Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Dharma Event in Berkeley this Sunday

This coming Sunday (Sept 9, 7-9pm) in Berkeley (1940 Virginia St), there will be a sitting, talk and Q&A with Zen Master Bon Soeng (Jeff Kitzes). ZMBS is one of about a dozen successors who received transmission from Zen Master Seung Sahn. That is, ZMBS was formally recognized by ZMSS as someone who could pass on Buddha's teaching tradition without diminishing it.

For over a decade, ZMBS has been the Abbott and Guiding Teacher of Empty Gate Zen Center. He has a private therapy practice as his straight job. Jeff's spent time on a Zen commune during the counter culture years; he maintains a bit of that hippie-mind, in teaching the fierce clarity of the Zen tradition with a wide-open and gentle style. The supportive, non-dogmatic, non-authoritarian style of Empty Gate has allowed many people like me to join in that sangha, people who would never put up with a more reverent, sanctimonious, or militaristic group.

So if you're in the Bay Area, please consider coming by for the talk. It's sponsored by the East Bay Open Circle. From their website: The East Bay Open Circle is a non-sectarian and open group dedicated to supporting, celebrating, and exploring the practices of mindful awareness, meditation and other healing arts. Though not affiliated with any single tradition or teacher, we feel especially inspired and influenced by the satsang and Buddhist traditions of non-dual presence and awareness, as well as by other practices that support the opening of our hearts and minds. I've gone to one other East Bay Open Circle event, a John Sherman satsang that I later wrote about. I like the idea of this group of East Bay folks exploring various traditions without saluting any particular dogma.

This event is free; donations are accepted, but not coerced.

Whether or not you can make this event, please consider stopping by Empty Gate Zen Center for practice any time. At EGZC, Zen Master Bon Soeng gives talks and Q&A almost every Wednesday night, and private koan interviews most Saturday mornings. Practice (without so much talk) also takes place Tues and Thurs mornings and evenings, and day-long or weekend sitting retreats are held about once a month.

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