Roshi steps down as abbot of Zen Studies Society

Eido Shimano Roshi will be stepping down as abbot of the Zen Studies Society, a decision he explained in a letter that went out to his sangha yesterday (see below). Eido Roshi also previously agreed to resign from the Zen Studies Society’s board of directors amid allegations that he had an inappropriate relationship with a female student (See our report from last month). The full text of his letter follows here.

Dear Friends,

I would like to acknowledge the pain and unnecessary suffering you went through in your hearts due to my faults. I have a profound feeling of remorse for my actions.

This August marked my 50th anniversary in the United States. During this half-century I have received so much from people the world over. Over time, I took your kindness for granted and arrogance grew in my heart. Read More »

New Yokoji Zen blog

Yokoji LogoWe are often asked, “What exactly do you do up here?” by guests who come up and visit the Center. What does the day-to-day practice look like at a working Zen Center? We have launched a new blog to address this. If you are interested in life at a year-round Zen training center, please visit

Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center is a Soto Zen Buddhist temple in the Southern Californian mountains. The abbot is Charles Tenshin Fletcher Roshi, and we are part of the White Plum Asanga.

Talking Contemplation and Creativity, with Matthieu Ricard and Philip Glass

On Monday, September 13 in New York City, Buddhist monk and photographer Matthieu Ricard will meet with world-renowned composer Philip Glass to explore the crossroads between contemplation and creativity. Exploring how meditation can access the creative muse, the discussion takes its cue from Ricard’s new book, Why Meditate? (An article by that title, excerpted from the book, leads off the title section of the Shambhala Sun’s September 2010 How to Meditate issue.)

Ricard’s insightful work strives to foster the dialogue between Tibetan Buddhism and the West. Composer Philip Glass will share his similarly rewarding use of meditation in delivering some of the most heralded musical compositions in contemporary music. Moderated by noted psychiatrist Mark Epstein, M.D., the evening will draw from each panelist’s experience with meditation as a pathway to creative productivity.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Karuna-Shechen, Ricard’s humanitarian nonprofit organization providing access to healthcare in India, Nepal and Tibet. (

The event is expected to sell out, so order your tickets now.

Sylvia Boorstein shares an exciting update regarding ordination of bhikkhunis in the Theravada tradition

You may recall that the Summer 2010 issue of Buddhadharma — along with a heated and productive online discussion on Shambhala SunSpace — focused on a new call to end the second-class status of Buddhist nuns.

Now, Sylvia Boorstein — a friend and a frequent contributor to our magazines — provides us all with an exciting update via Huffington Post. The article begins:

“At 6:15 p.m. on August 29, 2010, at a secluded mountaintop hermitage overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Sonoma County, California, four women, all long-time dedicated practitioners, were declared fully ordained as bhikkhunis, Buddhist nuns, in the Thai Theravada tradition. It was the first such ordination ever in the Western hemisphere, and it was epochal since their preceptors were nuns in their same tradition.”

For more details and photos of the ceremony, see Sylvia’s Huffington Post article, here.