BACK PORCH ZENDO/CIRCULAR ZEN

THURSDAY NIGHT PRACTICE GROUP

Prior Notices

Back Porch Home  see our zendo  recent notice 
Rev. Elizabeth Sawyer
 Buddhamama burl

BACK PORCH ZENDO some prior notices

This will give you an idea of what happens at Back Porch Zendo. To be on Elizabeth Sawyer's emailing list and to receive notices about events at Back Porch Zendo - full moon ceremonies and sesshin, contact her at EBSAWYER@comcast.net


6-09-08 - Ken Sawyer's Brother Michael died Thursday June 5 at noon at his home at Green Gulch Farm. We will have an informal memorial for him this Tuesday June 10 after our usual zazen which begins at 6:45. Michael was a Zen preist who practiced and lived at Zen Center for 30 years with his wife Emila. Michael will be cremated later today at 10 am. Besides Emila and Ken, Michael is survived by his daughter Mithra and her son Connor.

Saturday night Emila gave Michael's Buddhist vestment called an okesa to Ken. As Ken put it on, he wept. I did too. Ken will wear this robe with tenderness for the first time at the cremation.

Please join us if you can. We may have another memorial for friends who need more notice or who cannot make it on a Tuesday.

 


 
~ Tuesday March 18 at Back Porch Zendo~
 
 
Back Porch Zendo and Russian River Zendo invite you to join us this Tuesday March 18, for a time of reflection and meditation to honor our teachers and friends Tony Patchell and Darlene Cohen (who will be undergoing neck surgery on this day). 
 
The Schedule: 
 
6:45 zazen
7:15 Well-being Ceremony
7:30 Tea/Speaking From The Heart 
8:30 Pali Refuges
Please RSVP by calling Susan Spencer: 707~829~8289 or Elizabeth: 707~874~1133. 
 
Note:  Please bring a zafu, pillows and mat or blanket if you intend to sit with us.
 
(Limited zafus, zabutons, and chairs available).

WELL BEING CEREMONY FOR DARLENE COHEN TUESDAY 3/18 (THE DAY OF HER NECK SURGERY).

 
Here's the ceremony itself
 
Note:  Even if you cannot attend this ceremony in body, I thought you might want to know we are doing it and join us in spirit or do your own version/Well~being ceremony, light a candle or in whatever way lend/send your support.  Darlene's actual time of surgery is scheduled at 8:30 am so please help us mobilize the Mojo!

"All my ancient twisted karma, from beginningless greed hate, and delusion, born through body, speech, and mind, I now fully avow"

 

You are cordially invited to a Half Day Sitting,
Full Moon Bodhisattva Ceremony and Pot Luck  
Saturday November 4, here at Back Porch Zendo. 

Sitting starts at 1:00. Ceremony at 6:00 dinner to follow. 

10-07-02 -

 

You are invited to join sangha members from Russian River Zendo this Thursday, October 12, for a time of reflection and meditation to honor our teacher and friend Darlene Cohen who will be undergoing surgery on this day.  This schedule will be posted on the front door of the Zendo. 

 

Please come and go as you wish. 

 

12:00 zazen

12:35 kin hin

12:45 break

1:00 zazen

1:35 kin hin

1 :45 break

2:00 zazen
2:35 kin hin
2:45 break
3:00 zazen
3:35 kin hin

3:45 break

4:00 zazen

4:35 kin hin

4:45 break
5:00 well being ceremony
5:30 tea/warm hearted discussion

6:00 zazen

6:30 kin hin

6:40 zazen

7:10 kin hin

7:20 zazen

7:50 pali refuges

8:00 end

 

Susan Spencer and Elizabeth Sawyer will be there for the whole day.  Please call if you have any questions or concerns

Susan: 707-829-8289 or Eliz: 707-874-1133 

 

Elizabeth and Ken Sawyer will lead a well-being ceremony at 5:00 pm (the time the surgery is scheduled for). 

Note:  Please bring your own meals and take your own time out to eat.  Some will sit as others may eat, rest, or exercise outside of the zendo.

Russian River Zendo, 14050 Gabe's Rock Road
Guerneville, CA 95446

Please wear simple loose comfortable clothing suitable for sitting on the floor (chairs are available, zafus and zabutons are provided).

Directions:
Turn off Rt 116 -- Main Street in Guerneville -- onto Gab's Rock Rd.  This is a small road coming into Main St on one side only, and is not easily seen.  On the corner is a Mexican restaurant whose neon sign can be seen from a distance and a cafe called Spliffs.  Look for these landmarks because the street sign is not very visible.  Once on Gabe's Rock Rd, climb; we are nestled into the first large curve on your left: a red house with green trim. 


Parking: Parking around the zendo is reserved for handicapped visitors and others who have trouble walking. Otherwise, please park in the Park'n'Ride lot in downtown Guerneville.
 

Please join us for all or any part of the day.  

9-14-06 [same for 8-12 and 10-07]

You are cordially invited to a Half Day Sitting,

Full Moon Bodhisattva Ceremony and Pot Luck  

Saturday October 7, here at Back Porch Zendo. 

Sitting starts aty 1:00. Ceremony at 6:00

dinner to follow. 

Please R.S.V.P. to

Elizabeth or Ken

707-874-1133


Half Day Sitting and Full Moon Ceremony, Dinner pot luck this Saturday August 12.

Sitting begins at 1:00.  Full Moon Ceremony begins at 6:00.  Pot Luck 6:30.  Please feel free to come to any part of the day. 

 

1:00 p.m.                                                  Start/orientation
1:30                                                          Zazen
2:00                                                          Kinhin
2:10                                                          Zazen
2:40                                                          Outdoor walking meditation
3:20                                                          Zazen
3:50                                                          Kinhin
4:20                                                          Zazen
4:50                                                          Well Being Service
5:10                                                          Tea
5:30                                                          Set-up for ceremony
6:00                                                          Full Moon Ceremony
6:30                                                          Pot luck dinner
 

If you are coming for the sitting, please arrive and get settled before 1:00.

6-28-06 - Half Day Sitting

"All my ancient twisted karma, from beginningless greed hate, and delusion, born through body, speech, and mind, I now fully avow"

You are cordially invited to a Half Day Sitting, Full Moon Bodhisattva Ceremony and Pot Luck dinner, on Saturday August 12, here at Back Porch Zendo.

Sitting starts aty 1:00. Ceremony at 6:00 dinner to follow.

Please R.S.V.P. to Elizabeth or Ken

707-874-1133

5-30-06 - This Tuesday night we will have our usual sitting and discussion beginning at 6:45.  We will also have a memorial ceremony for Lou Albert who died on May 23.  Lou was an accomplished artist who lived at Green Gulch Farm with one of his sons Ian, from 1972 to 1977.  We will miss you Lou.


You are cordially invited to a Half Day Sitting, Full Moon Bodhisattva Ceremony and Pot Luck dinner, on Sunday June 11, here at Back Porch Zendo.  Sitting starts aty 1:00. Ceremony at 6:00 dinner to follow. 


4-13-06 - Starting next week, April 19, we will meet on Tuesdays.  Please join us anytime.


April 15 – Half Day Sitting & Full Moon Ceremony Schedule

1:00 p.m.                                                    Start/orientation
1:30                                                          Zazen
2:00                                                          Kin hin
2:10                                                          Zazen
2:40                                                          Outdoor walking meditation
3:20                                                          Zazen
3:50                                                          Kin hin
4:20                                                          Zazen
4:50                                                          Well Being Service
5:10                                                          Tea
5:30                                                          Set-up for ceremony
6:00                                                          Full Moon Ceremony
6:30                                                          Pot luck dinner

Please arrive and get settled before 1:00

 

 


SEPTEMBER NEWS

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SEPTEMBER  NEWS                                                         2005

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"ALL MY ANCIENT TWISTED KARMA, FROM BEGINNINGLESS GREED, HATE, AND DELUSION, BORN THROUGH BODY SPEECH AND MIND, I NOW FULLY AVOW......"

BODHISATTVA (FULL MOON) CEREMONY and Pot Luck once a month on the Saturday closest to the full moon to share this ancient and well loved repentance ceremony with the community.  Our prayer is that people from different groups and walks of faith will join us.   Saturday October 15.  To be held in the "Redwood Tree Cathedral" outside, weather/light permitting. 

Celebrant:  Ken Sawyer.  Chant Leader:  Ben Gustin.  Bells:  Elizabeth Sawyer.

Please R.S.V.P.  

THURSDAY NIGHT SITTING GROUP:  We will sit two short periods of zazen with a 5 minute kin hin (walking meditation) in between after which we will have a brief Soto Zen service chanting the Heart Sutra and the Ennmei Juku Kannon Gyo. Talk, tea, discussion follows.

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THURSDAY NIGHT SITTING GROUP:  We sit two short periods of zazen with a 5 minute kin hin (walking meditation) in between  or one long period of zazen after which we will have a brief Soto Zen service during which we chant the Heart Sutra and the Ennmei Juku Kannon (Kwan Yin) Gyo . Talk, tea, discussion follows.  Well-being ceremony by request.

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The ADVANCE CARE PLANNING: SELF-CARE FOR THE FUTURE workshop with Helen Greenspan RN, End-of-Life Counselor, Hospice Nurse and an End-of-Life Counselor, was evocative and helpful.  Participants went home with a clearer understanding of their unexplored feelings and values.   We also went home with an several forms including an advance care form that Helen likes to work with.  Her telling us that about 2% of people who take her workshops actually fill out the form and addendum (a document that states your values and feelings and some biographical information), challenges us to complete the task.

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THE ONE DAY SITTING:  The Next One Day sitting will be held in November.  Date TBA.

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THIS SUNDAY September 25: 

ADVANCE CARE PLANNING: SELF-CARE FOR THE FUTURE

*Have you thought about what kind of care and treatment you would want should you not be able to speak for yourself in a medical crisis?

*Have you explored and clarified your own values in order to enable you to decide what you might want?

*Have you communicated to others what “quality of life” really means to you?

*Have you ever discussed your wishes with family, friends, or your physician?


If you cannot speak for yourself, health care decisions will be made for you by others.  Many of us say, “I don’t want to be a vegetable,” but what does that really mean? In our current medical culture, that sentiment alone will not bear a lot of weight and will not help guide family members and medical professionals in making the right decisions for you. There are many states of being between “living well” and  being a “vegetable.”

If you have not planned ahead, family and friends will be burdened with guessing what you want. Not only can this process can cause enormous, and sometimes irreversible conflict between family members, but the choices that are made on your behalf may not reflect your values or what you would choose for yourself  if you could communicate.

Advance Care Planning is the process of planning ahead for the unexpected medical emergency, and for the end-of-life. By participating in Advance Care Planning you will increase the chances that your wishes will be considered when you can no longer speak for yourself. In doing so you will increase the chance of avoiding a prolonged and painful death and of causing anguish to your loved ones as they struggle in making medical decisions for you.

My sessions provide an opportunity for you to explore values, to look at what “living well” means to you, and to identify what kinds of situations would be unbearable for you. We do this investigation through discussions, role plays, art, writing and individual reflection. My goal is to stimulate thoughts and conversations, and to illuminate areas for further exploration . At the end of our sessions you will have a deeper understanding of the importance of Advance Care Planning as well as the tools to choose an appropriate health care agent (someone who will speak on your behalf when you cannot.) You will also be able to identify and express your wishes in a way which truly reflects your values. You will have a choice of Advance Care Directive forms from which to choose, and I will help you to individualize your directive to best meet your needs. I am also available for follow up and consultation should you need additional support.


Helen Greenspan RN, End-of-Life Counselor:   I am a Hospice Nurse and an End-of-Life Counselor, and I have been working with end-of-life issues for over twenty five years. I love the gray areas and grappling with complex issues. Above all, I am a fierce advocate for the dignity of all living beings. I work with individuals, couples, groups and organizations. I am committed to this information being accessible to everyone and will adjust fees accordingly.

REGISTER WITH BACK PORCH ZENDO at 707-874-1133 

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THE ONE DAY SITTING: With Rinzai nun, Ginny Mathews Sunday, on August 28 was sweet and powerful as usual.  The Next One Day sitting will be held in November.  Date TBA.

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SATURDAY OCTOBER 15:  BODDHISATTVA FULL MOON CEREMONY.  Held in the Redwood Cathedral outside weather permitting.  Celebrant:  Ken Sawyer.  Chant Leader:  Ben Gustin.  Bells:  Elizabeth


 AUGUST NEWS

ONE DAY SITTING: With Rinzai nun, Ginny Mathews Sunday, August 28 from 10-5 PM.  Pot Luck Lunch. Suggested Donation $20. Please register at Back Porch Zendo.

THURSDAY NIGHT SITTING GROUP:  This Thursday night we will continue to read from Pema Chodron's writings.  We will sit two short periods of zazen with a 5 minute kin hin (walking meditation) in between after which we will have a brief Soto Zen service chanting the Heart Sutra, the Metta Sutta, and the Ennmei Juku Kannon Gyo. Talk, tea, discussion follows.   

THE BILL LANE MEMORIAL LIBRARY: We would like to thank Fran Ryan who donated several Buddhist books to the Bill Lane Memorial Buddhist Library.  The titles are as follows:   

    -The Life and Letters of Tofu Roshi by our friend Susan Moon.

    -Thoughts Without A Thinker; Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective by Mark Epstein         M.D., with a forward by H.H. Dali Lama.

    -For The Love of God; New Writings By Spiritual and Psychological Leaders with views by H.H     Dali Lama, Baba Hari Dass, Mother Teresa, Raine Eisler, Steven Levine, Anne Wilson Schaef,             Brother David Steindl-Rast, Thich Nhat Hanh, and several others. 

    -Two books by Sharon Salzberg titled, Loving-Kindness; The Revolutionary Art of Happiness         and A Heart As Wide As the World; Living With Mindfulness.

    -Wisdom, and Compassion, The Art of Happiness; The Teachings of Buddhist Psychology by     Mirko Fryba.

    -And three books by Joseph Goldstein:  One Dharma; The Emerging Western Buddhism, Insight     Meditation; The Practice of Freedom, and The Experience of Insight; A simple Direct Guide to     Buddhist Meditation.

Bill Lane was a friend and a Buddhist priest who served as the comptroller at Zen Center in San Francisco for many years.  He died last year of liver cancer.  Bill gave us his Buddhist Library as he was divesting himself of his worldly goods.  Over the years, Bill collected many classical Buddhist texts and some current writings and teachings of  Buddhist scholars.  Please feel free to sign out books from this extensive library.   

BUDDHAMAMA:  Plans for the carving of the 6 ton burl into “Buddhamama” are on hold until after Barton Stone and Constance Miles wedding at the end of this month.  Meanwhile Elizabeth is cutting off the roots (OUCH) and sealing the burl so that it will dry out evenly until the project begins in earnest. A few people have expressed interest in working on this project!  Stay tuned. 


July 20, 2005

Back Porch Zendo is a small informal neighborhood zendo.  We are an official affiliate of The San Francisco Zen Center.  The leaders are Elizabeth and Ken Sawyer.  Elizabeth is an Interfaith Minister and lay ordained Zen Buddhist who founded and teaches at Back Porch Zendo.  Elizabeth also teaches students at The Chaplaincy Institute for Arts and Interfaith Ministries in Berkeley California where she is a certified Spiritual Director and Supervisor in Spiritual Direction program.

Ken is a Zen Buddhist priest and building contractor.  Ken and son Micah own Sawyer Construction a company that builds unique custom homes (website under construction).  Both Ken and Elizabeth have studied extensively  for over 35 years with Buddhist teachers including Shunryu Suzuki-roshi, Dainen Katagiri-roshi, in the 1970's at the San Francisco Zen Center.  Both lived and studied with Zen teachers when they were residents at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center and Green Gulch Farm.  Most recently both studied with and were head students at the Everyday Zen Foundation.  Back Porch Zendo was founded last April to further our own practice and to include our friends and neighbors.  New comers welcome!

We emphasize traditional zazen (sitting) and kin hin (walking) meditation, and chanting/service practice (see schedule below).  We also emphasize the gifts of all people and often ask group members to give a talk if they wish to share their experience in the world and their practice with the group.

THURSDAY NIGHT SITTING GROUP:  This Thursday night, we will continue to read together a chapter from one of Pema Chodron's books, either from The Wisdom of No Escape, or Places That Scare You,  after zazen, kin hin (walking meditation) and a short traditional Soto Zen service.

See more about Back Porch Zendo on David Chadwick's website http://www.cuke.com/   

Coming In August:  ONE DAY SITTING with Lay ordained Zen Buddhist, Rinzai nun, Ginny Mathews.  Ginny leads sittings at Back Porch Zendo twice a year.  We sit from 10:00 to 5:00.  The schedule is simple and the days is sweet and gentle.  We share a pot luck lunch and tea.  Open discussion follows after the formal end of the sitting.  Donation for the day is $20. 

Coming Sunday September 25th:  Advance Care Planning - Self Care For The Future:  A day with Helen Greenspan R.N.  Helen is a Hospice Nurse and End of Life Counselor trained at the Zen Center Hospice in San Francisco.  She teaches individuals and groups how to identify and express their own values in Advance Directives and Living wills. The day will be about 5 hours (10:00-3:00) and includes a pot luck lunch.  She asks for a donation of $30-$50 but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

BUDDHAMAMA:  Master Carpenter, sculptor, and lay ordained Buddhist practitioner Barton Stone and Elizabeth Sawyer are in the planning stages of sculpting a large Buddha out of a 12.000 pound (6 ton) Bay tree burl that was dug up when friend and Buddhist contractor Ralph Wholey re-built the shop here that was crushed by a 185 foot Doug Fir a few years ago during a rare Sonoma County hurricane.   Barton and Elizabeth will begin work on this project in September.  For an E-mail or hard copy of From Bay Burl to Buddhamama an article that will be published on Sangha-E San Francisco's on-line newsletter and also on The Chaplainry's on-line newsletter next month, let us know. 

The THRESHOLD CHOIR was founded by Kate Munger who is the director and inspiration.  Kate has been teaching singing in some form for the past 25 years. One branch of the several choirs meets in Sebastopol for rehearsals twice a month on Wednesdays.  Threshold Choir was founded to facilitate and organize the singing at the bedside of the dying, the comatose, or babies at risk.  The Choir is available on an on-call basis.  The choir is also involved in many projects including singing with the women inmates in the Marin County Jail.   Elizabeth sings at the Marin County jail.  Helen Geeenspan,who is teaching the Advance Care Planning workshop and Jerrigrace Lyons who runs and inspires Final Passages a training/mentoring program for practical end of life issues, are all members of the Threshold Choir.

ONE DAY SITTING

LEAD BY: Myosho Ginny Mathews

Sunday August 28, 2005.  10:00 to 5:00.  Pot Luck lunch.

We will be sitting 20 to 30 minute periods separated by short intervals or walking meditation.  We follow simple traditional Rinzai Zen forms.  We will be sitting/walking both in and out doors.

Please feel free to join us for all or for part of the day. 

Suggested donation $10-20 to Ginny

 lost the date - MOVIE TONIGHT:  Highly acclaimed THE FUTURE OF FOOD about the dangers of genetic engineering will be shown here at 6:45 by Barry Vesser who will give a short talk and answer questions after the 90 minute film. Barry is a long time student of Sasaki-roshi and also a volunteer for G.E. Free Sonoma.  Call Barry at 874-9609 or Ken at 874-1133 for directions and questions.  

THURSDAY NIGHT SITTING GROUP:  Last Thursday night, our dear friend, Buddhist-at-large, Eric Arnow shared his adventures in Thailand where he spent the past nine months.   Eric was priest ordained many years ago at the Zen Center in San Francisco in the lineage of Suzuki-roshi.  He has practiced with many different teachers and schools of Buddhism at different monasteries and retreat centers both in the U.S. and in Thailand and had many moving and hilarious stories to tell about his practice.   

An ongoing log of his time in Thailand can be found on David Chadwick's website.   Eric will be returning to Thailand tomorrow to practice at a monastery set up by Vipassana master Goenka as he was intrigued by the few days that he spent there just before he came to the U.S.

It was good to see our old friends and long time practitioners, priest ordained Annette Lille and her husband, lay ordained general contractor Ralph Wholey and who came to sit with us and to see Eric.  Annette and Ralph live in Forestville and practice at the Stone Creek Zendo with Zen teacher Jisho Warner, and her partner Joan Goldsmith and the sangha members there.  Annette is refining her End of Life training and practice to offer to people.  She has been working with Jerrigrace Lyons at Final Passages here in Sebastopol, but has her own calling as priest and midwife to the dying.  Ralph Wholey Construction is the business and practice venue of Ralph who is helping our neighbor Moyra del Canto remodel her home to accommodate her aging parents among other project.

CONCERT:  Gradina, North Bay Balkan singers and Sedenka East Bay Balkan singers are joining forces for an evening of Balkan and Eastern European song.  Our friends Elin Schweikart Chadwick and Rebecca Dwan (Threshold Choir member) are both members of Gradina.

Saturday, May 21, 7:00 P.M. at Lake Merrit United Methodist Church.  Suggested donation is $10-$20.  Proceeds benefit Doctors Wothout Boarders.  For More Information please call Jannelle at 510-769-1840  

THE FEMININE:  A BUDDHA:  Master Carpenter and lay ordaiend Buddhist practitioner Barton Stone and Elizabeth Sawyer are in the planning stages of sculpting a large Female Buddha out of a 4-5 ton Pepperwood Burl that was dug up when Ralph Wholey re-built the shop here that was crushed by a 185 foot Doug Fir a few years ago during a rare Sonoma County hurricane.   Barton and Elizabeth will begin work on this project as soon as we decide on a way to move it to a location where it can be worked on. 

Coming in June:  Advance Care Planning - Self Care For The Future:  A day with Helen Greenspan R.N.  Helen is a Hospice Nurse and End of Life Counselor trained at the Zen Center Hospice in San Francisco.  She teaches individuals and groups how to identify and express their own values in Advance Directives and Living wills. The day will be about 5 hours and includes a pot luck lunch.  She asks for a donation of $30-$50 but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.  Day TBA.

The Threshold Choir was founded by Kate Munger who is the director and inspiration.  Kate has been teaching singing in some form for the past 25 years. One branch of the several choirs meets in Sebastopol for rehearsals twice a month on Wednesdays.  Threshold Choir was founded to facilitate and organize the singing at the bedside of the dying, the comatose, or babies at risk.  The Choir is available on an on call basis.  The choir is also involved in many projects including singing with the women inmates in the Marin County Jail.   Helen Geeenspan, who is teaching the Advance Care Planning workshop and Jerrigrace Lyons who runs and inspires Final Passages a trainig/mentoring program for practical end of life issues, are both in the Threshold Choir.

JULY ONE DAY SITTING:  Will be lead by Lay Ordained Zen Buddhist nun, Ginny Mathews.  Date TBA  10:00 - 5:00.   Pot Luck Lunch.  Donation $10-$20 for the day.  Please register. 

4-27-05 - Dear Friends,

 Back Porch Zendo is pleased to offer a day with Helen Greenspan R.N.(who is in the Threshold Choir and has written wonderful songs).  Here is a description of her workshop.  Please let me know if you are interested in coming.

 Love,
Elizabeth

707-874-1133 

ADVANCE CARE PLANNING: SELF-CARE FOR THE FUTURE

 

*Have you thought about what kind of care and treatment you would want should you not be able to speak for yourself in a medical crisis?

*Have you explored and clarified your own values in order to enable you to decide what you might want?

*Have you communicated to others what ³quality of life² really means to you?

*Have you ever discussed your wishes with family, friends, or your physician?


If you cannot speak for yourself, health care decisions will be made for you by others.  Many of us say, ³I don¹t want to be a vegetable,² but what does that really mean? In our current medical culture, that sentiment alone will not bear a lot of weight and will not help guide family members and medical professionals in making the right decisions for you. There are many states of being between ³living well² and  being a ³vegetable.²

If you have not planned ahead, family and friends will be burdened with guessing what you want. Not only can this process can cause enormous, and sometimes irreversible conflict between family members, but the choices that are made on your behalf may not reflect your values or what you would choose for yourself  if you could communicate.

Advance Care Planning is the process of planning ahead for the unexpected medical emergency, and for the end-of-life. By participating in Advance Care Planning you will increase the chances that your wishes will be considered when you can no longer speak for yourself. In doing so you will increase the chance of avoiding a prolonged and painful death and of causing anguish to your loved ones as they struggle in making medical decisions for you.

My sessions provide an opportunity for you to explore values, to look at what ³living well² means to you, and to identify what kinds of situations would be unbearable for you. We do this investigation through discussions, role plays, art, writing and individual reflection. My goal is to stimulate thoughts and conversations, and to illuminate areas for further exploration . At the end of our sessions you will have a deeper understanding of the importance of Advance Care Planning as well as the tools to choose an appropriate health care agent (someone who will speak on your behalf when you cannot.) You will also be able to identify and express your wishes in a way which truly reflects your values. You will have a choice of Advance Care Directive forms from which to choose, and I will help you to individualize your directive to best meet your needs. I am also available for follow up and consultation should you need additional support.


Helen Greenspan RN, End-of-Life Counselor
510/655-6717

I am a Hospice Nurse and an End-of-Life Counselor, and I have been working with end-of-life issues for over twenty five years. I love the gray areas and grappling with complex issues. Above all, I am a fierce advocate for the dignity of all living beings. I work with individuals, couples, groups and organizations. I am committed to this information being accessible to everyone and will adjust fees accordingly.
 


Back Porch Zendo/Barry Vesser Presents: Future of Food film

 THE FUTURE OF FOOD FILM

We are pleased to invite you to watch a film on May 14th at 6:45 PM.  The film is “The Future of Food,” a highly acclaimed documentary on the dangers of the genetic engineering of our food supply. The film provides an excellent overview of the key issues raised by scientists, farmers and consumers regarding the genetic engineering of food crops (right now the majority of corn and soy beans grown in this country are genetically engineered). The film explains how the technology works, some of its history, how it differs from traditional plant breeding and sheds light on the threats this technology poses to human health and the environment.  

Currently, a few large corporations pursuing their narrow economic interests are making decisions, which may have dire and irreversible consequences for humanity and the environment.  Imagine the catastrophic consequences of the inevitable biological contamination by genetically engineered material of the natural ecosystem.  These genetic interventions that have not been independently studied and for all intents and purposes are unregulated by the government.  Does anyone remember DDT? At the time that it was developed it was also thought to be a great boon to agriculture. This is potentially far worse, because once the environment is contaminated at a genetic level there is no known way to clean it up.  Genetically engineered products do not have to be labeled- so you don't even know if your eating it!  The film makes a compelling case for the urgent need for more public debate about and regulation of this technology and also suggests some positive alternatives to genetic engineering to meet our future food needs.  

 This is an important issue for residents of Sonoma County to become informed about, since there will be a measure on the ballot in November to put a moratorium on genetically engineered crops in the county.  There is something that you can do about this! There will also be someone available from the Sonoma GE Free Campaign to introduce the topic and to answer questions after the film.  The film will start promptly at 7 PM (it runs an hour and a half) so please don’t be late!

RSVP by responding to this E-mail or to

Barry Vesser
P.O. 628
Occidental, Ca.  95465
barryv@saber.net
(707) 874-9609

4-20-05 - This Thursday night we will sit two periods of zazen with walking meditation in between before the discussion which will be lead by Ken.   We will also do a Well Being Ceremony for those who need a boost.  We have a long list of friends we remember.  We are always happy to add more names to the list.

Last week dedicated Zen practitioner and elementry school teacher Anne-Laure Davin M.A., gave a lighthearted and intelligent talk and book report using Meditations In Plain English by John Daishin Buksbazen and The New Buddhism - The Western Transformation of an Ancient Tradition by James William Coleman. 

NEXT ONE DAY SITTING:  This Sunday April 24th lead by Ken and Elizabeth Sawyer. 

9:00 - 5:00.   Pot Luck Lunch.  Donation $10-$20 for the day.  Please register.

FILM NIGHT:  

THE FUTURE OF FOOD FILM

Long time student of Sasaki-roshi political and environmentsl activist Barrie Vesser :  "We are pleased to invitie you to watch a film on May 14th at 6:45 PM.  The film isThe Future of Food,” a highly acclaimed documentary on the dangers of the genetic engineering of our food supply. The film provides an excellent overview of the key issues raised by scientists, farmers and consumers regarding the genetic engineering of food crops (right now the majority of corn and soy beans grown in this country are genetically engineered). The film explains how the technology works, some of its history, how it differs from traditional plant breeding and sheds light on the threats this technology poses to human health and the environment. 

This is an important issue for residents of Sonoma County to become informed about, since there will be a measure on the ballot in November to put a moratorium on genetically engineered crops in the county.  There is something that you can do about this! There will also be someone available from the Sonoma GE Free Campaign to introduce the topic and to answer questions after the film.  The film will start promptly at 7 PM (it runs an hour and a half) so please don’t be late!".

RSVP by responding to this E-mail or to

Barry Vesser
P.O. 628
Occidental, Ca.  95465
barryv@saber.net
(707) 874-9609

Coming soon:  Date TBA:  Advance Care Planning - Self Care For The Future:  A day with Helen Greenspan R.N.  Helen is a Hospice Nurse and End of Life Counselor trained at the San Francisco Zen Center Zen Hospice.  She teaches individuals and groups how to identify and express their own values in Advance Directives and Living wills. The day will be about 5 hours and includes a pot luck lunch.  She asks for a donation of $30-$50 but no one will be turned away for lack of funds

 4-14-05 - Tonight: Dedicated Zen practitioner and school teacher Anne-Laure Davin M.A., will give a short talk and book report using Meditations In Plain English by John Daishi Buksbazen and The New Buddhism - The Western Transformation of an Ancient Tradition by James William Coleman. 

Anne-Laure has been sitting here at Back Porch Zendo for a year.  She also sits with Steve Stucky at the Dharma Eye Zen Center in both in Rohnert Park and San Rafael.  She and her son Martin live in Fairfax.  Anne-Laure practices Ashtanga yoga regularly and was in earlier times quite the tennis player.  Martin who is 13 sometimes comes with Anne-Laure and watches videos during the sitting.  A few months ago, Martin joined us for zazen!

Coming Soon To Back Parch Zendo: Advance Care Planning: Self Care For the Future

Dear Friends,

Back Porch Zendo is pleased to offer a day with Helen Greenspan R.N.(who is in the Threshold Choir and has written wonderful songs).  Here is a description of her workshop.  Please let me know if you are interested in coming.

Love,
Elizabeth

707-874-1133 

ADVANCE CARE PLANNING: SELF-CARE FOR THE FUTURE

*Have you thought about what kind of care and treatment you would want should you not be able to speak for yourself in a medical crisis?

*Have you explored and clarified your own values in order to enable you to decide what you might want?

*Have you communicated to others what "quality of life" really means to you?

*Have you ever discussed your wishes with family, friends, or your physician?


If you cannot speak for yourself, health care decisions will be made for you by others.  Many of us say, "I don¹t want to be a vegetable," but what does that really mean? In our current medical culture, that sentiment alone will not bear a lot of weight and will not help guide family members and medical professionals in making the right decisions for you. There are many states of being between ³living well² and  being a "vegetable."

If you have not planned ahead, family and friends will be burdened with guessing what you want. Not only can this process can cause enormous, and sometimes irreversible conflict between family members, but the choices that are made on your behalf may not reflect your values or what you would choose for yourself  if you could communicate.

Advance Care Planning is the process of planning ahead for the unexpected medical emergency, and for the end-of-life. By participating in Advance Care Planning you will increase the chances that your wishes will be considered when you can no longer speak for yourself. In doing so you will increase the chance of avoiding a prolonged and painful death and of causing anguish to your loved ones as they struggle in making medical decisions for you.

My sessions provide an opportunity for you to explore values, to look at what "living well" means to you, and to identify what kinds of situations would be unbearable for you. We do this investigation through discussions, role plays, art, writing and individual reflection. My goal is to stimulate thoughts and conversations, and to illuminate areas for further exploration . At the end of our sessions you will have a deeper understanding of the importance of Advance Care Planning as well as the tools to choose an appropriate health care agent (someone who will speak on your behalf when you cannot.) You will also be able to identify and express your wishes in a way which truly reflects your values. You will have a choice of Advance Care Directive forms from which to choose, and I will help you to individualize your directive to best meet your needs. I am also available for follow up and consultation should you need additional support.

Helen Greenspan RN, End-of-Life Counselor
510/655-6717

I am a Hospice Nurse and an End-of-Life Counselor, and I have been working with end-of-life issues for over twenty five years. I love the gray areas and grappling with complex issues. Above all, I am a fierce advocate for the dignity of all living beings. I work with individuals, couples, groups and organizations. I am committed to this information being accessible to everyone and will adjust fees accordingly.


4-01-05 - Please note the new date is SUNDAY APRIL 24th.

ONE DAY SITTING

LEAD BY: ZEN PRIEST KEN SAWYER AND LAY ORDAINED BUDDHIST AND INTERFAITH MINISTER ELIZABETH SAWYER

April 23rd  9:00 to 5:00.  Pot Luck lunch.  Tea and discussion at the end of the day. 

We will be sitting 20 to 30 minute periods separated by short intervals so that a person can sit either long (by sitting through the interval) or short periods.  We follow simple traditional Soto and Rinzai Zen forms.  We will sit/walk both in and out doors (weather permitting).   

Please feel free to join us for all or for part of the day. 

Donation.

3-24-05 Tonight we will have a memorial ceremony for Mike Wynne who died Saturday night.  If you would like to read about it and see a great photo of him and his wife Wendy, please go to www.cuke.comAlso on cuke.com is an appeal for our friend Iva Jones [deleted  - it's okay now] who is facing some health challenges.

Last Saturday, 16 women gathered here to encircle our friend Linda Sauter who asked that her women friends lay their hands on her and help her face her up coming health challenges and descisions. We offered incense to Kwan Yin, called in the 5 directions including the center/void.  We listened to her story and gave her gifts of song, ceremony, love, and bathed her feet in herbs that were brought by her daughter and friends.  we ended by releasing what we invoked, and then had a great pot luck.  We laughed and cried.  It was wonderful.

  ~Please note Elizabeth's new email address at the bottom of this notice. 

 APRIL ONE DAY SITTING:  Date TBA.

BUDDHA'S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION AND PICNIC: April 23. More details to come

3-17-05 - This week we will have two periods of zazen and walking zazen known as kinhin in between after which there will be an informal tea and open discussion.  Last week we had an intimate discussion that included our good friend and fellow lay ordained practitioner Nina Hagen who is visiting is us from New York. 

Back Porch Zendo has been invited to be an official affiliate of the San Francisco Zen Center.  We  can participate in Zen Center Sangha meetings and the yearly summer retreat at Tassajara, Zen Mountain Center for different sanghas. 

3-3-05 - Tonight we will have two periods of zazen and walking zazen known as kin hin inbetween afterwhich there will be an informal tea and open discussion.  Last week Ken gave a talk on Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha using Tenshin Reb Anderson's book, Sitting Upright as one of his resources.   We all read from a chapter from Reb's book. 

We will continue our practice of doing the Well-being Ceremony for our long list of friends that are facing difficult challenges. 

Note from Elizabeth:  Last week our dear friends Nick and Louise Charles who live in Woodland, CA informed us that Back Porch Zendo was mentioned in the Sacramento Bee, a newspaper that I grew up with as I was rasied in Sacramento and Yolo counties.  Apparently the writer of the article saw one of our flyers as a visitor of the nearby town of Occidental (pop 400) and thought the name was catchy.

2-09-05 - This Thursday night, Elizabeth will describe her practice of letting go of fixed ideas and realizing that the world and events are the teacher if we choose to see whatever happens as path. What is a "Waking Dream" and how does this relate to the world/events as the teacher/practice?

Last week Tony shared a reading that was passed out at the class taught at San Francisco Zen Center by Shokaku Okamura on the teachings of Dogen Zenji, the founder of the Soto School of Buddhism from the new book by Taigen Dan Leighton titled Dogen's Extensive Record, this new translation with Mr. Okumura of Dogen's massive collection includes short Dharma talks, koan collection, and poetry.

-APRIL ONE DAY SITTING Lead by Ken and Elizabeth Sawyer: Date TBA.

2/3/05 - Tonight, Zen Priest Tony Patchell will give us a report on the teachings of Dogen as he will have been participating in a class taught earlier today at San Francisco Zen Center by shokaku Okamura on the new book by Taigen Dan Leighton titled Dogen's Extensive Record, his new translation with Shohaku Okumura of Dogen's massive collection including short Dharma talks, koan collection, and poetry.

The January One Day Sitting was another sweet success lead by Ginny Mathews, 32 year student of Zen and disciple of Sazaki-roshi. She is a Rinzai nun who leads her own group in Sebastopol at her dance and yoga studio. She will be returning in June to lead us again. Thank you Ginny for the literal hands on teachigs and the chance to experience Rinzai forms via woman's body and your unique gracefullness. It has been rewarding and "enlightening" for those of us who have always thought that this school of Zen is "macho".

Lately we have been chanting the Ennmei Juku Kannon Gyo for the people in our lives and in the world who are struggling with any kind of disaster, survival, and health challenges. We continue to chant for those of you who have asked us to and we add a few names each week. The list is endless of course but we like to mention names, (including our own families and selves). Please know that you are in our hearts, prayers, and thoughts.

 BOOK SIGNING AND TALK BY Taigen Dan Leighton:

Dogen's Extensive Record, his new translation with Shohaku
Okumura of Dogen's massive collection including short Dharma talks, koan
collection, and poetry.

Thursday February 3 at 7:30 pm
Many Rivers Books & Tea in Sebastopol
130 South Main Street
(707) 829-8871

 January 17, 2005 -

This week Elizabeth will the talk.  She will refine the Way Seeking Mind talk that she gave a few weeks ago at Russian River Zendo which will include a few poems, a cartoon, and a song.....

 Last week Zen Priest Ken Sawyer talked about the Triple Treasures: Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.  It was nice to see our old friend and fellow practitioneer Barry Vesser who is usually at a tai chi class on Thursday night. 

 We will continue to work our way through the Zen Center liturgy book.   We are chanting both familiar and new (to us) chants in a traditional Soto Zen Buddhist ceremony every week. 

January 13, 2005

This week Zen Priest Ken Sawyer is going to continue his talk about the Triple Treasures: Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. 

 And we will continue to work our way through the Zen Center liturgy book.   We are chanting both familiar and new (to us) chants in a traditional Soto Zen Buddhist ceremony every week. 

 February 3 Daigen Dan Leighton will be giving a talk on Dogen at Many Rivers Bookstore.  The following is a note from Dan and an announcement that he sent re this evening in Sebastopol. 

 Greetings, I thought you might be interested in my reading and discussion in
Sebastopol of Dogen's Extensive Record, my new translation with Shohaku
Okumura of Dogen's massive collection including short Dharma talks, koan
collection, and poetry. It will be at:Many Rivers Books & Tea in
Sebastopol,February 3, Thursday7:30 pm130 South Main Street, Tel: (707)
829-8871 best wishes,Taigen Below is more information and some endorsements
for Dogen's Extensive Record.
                                                                            
DOGEN'S EXTENSIVE RECORD: A TRANSLATION OF THE EIHEI KOROKU.

 Translated by Taigen Dan Leighton and Shohaku Okumura; Edited and introduced by Taigen Dan Leighton; Foreword
by Tenshin Reb Andersen; with introductory essays by Steven Heine and John
Daido Loori(Wisdom Publications, 2004)
Eihei Dogen, the thirteenth-century founder of the Japanese Soto School of
Zen, is renowned as one of the world's most remarkable religious thinkers.
He is known for two major works. The first work, the massive Shobogenzo
('Treasury of the True Dharma Eye'), represents his earlier teachings and
exists in numerous English translations. The second work, the Eihei Koroku,
is a monumental collection including teachings from before he left Kyoto in
1243, but also almost all of what remains from Dogen's mature teaching in
his last decade at Eiheiji. Here are 531 short formal discourses to the
monks training at his temple; longer informal talks; his choice of ninety
koans with Dogen's own verse comments; and his Chinese poetry from his
student years in China to his last years. The Shobogenzo has received
enormous attention in Western Zen and Western Zen literature, and with the
publication of this watershed volume, the Eihei Koroku will surely rise to
commensurate stature.

Comments on DOGEN'S EXTENSIVE RECORD:

"This is a significant time in terms of understanding Dogen in the West,
[with] Taigen Dan Leighton and Shohaku Okumura's translation of the Eihei
Koroku coming out. People are going to see an entirely different style in
this collection of Dogen's later teachings."

--Steven Heine, Professor of Religious Studies, Florida International
University

"I can't keep my hands off my copy of Eihei Koroku! A phenomenal job....it
reads so well and is just what I've been needing. Dogen has become the
bedrock for my own practice and now these Dharma Talks speak directly to the
matter. I feel as though I were standing in that assembly, trying to field
the ball and heave it back. This all smacks of the man himself, talking to
real people. I fear I may be one of those who reads and relishes every
word."

--Tonen Sara O'Connor, Dharma teacher of the Milwaukee Zen Center
"Thank you so much for the the translation of Dogen's weighty tome. The many
hours of dedicated work will be much appreciated by all of us now and in the
future who value Dogen's inspired writing and talks."

--Mel Weitsman, abbot of the Berkeley Zen Center
"I am filled with deep appreciation for your generosity and effort in making
these teachings accessible to the West. The book is wonderfully edited and
translated and it is completely reassuring to have such a clear eyed teacher
bringing Dogen's teachings to us."

--Dae Gak, Zen Master of Furnace Mountain Zen Center, Kentucky "This
massive work will be a valuable asset for all students of Zen and Buddhism
in general. The Extensive Record allows us to see Dogen lecturing and
performing as a teacher. The translators, Taigen Dan Leighton and Shohaku
Okumura, two Soto Zen teachers active in North America, have done an
admirable job of rendering Dogen's thirteenth-century Chinese into modern
English. The text is remarkably easy to read while also remaining faithful
to Dogen's idiom. The translation and introductions meet high academic
standards. Leighton provides extensive suggestions on how one might read
Dogen's Extensive Record as a tool for improving one's daily practice. This
translation allows Western readers to discover a new side of Dogen, the side
he presented to his own students on a daily basis. It will reward careful
study."

--William Bodiford, Professor, East Asian Languages and Cultures, UCLA

NEXT ONE DAY SITTING ZAZEN-KAI : Sunday January 23rd lead by Rinzai nun Myosho Ginny Mathews.  10:00 - 5:00.   Pot Luck Lunch.  Donations go to Ginny.  Please register.

January 6, 2005 - HAPPY NEW YEAR!

This week Zen Priest Ken Sawyer is going to talk about the Triple Treasures: Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. 

We will continue to work our way through the Zen Center liturgy book.   We are chanting both familiar and new (to us) chants in a traditional Soto Zen Buddhist ceremony every week. 

Last week we chanted the Dai Hi Shin Dharani and also a Well-being ceremony (Ennmei Jiku Kannon Gyo) for those who parished in the Tsunami in Asia and also for those who are struggling in the aftermath.  We also dedicated the service to Steve Silvera, who passed away at the Coming Home Hospice in San Francisco, last Tuesday.  He listened to the Threshold Choir C.D. that Elizabeth had given to him the night before he died.....   

The talk given by Zen Teacher Darlene Cohen on Thursday Dec 30 was brilliant and also simple.  She spoke of the difference between Abhidharma Buddhist psychological philosophy and the Middle Way teachings.  Her talk was attended by 12 people.  We hope to sponsor ongoing classes by Darlene.   Thanks to those of you who gave a donation that night.  We will be giving the $50 we collected to the Russian River Zendo benefit fund.  And Thanks to Darlene for coming and giving us such a good talk during the stormy weather....        

NEXT ONE DAY SITTING ZAZEN-KAI : Sunday January 23rd lead by Rinzai nun Myosho Ginny Mathews.  10:00 - 5:00.   Pot Luck Lunch.  Donations go to Ginny.  Please register.

12/28/04 - Zen Teacher Darlene Cohen will give the talk thisThursday Dec 30.  She will be giving an introductory talk showing her teaching style,  Her warmth and humor will certainly shine through.  Please feel free to bring interested friends.

NEXT ONE DAY SITTING ZAZEN-KAI : Sunday January 23rd lead by Rinzai nun Myosho Ginny Mathews.  10:00 - 5:00.   Pot Luck Lunch.  Donations go to Ginny.  Please register.

NEW YEAR ONE DAY SITTING

LEAD BY: Myosho Ginny Mathews

JANUARY 23, 2005.  10:00 to 5:00.  Pot Luck lunch.

We will be siiting 20 to 30 minute periods seperated by short intervals or walking meditation.  We follow simple traditional Rinzai Zen forms.  We will be sitting/walking both in and out doors (weather permitting).   

Please feel free to join us for all or for part of the day. 

Donations go to Ginny.

Contact: Elizabeth Sawyer at 707-874-1133 or EBSAWYER@comcast.net  
3533 Hillcrest Ave, Sebastopol CA 95472,  (Near Occidental).

A DREAMWORK group is still open.  Let Elizabeth know if you want to join. 

12-22-04 - We will be meeting both this week and next on Dec. 23 and Dec 30.  This week Ken Sawyer will be giving a talk entitled "What Trip Am I On Now?".  Next week, Zen teacher and good friend, Darlene Cohen will be giving the talk. 

 This Thursday we will be performing a Well-being Ceremony at the end of the evening for our friend Paul Disco who cut his hand badly on Saturday.  We will also be chanting the Ennmei Jiki Kannon Gyo for China Galland, Corey Fischer and their sons Ben and Matt. Please bring the names of anyone you would like to include. 

 11-09-04 - Back Porch Zendo Pot Luck Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday November 25, was festive and fun.  There were 18 of us at dinner and 20 of us celebrated with a short Thanksgiving service between after which we had dessert. 

Ken will be returning from A Rhoatsu sesshin in Mexico tonight.  He will join us around 8:00 p.m.  We will sit together and read together as we did last week.  Elizabeth will lead the discussion. 

11-04-04 - A Bodhisattva Ceremony was held last Thursday, on the full moon night, one day after the lunar eclipse. As chant leader, Ken's voice was clear, strong and well, amazing. This is an elaborate ancient ceremony of repentance. We chant: All my ancient twisted karma, from beginningless greed hate and delusion, born through body, speech, and mind, I now full avow.......We plan to have this ceremony once a month on or near the full moon.

This Thursday Ken will talk about his experience as a volunteer for non partisan Election Protection in Arizona this week. For service, we plan to continue our journey through the Zen Center liturgy. We will also be performing a Well-being Ceremony at the end of the evening. Please bring the names of anyone you would like to include.

Tuesday November 2, fifteen people spent 1-4 hour shifts throughout the day calling swing states as MOVE ON PAC volunteers. We made over 1,000 telephone calls to urge and encourage people to vote. We had a script and a tally sheet both provided by Move On, the organization in Berkeley started by two political activists to educate and mobilize voters who are not in agreement with the current political climate and regime.

COMING IN JANUARY: The Bodhisattva Path: Practicing with the Emotions of Craving/Lust and Love and Anger/Ill Will/Discriminative Judgment. A course taught by Zen Teacher Darlene Cohen. We will be meeting on alternate Tuesday evenings at Back Porch Zendo. $8-10 per meeting. Please register using the contact information below.

10-20-04 - ONE DAY SITTING LEAD BY: ZEN PRIEST KEN SAWYER AND LAY ORDAINED BUDDHIST AND INTERFAITH MINISTER ELIZABETH SAWYER October 24. 10:00 to 5:00. Pot Luck lunch. We will be siiting 20 to 30 minute periods seperated by short intervals so that a person can sit either long (by sitting through the interval) or short periods. We follow simple traditional Soto and Rinzai Zen forms. We will be sitting/walking both in and out doors (weather permitting). Please feel free to join us for all or for part of the day. Donation. Contact: Elizabeth Sawyer at 707-874-1133 or EBSAWYER@comcast.net or mail to 3533 Hillcrest Ave, Sebastopol CA 95472, (Near Occidental). bpz home page.htm

10 - 13 - 04 - PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES POT LUCK: This Wednesday we will be hosting the last of the televised Presidential debates. About 15 people have been enjoying pot luck and each others company for the last three debates.

THE FELLOWSHIP OF RECONCILIATION SLIDE SHOW FUNDRAISER: Bearing Witness in Columbia. Walking With The Peace Community of San Jose de apartado. Young Buddhist Sarah Weintraub gave a wonderful presentation of her year in San Jose Apartado Peace Village. It was an inspiring and informative night. Sarah is going to be making other presentations in the next few months before returning. Let us know if you want to contribute to F.O.R. or towards her personal needs for the next year in Columbia or if you would like to be in touch with her.

A MEMORIAL: was held for our friend Bill Lane and Annette Lille's sister Patrice Von Thuylsen on Thursday night. (Our Buddhist library which was donated by Bill to Back Porch Zendo, will now be called the Bill Lane Memorial Lending Library. We will get a brass plaque to commemorate this).

ONE DAY SITTING: October 24. Let us know if you are interested. We will be sitting from 10:00 to 5:00. Please feel free to join us for part of the day.

10-05-04 - Sarah Weintraub will be giving a presentation at our house at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 9th called Bearing Witness in Columbia, Walking with the Peace Community of San Jose de apartado. This is part of a fundraising campaign to expand Fellowship Of Reconciliation's Columbia Peace Presence in Columbia. 

We hope you can join us.

Ken and Elizabeth Sawyer

Sarah has been giving presentations elsewhere and may have others. I suggest you contact the Buddhist Peace Fellowship to find out more. - DC

9-29=04 - This week we will begin reading and discussuig Hsin Hsin Ming (in English), the verses of the third Partiarch, Seng-ts'an. This is one of the earliest Ch'an (Zen) writtings that expounds on Ch'an's basic principles in poetic form. It begins with a famous statement: The great way is not difficult for theose who are unnattatched to their preferences.......

We will be working our way through the Zen Center Liturgy book during service. Why do Buddhists chant these particular mantras and sutras everyday throughout the world?

PERSONAL PRACTICE PERIOD:

We will begin to another PPP for those who wish to commit to a particular schedule and be in contact with others for three weeks. Each person takes on whatever they feel is appropriate for their life and checks in with the rest of the group (if not in person than by E-mail or phone). We will begin on October 3rd and end on October 24 with a one day sitting. Ken, Tony and I are all available if you want to discuss your practice at any point along the way. Please feel free to create a schedule to work for you.

ONE DAY SITTINGS:

~Ken and I will be leading a one day sitting October 24th. Let us know if you are interested. the schedule will be as last time: 10am to 5 am including indoor and outdoor sittings with both indoor and out door walking meditation. Pot Luck lunch. Afternoon tea in the zendo. We plan to have some short sittings that are divided by an interval during which a person can either move and change posture or continue the period without moving.

You are welcome come to the sitting if you are not in the PPP.

~We plan to sit all day every three months. Rinzai Zen Nun and Dance teacher Myosho Ginny Mathews has agreed to return and lead another sweet and soft Rinzai sitting in January. Ginny has agreed to lead the sitting here twice a year. Ginny leads women's zazen at her studio in Sebastopol in the paseo between the Mendocino Cookie Company and Global Village clothing store. She also leads women's retreats on Cobb Mountain near Middletown. She has been practicing Zen for 31 years. Her teacher is the 90 year old Sasaki-roshi.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

~ We now have a Buddhist lending library that includes audio and video tapes. Many of our books were given to us by Bill Lane so we call it the Lane Lending Library.

~ We greatfully thank those of you who have so generously offered donations of tea, treats, money, Buddhist Books, or time to help us keep this group going, and to all who have lent their support in visible and invisible ways.

~ Zen Teacher Darlene Cohen will be teaching a Tuesday night five session a class here at the end of January. Topic and dates TBA.

9-09-04

ATTA DIPA YOU ARE THE LIGHT
VIHARATHA RELY ON YOURSELF
ATTA SARANA RELY ON NO ONE ELSE
ANANNA SARANA
ATTA DHAMMA THE DHARMA IS THE LIGHT
DHAMMA SARANA RELY ON THE DHARMA
ANNANA SARANA RELY ON NOTHING ELSE

The chant above in Pali and English is called the Last Teachings For All People. It was the last teaching given before the Buddha died. This Thursday night Lay Ordained Buddhist teacher and Interfaith Minister Rev. Elizabeth Sawyer will lead the chanting and discussion of this vital reminder of the Buddha's way. The following week we will discuss the Buddhas first instructions after he was enlightened. Last Thursday Zen Priest Ken Sawyer lead the discussion after we read from Zen Mind Beginners Mind.

Starting this Thursday, we will begin to work our way through the Zen Center Liturgy one sutra at a time. We have been reciting the Heart Sutra which is chanted by Buddhists all over the world, for ths last several months as well as the Ennmei Juku Kannon Gyo an ode to Kwan Yin We also perform a regular Well Being Ceremony (upon request) using the Ennmei Juku Kannon Gyo.

ONE DAY SITTINGS:

~Ken and I will be leading a one day sitting this October. Let us know if you are interested. Dates and details later.

~We plan to sit all day every three months. Rinzai Zen Nun and Dance teacher Myosho Ginny Mathews has agreed to return and lead another sweet and soft Rinzai sitting next year. Ginny has agreed to lead the sitting here twice a year. Ginny leads women's zazen at her studio in Sebastopol in the paseo between the Mendocino Cookie Company and Global Village clothing store. She also leads women's retreats on Cobb Mountain near Middletown. She has been practicing Zen for 31 years. Her teacher is the 90 year old Sasaki-roshi.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

~For service we will begin to recite the Zen Center Liturgy one sutra at a time.

~ We now have a Buddhist lending library that includes audio and video tapes. Many of our books were given to us by Bill Lane so we call it the Lane Lending Library.

~ We greatfully thank those of you who have so generously offered donations of tea, treats, money, Buddhist Books, or time to help us keep this group going, and to all who have lent their support in visible and invisible ways.

~ Zen Teacher Darlene Cohen will be teaching a class here soon. Topic and dates TBA

9-2-04 Tonight Zen Priest Ken Sawyer will lead the discussion read from Edward Espe Browns book Not Always So about the teachings of Shunryu Suzuki-roshi. Last Thursday Tony Patchell's talk on the history of koans and the ensuing discussion was grist for the proverbial Zen practice mill.

ONE DAY SITTINGS:

~Ken and I will be leading a one day sitting this October. Let us know if you are interested. Dates and details later.

~We plan to sit all day every three months. Rinzai Zen Nun and Dance teacher Myosho Ginny Mathews has agreed to return and lead another sweet and soft Rinzai sitting next year. Ginny has agreed to lead the sitting here twice a year. Ginny leads women's zazen at her studio in Sebastopol in the paseo between the Mendocino Cookie Company and Global Village clothing store. She also leads women's retreats on Cobb Mountain near Middletown. She has been practicing Zen for 31 years. Her teacher is the 90 year old Sasaki-roshi.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

~ We now have a Buddhist lending library that includes audio and video tapes. Many of our books were given to us by Bill Lane so we call it the Lane Lending Library.

~ We gratefully thank those of you who have so generously offered donations of tea, treats, money, Buddhist Books, or time to help us keep this group going, and to all who have lent their support in visible and invisible ways.

~ Zen Teacher Darlene Cohen will be teaching a class here soon. Topic and dates TBA

8/26/04 - This Thursday night Zen Priest Tony Patchell will lead the discussion and share something on koans that he is working on. Last week we sat zazen together as usual, had a Soto Zen service and had a cozy talk and tea in the living room rather than the zendo since it was chilly.

We are planning a one day sitting for October. Let us know if you are interested. Dates and details later. We plan to sit all day every three months. Rinzai Zen Nun and Dance teacher Myosho Ginny Mathews has agreed to return and lead another sweet and soft Rinzai sitting next year. Ginny has agreed to lead a sitting twice a year. Ginny leads women's zazen at her studio in Sebastopol in the paseo between the Mendocino Cookie Company and Global Village clothing store. She also leads women's retreats on Cobb Mountain near Middletown. The July sitting that she lead was sweet and soft "not macho at all".

We have missed the people who have been away on vacation or due to other events and hope to see you all soon. Welcome back Anne Laure and Katy! Hope to see Martin soon as well. Hope the people who have not been feeling well are on the mend....

~ We now have a Buddhist lending library that includes audio and video tapes. Many of our books were given to us by Bill Lane so we call it the Lane Lending Library.

~ We greatfully thank those of you who have so generously offered donations of tea, treats, money, Buddhist Books, or time to help us keep this group going. Thanks to Lana and Jeffry for the treats, teas and hijiki!!!, and for your financial and kind support, to Moyra for the lemons, and more, to Alicia for the cheese and fruit, Anne-Laure for the cookies, David for the computer/website help, Tony for love and support and more, and to all who have lent their support in visible and invisible ways.

Darlene Cohen will be teaching a class here soon. Topic and dates TBA

8/12/04 - This Thursday night we will be reading and discussing a chapter of Darlene Cohen's book Turning Suffering Inside Out. The chapter is called "How To Formulate A Personal Koan. We will have copies for you to take home with you.

~We now have a Buddhist lending library that includes tapes and videos.

~We greatfully accept donations.

7/27/04 - The July 18 ONE DAY RINZAI SITTING lead by Myosho Ginny Mathews. Went well. We had a very quiet and gentle day of sitting and learning the similarities and differences in the initial forms that Ginny taught between the Soto and Rinzai schools. Contrary to many of some preconcieved notions about Rinzai Zen, the day was gentle and soft. The sittings were from 20 to 25 minutes in duration and the walking meditation was moderately swift and longer than our usual 10 minute kin hin.

This Thursday, we will continue to explore Gengo Koan (Actualizing The Fundamantal Point) by Dogen Zenji the founder of our school of Zen. We are using Kaz Yanahashi's Moon In A Dewdrop as our text. We will continue the practice of breaking up into small groups for 15 minutes to let people listen and be heard w/o interuption before we come back together for one hour group discussion. Please bring your copies of the Gengo Koan to the meeeting. We will have extra copies in case more are needed.

6/30/04 - NOTICE: My E-mail is down due to "adware" Please use KENSAWYER@ev1.net if you want to correspond for now. I will let you know when I have figured out what I am going to do.

Last week Tony Patchell read Dogen Zenji's Fukan Zazengi to us and talked about the bacic's: zazen posture (Fukan Zazengi translates as "Zazen Recommended To All People") afterwich we had our usual lively discussion. Ten people were present which is a usual number for us these days. This Thursday, Elizabeth will continue the discussion on zazen and will adjust the postures of individuals as promised/requested last week.

ONE DAY RINZAI SITTING July 18: Be sure to let us know if you want to participate in the One Day Sitting lead by Myosho Ginny Mathews. We will sit from 9:00 am to 5:pm. Please refer to last E-mail for the schedule or let me know if you need a new one.

BPZ Thursday Night Schedule:

6:30 roll down on the bell to call in the neighborhood
6:45 zazen
7:15 service
7:30 tea
7:45 talk followed by discussion

We will begin zazen at 6:45 sharp. Please feel free to join us even if you cannot be settled by 6:45.

Contact: Elizabeth Sawyer - 707-874-1133

This E-mail is linked to www.cuke.com which is David Chadwick's lively and rich website that features the life and teachings of Shunryu Suzuki-roshi as well as many other things. If you click on "What's New" you will see, the message re Back Porch Zendo. You can also click on "Prior Notices", "Most Recent Notice" or on the photos at the bottom of this page.

6/16/04

Zazen Kai: One Day Rinzai Zen Sitting Lead by Myosho Ginny Mathews Sunday July 18

The focus will be to explore some of the forms of the Rinzai Zen tradition as passed down to the American students of Joshu Sasaki-roshi, who at age 98 continues to lead his students in koan practice and formal training.

The day will include choka, (service) chanting, sitting and walking meditation, silent meal, and sarei (formal tea) in a retreat atmosphere of silence and mindfulness. There will be opportunity for questions and sharing at the end of the day.

Schedule:

10:00 - Arrive, settle, introduction and informal tea
10:30 - Chanting instruction and Choka (morning service)
11:30 - Zazen in the zendo with outdoor kin hin (walking meditation)
1:00 - Lunch (silent meal)
1:30 - Break - in keeping with the spirit of the retreat
2:00 - Zazen in the redwoods (weather permitting)
3:00 - Zazen in the zendo and kin hin (outdoors)
4:00 - Sarei (formal tea) and closing
Questions, discussion, and sharing following until 5:00

To Register: Reply to this E-mail or call Elizabeth at 707-874-1133. Directions, what to bring and dana (donation) request will be sent to you upon registration.

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This Thursday we will listen to the last side of Thich Nhat Hanh's audio taped teachings on The Heart Sutra followed by short talk given by Ken who will lead the discussion.

Ken's question to us last week: In Thich Nhat Hanh's talk he said, "In a former life, I was a cloud and I had a good time" He also said "I watched the leaf as it was about to fall, turn to the tree and wave goodbye" What was he talking about?

5-10-04 - This E-mail is linked to www.cuke.com ,David Chadwick's website which feature's the life and teachings of Shunryu Suzuki-roshi.  You can click on the address (above) to view it and to see BPZ link under "What's New".  You can also click on "prior notices", current notices", to read Back Porch Zendo announcements or to expand a photo of BPZ on this E-mail (below).   

Our new website address is www.backporchzendo.com [not there yet-DC]. If you find us on the web you will see a mock up of what we will be working on and refining in the weeks ahead with David's kind help.

Starting this Thursday, we will begin the evening with a "roll down" on the BPZ bell to call in the neighborhood.  We will begin the sitting at 6:45 sharp.   Please feel free to join us even if you cannot make it in time to be settled by 6:45.

We will continue to listen to #3 of the four sided taped teachings on The Heart Sutra by Vietnamese Zen Master, Thick Nhat Hanh.  Ken will give a short talk and lead the discussion.   We end at 9:00.


Coming In July:  The Bodhisattva Path: Practicing with the Emotions of Craving/Lust and Love and Anger/Ill Will/Discriminative Judgment.  A  5-6 week course (possibly ongoing if there is enough interest) taught by Zen Teacher Darlene Cohen.   We will be meeting on Tuesday evenings at Back Porch Zendo.  $8-10 per meeting.

Rinzai One Day Sitting With ordained disciple of Sazaki-roshi, Ginny Mathews.  Date TBA.

5-25-04 - This Thursday, we will play a short part of Thich Nhat Hanh's teachings on tape called Commentaries on The Heart Sutra.  Ken Sawyer who has been priest ordained in the lineage of Suzuki-roshi for 27 years, will lead the discussion.  

From the Jacket notes:  The Heart of the Prajnaparamita Sutra, reguarded as the essence of Buddhist teaching, is recited daily in Mahayana Buddhist temples and practice centers throughout the world.  Thich Nhant HAn's Commentaries on the Heart Sutra is the fruit of forty years of monastic study and practice.  Nhat Hanh describes the Heart Sutra as "Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva's prescious gift to us, the gift of fearlessness"  - This two tape set is a recording of Thich Nhat Han's lecture at the Green Gulch Zen Center in April 1987).

Last Thursday we showed Five Suzuki-roshi film clips by various filmmakers with commentary by Suzuki-roshis disciple and author of Crooked Cucumber; the Life and Zen Teachings of Shunryu Suzuki, and other books, David Chadwick.  As usual we had an interesting discussion and an intimate conclusion to the evening.


05-28--04 - Last night, we listened to a half hour of Thich Nhat Hanh's teachings on a two hour taped set called Commentaries on The Heart Sutra.  Ken Sawyer who has been priest ordained in the lineage of Suzuki-roshi for 27 years, lead the discussion. Thanks Nhat Hanh's brilliant teaching and a good sound system, the evening went surprisingly well and was an inspiring and effective jumping off point...

 
Next Thursday, June 3rd, we will continue our listening practice and discussion lead by Ken about the Heart Sutra as taught by Thich Nhat Hanh.  We are pleased to have our friends neighbors join us in this intimate way of practicing together.

 

THURSDAY NIGHT PRACTICE GROUP

6:30 – 7:00 Zazen (Zen Meditation)
7:00 – 7:25 Service or singing
7:30 – 9:00 Tea and a talk followed by open discussion

 "We are not a leaderless group, we are a leaderful group". 


Well being Ceremony:  Offered any time by request when friends or oneself is facing life/health challenges of any kind.


Contact: Elizabeth Sawyer at 707-874-1133 or EBSAWYER@comcast.net

3533 Hillcrest Ave, Sebastopol CA 95472,  (Near Occidental).

Coming In July:  The Bodhisattva Path: Practicing with the Emotions of Craving/Lust and Love and Anger/Ill Will/Discriminative Judgment.  A  5-6 week course (possibly ongoing if there is enough interest) taught by Zen Teacher Darlene Cohen.   We will be meeting on Tuesdays evenings at Back Porch Zendo.  $8-!0 per meeting.

Rinzai One Day Sitting With ordained disciple of Sazaki-roshi, Ginny Mathews.  Date TBA.


Contact: Elizabeth Sawyer at 707-874-1133 or EBSAWYER@comcast.net

3533 Hillcrest Ave, Sebastopol CA 95472,  (Near Occidental).


this site is for now part of www.cuke.com