Young Urban Zen is a group under the auspices of the San Francisco Zen Center, with a particular focus on those between 20 and 40. It meets on Tuesday evenings for meditation and discussion about Zen practice. People of all experience levels are welcome.
Kodo Conlin leads us on a talk around simplicity.
"From beginningless time... and extending forever... it is all simply thus... If you let body and mind drop off, whilst keeping your mind open and empty of any deliberate thought, you will find a state of the utmost normalcy..." — Master Keizan
Mei Elliott: The Gift of Safety: Finding Fearlessness in a Time of Violence
Mei Elliott gives a talk called "The Gift of Safety: Finding Fearlessness in a Time of Violence." In light of the recent violence and ongoing harassment against Asian Americans, how can the Dharma support us in working with our internal "safety system" which is often wrought with fear and anxiety, particularly during times like these. How can we be free in the midst of fear and how can we train our brain to recognize safety? In addition to creating internal safety, what does the Dharma have to say about creating safety for others? One of the greatest gifts a practitioner can offer others is the gift of fearlessness; how can we train to become a refuge for all beings? This talk weaves together dharma teachings, as well as practical, tangible responses we can all take to reduce hate crimes in our communities.
Everything Changes So Why Plan?
Eli Brown-Stevenson leads us on a talk titled “Everything Changes So Why Plan?”
After reflecting on a year that certainly drives home the fundamental point of Buddhism, everything changes, Eli shared and commented on one of Suzuki Roshi's lectures "Nothing Special" expressing the importance of practicing without the expectation of obtaining something.
Kristin Diggs - Doing One Practice is Practicing Completely
Kristin Diggs gives a talk titled “Doing One Practice is Practicing Completely.” When we concentrate our effort single mindedly on one thing – even for a moment – this is the all-inclusive, total dynamic functioning of the interdependent life of all beings.Kristin Diggs has been a resident practitioner at SFZC since 2014. She is the tenzo (head of the kitchen) at Green Gulch Farm and serves as co-chair of San Francisco Zen Center's Central DEIA Committee.
Dealing with our "Shadow Side"
Michael McCord leads us on a talk titled, "Dealing with our Shadow Side." He explored questions like, "How do we deal with the weaknesses that plague us over and over again?" and "What are the Zen teachings to help deal with the areas we'd like to change about ourselves?"
Mei Elliott - Learning to Trust Oneself
Mei Elliott gives a talk called “Learning to Trust Oneself.”
Being able to trust is an important foundation in any close relationship. Yet for many, trusting others comes far more easily than trusting oneself. Often when faced with making decisions, we are at a loss, lacking confidence that we will make the right choice and unable to trust ourselves to proceed. This lack of trust and confidence can ripple out beyond our decision-making, and extend into a lack of confidence in our character, intelligence, and worth. How can the teachings of the Buddha support us in establishing trust? As we engage in this inquiry together, we will also explore what it means to trust oneself in a tradition that questions the very notion of self to begin with.