Undoing Patriarchy and Unveiling the Sacred Masculine, March 25

The next gathering of this group will take place off-site at the Dharma Den at 530 State Street, Apt 2, Brooklyn, NY. Also, please note that this gathering will take place from 4 to 6 p.m., instead of the usual 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. schedule.

For more information please see the program page and/or contact us at sacredmanfam@gmail.com

Undoing Patriarchy and Unveiling the Sacred Masculine is a monthly group of Zen practitioners who identify, or are identified, as male coming together to explore the construct of patriarchy, its impact on our lives, our communities, and to work towards developing our sacred masculine identities; those dynamic and restorative aspects of masculinity that strengthen our ability to cultivate wisdom, compassion and community. Together, we will contemplate what the cost of patriarchy has been for the lives of everyone along the gender spectrum: How does patriarchy obstruct the expression of a sacred masculine identity? Could the expression of a sacred masculine identity lie at the heart of undoing the violence of patriarchy in our sanghas and communities?

Through a variety of practices including meditation, group dialogue, personal storytelling, journaling and ritual, we will unpack how patriarchy has shaped our expressions of masculinity and the self. We will take up a dharmic lens to examine our relationship to violence and domination, power, femininity, love and sexuality along a path to unveiling and honoring non-patriarchal expressions of who we are as human beings.  Our hope is that these efforts will further our own liberation and strengthen a process of cultivating balanced spiritual and secular communities.

Inclement weather notice

Due to the upcoming storm due to hit NYC tomorrow (Wednesday, 3/7), we may need to cancel our usual Wednesday evening program. We are monitoring weather conditions and will post a schedule update here and on BZC’s social media tomorrow by 3 p.m., at the latest. Stay tuned and be safe.

 

 

 

New Audio Dharma Talk: Greg Snyder

You can now listen to a dharma talk by BZC’s dharma teacher and senior priest Greg Snyder: Emboldening the Bodhisattva Heart in Demanding Times (01/21/2017).

 

 

 

As we enter women’s month, this talk, offered on January 21 last year, the day of Women’s March, comes as a reminder of our demanding times. Here are some excerpts of the talk:

For me, I am in part sitting today in solidarity with a lot of people who are walking today. And although there may be many who may frame that as a protest, which in many ways it is, it is also an affirmation of human beings, people, who are being thoughtlessly cast aside. So, may we today, here and there, affirm everyone.

There are not times that are not demanding. Not to take away from the importance of this moment in time, but for a bodhisattva there are never not demanding times. There is never a time when the suffering of the world is not being put in our hands to respond to.

And what we may personally consider demanding is what we have allowed into the space that we understand as who we are. “Now, this affects me in a very direct way because it touches who I am.” But who I think I am is this limited little tinny thing, right? If we let that grow, than other things are who I am. The child soldiers in our country, that we call gangs – are they me? If they are, then we’ve had demanding times for a while. The slave trade of women all over the world – is that me? If so, then we’ve had demanding times for some time. The coal miners in Appalachia, who have had their environment destroyed by massive corporations and left with no way of understanding what to do next – are they me? If we are, then we’ve had demanding times for a while.

It’s an interesting human habit to be able to say that I’m not willing to let another person’s reality in, but I expect them to be changed by mine. Not with the balanced expectation that I should be changed by theirs.

Greg Snyder will be leading a three-day sesshin, from March 16 to 18, on Renouncing Preferences, Unfolding Boundlessness. The registration for this offering closes March 9 and scholarship applications will be accepted until March 7.

You can find more dharma talks at the Audio Dharma section of this website.

Our programs are given free of charge and made possible by the donations we receive. If you would like to support Brooklyn Zen Center, please visit the “Giving” section of this website. A suggested donation of $10 per audio dharma talk is greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

New Audio Dharma by Laura O’Loughlin

You can now listen to a dharma talk by BZC’s dharma teacher and senior lay practitioner Laura O’Loughlin: Living What Matters Most (01-30-2016)

In this talk, Laura explored the topic of death:

“We don’t have to wait until we’re in crisis, because we thought we were going to be able to hang on to something we couldn’t hang on to. Death is with us with every moment of every day and, to me, the whole practice is: ‘How do we begin to feel some acceptance of death?’”

You can find more dharma talks at the Audio Dharma section of this website.

Our programs are given free of charge and made possible by the donations we receive. If you would like to support Brooklyn Zen Center, please visit the “Giving” section of this website. A suggested donation of $10 per audio dharma talk is greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

New Audio Dharma Talk: Greg Snyder

You can now listen to a dharma talk by BZC’s dharma teacher and senior priest Greg Snyder: Sitting with Burning Difference (11/04/2017)

 

 

 

In this talk, Greg explored how we can de diligent about our practice of love for all the world without falling into the trap of believing we are owed some version of that world:

“Views that intentionally cause harm should be radically disempowered in society as quickly as possible. But we can’t be confused and do the same thing.  So, to not do that means that we have to sit with that burning feeling when someone is saying something that we feel is deeply morally wrong… and to feel that burn completely without acting from that.”

Greg will be leading a one-day sit on Saturday, February 17, Sitting Zazen Together, inviting us to take the backwards step of witnessing our minds, so that we are free to respond lovingly and skillfully to the suffering of the world. The registration for this offering closes February 14.

You can find more dharma talks at the Audio Dharma section of this website.

Our programs are given free of charge and made possible by the donations we receive. If you would like to support Brooklyn Zen Center, please visit the “Giving” section of this website. A suggested donation of $10 per audio dharma talk is greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

New Sesshin Audio Dharma by Teah Strozer

You can now listen to a dharma talk by BZC’s root teacher Teah Strozer, offered during the rohatsu sesshin (formal retreat) in December, 2017: Rohatsu Sesshin Day 7 (12/10/2017).

The seven-day rohatsu sesshin took place at the Brooklyn Zen Center in December and was co-lead by teachers Teah Strozer, Greg Snyder, Pam Weiss and Laura O’Loughlin. The entire audio set of dharma talks offered during the sesshin is available here.

As Teah shared during this talk:

“We don’t want to be loved. We want to BE love… The way we study the precepts in Zen is the practice… Is what zen uses to develop this kind of love. To me, the precepts are a practice about love because they’re always pointing to when we make this separation.”

You can find more dharma talks at the Audio Dharma section of this website.

Our programs are given free of charge and made possible by the donations we receive. If you would like to support Brooklyn Zen Center, please visit the “Giving” section of this website. A suggested donation of $10 per audio dharma talk is greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

Rohatsu Sesshin Audio Dharma Talks

You can now listen to all dharma talks offered during the Rohatsu sesshin  (formal retreat) in December 2017 at the Brooklyn Zen Center:

Rohatsu Sesshin Day 3 (12/06/2017), by Teah Strozer

Rohatsu Sesshin Day 4 (12/07/2017), by Laura O’Loughlin

Rohatsu Sesshin Day 5 (12/08/2017), by Pamela Weiss

Rohatsu Sesshin Day 6 (12/09/2017), by Greg Snyder

Rohatsu Sesshin Day 7 (12/10/2017), by Teah Strozer

For more dharma talks by BZC and visiting teachers please visit our Audio Dharma page.

Our programs are given free of charge and made possible by the donations we receive. If you would like to support Brooklyn Zen Center, please visit the “Giving” section of this website. A suggested donation of $10 per audio dharma talk is greatly appreciated.

New Sesshin Audio Dharma Talk by Pamela Weiss

You can now listen to a talk by visiting dharma teacher Pamela Weiss, offered during the rohatsu sesshin (formal retreat) in December 2017: Rohatsu Sesshin Day 5 (12/08/2017)

 

The seven-day rohatsu sesshin took place at the Brooklyn Zen Center in December and was co-lead by teachers Teah Strozer, Greg Snyder, Pamela Weiss and Laura O’Loughlin. More talks offered during the retreat will soon be available.

For more dharma talks by Pamela Weiss and other BZC and visiting teachers please visit our Audio Dharma page.

Our programs are given free of charge and made possible by the donations we receive. If you would like to support Brooklyn Zen Center, please visit the “Giving” section of this website. A suggested donation of $10 per audio dharma talk is greatly appreciated.

New Audio Dharma Talk by Kaira Jewel Lingo

You can now listen to a dharma talk by teacher Kaira Jewel Lingo, Mindful Social Change (09/30/2017).

 

In this talk, Kaira Jewel discussed the importance of being clear about our motivations for taking action while working for positive change:

“No action done from a pure intention goes unnoticed in the larger scheme of things. Even if what we do seems to fail miserably, it’s not a waste of time if it’s done bring joy, to relieve suffering, to bring about justice– then it’s worthwhile regardless of the outcome. And if we approach it this way, we have limitless energy.”

Kaira Jewel Lingo teaches meditation and mindfulness, with a focus on activists, people of color, artists, educators, families, and youth. She began practicing mindfulness in 1997 and she is an ordained nun in Thich Nhat Hanh’s Order of Interbeing.

You can find more dharma talks at the Audio Dharma section of this website.

Our programs are given free of charge and made possible by the donations we receive. If you would like to support Brooklyn Zen Center, please visit the “Giving” section of this website. A suggested donation of $10 per audio dharma talk is greatly appreciated.

Beginner’s Mind Experience

The next Beginner’s Mind Experience program starts on Saturday, February 3! The registration deadline is Wednesday, January 31.

All new members at the Brooklyn Zen Center are strongly encouraged to take part in the Beginner’s Mind Experience, a 3-month introduction program to the various aspects of community practice at BZC.

As part of this program, members have the opportunity to join a peer practice group, experience various forms of wholehearted activity practice, have private practice discussions with teachers, and receive special rates on two introductory classes: Introduction to Zen Buddhism and Meditation in Everyday Life.

The program provides members with a sense of the variety and intimacy of zen practice in the BZC community and also offer embodied experience with how we can engage these practices in our daily lives.

To take part in the Beginner’s Mind Experience, you must be a BZC member.

More information and registration available here.

New Sesshin Audio Dharma Talk: Laura O’Loughlin

You can now listen to a talk by BZC dharma teacher and senior lay practitioner Laura O’Loughlin, offered during the rohatsu sesshin (formal retreat) in December, 2017: Rohatsu Sesshin Day 4 (12/07/2017).

 

The seven-day rohatsu sesshin took place at the Brooklyn Zen Center in December and was co-lead by teachers Teah Strozer, Greg Snyder, Pam Weiss and Laura O’Loughlin. More talks offered during the retreat will soon be available.

As Laura shared during this talk:

“Every single moment that we attend and take care of, with a certain quality of attention and care, and a certain understanding, we’re free. We’re just free. We’re free now, not at the end of a long process.”

For more dharma talks by Laura O’Loughlin and other BZC and visiting teachers please visit our Audio Dharma page.

Our programs are given free of charge and made possible by the donations we receive. If you would like to support Brooklyn Zen Center, please visit the “Giving” section of this website. A suggested donation of $10 per audio dharma talk is greatly appreciated.

New Audio Dharma Talk: Greg Snyder

You can now listen to a dharma talk by BZC’s dharma teacher and senior priest Greg Snyder: Embodying the Path of Liberation in Our Lives, Part 3, (02/19/2017).

 

This talk was offered during a three-day sesshin at the Brooklyn Zen Center:

Embodying the Path of Liberation in Our Lives

The Buddha taught that the end of suffering was found in what he called the Noble Eightfold Path. The elements of this path are divided into three emphases that have traditionally been referred to as the Threefold Training. These three are sīla (behavioral discipline), samadhi (gathering mind) and prajñā (wisdom). These three areas of training are necessary for living a life of liberation. Our tradition of Soto Zen, grounded in the teachings of Eihei Dogen, emphasizes the Buddha’s realization that freedom cannot be found without all three of these trainings together as one.

Part 1 is available here and part 2 is available here.

As Greg shared during this talk:

“What keeps us energized around a particular set of self-actions is getting down to ‘Well, if I don’t do this, and if I don’t behave this way, and if I don’t maintain this identity, I’m going to be kicked out. I’m going to either be exiled of the human family or rejected or whatever the story is.’ What is so interesting about this process is that is doesn’t end up in the fear of death. It ends in the fear of exile. The irony is that that which is afraid of separation and exile is the one who is creating separation and exile.  It’s the one who’s recreating this notion of self that’s terrified of being separate. And yet all the separation is coming from the one that’s terrified of being separate.”

Greg will be leading a one-day retreat this Saturday, January 20, on Cultivating Bodhisattva Effort Until Death, honoring the life and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King.

You can find more dharma talks at the Audio Dharma section of this website.

Our programs are given free of charge and made possible by the donations we receive. If you would like to support Brooklyn Zen Center, please visit the “Giving” section of this website. A suggested donation of $10 per audio dharma talk is greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

New Audio Dharma Talk: Greg Snyder

You can now listen to a dharma talk by BZC’s dharma teacher and senior priest Greg Snyder: Embodying the Path of Liberation in Our Lives, Part 2, (02/18/2017).

 

This talk was offered during a three-day sesshin at the Brooklyn Zen Center:

Embodying the Path of Liberation in Our Lives

The Buddha taught that the end of suffering was found in what he called the Noble Eightfold Path. The elements of this path are divided into three emphases that have traditionally been referred to as the Threefold Training. These three are sīla (behavioral discipline), samadhi (gathering mind) and prajñā (wisdom). These three areas of training are necessary for living a life of liberation. Our tradition of Soto Zen, grounded in the teachings of Eihei Dogen, emphasizes the Buddha’s realization that freedom cannot be found without all three of these trainings together as one.

Part 1 is available here. Part 3 will soon be available.

As Greg shared during this talk:

“We might find ourselves walking through the zendo when people are sitting and we might think we’re walking on the floor, but part of what we’re doing is walking through the minds and hearts of everyone who is sitting.  And our footsteps are such that they take that into account. Of course this isn’t just the case here, we’re always walking through the hearts and minds of everyone else. It’s just more obvious here.”

Greg will be leading a one-day retreat, Cultivating Bodhisattva Effort Until Death (January 20), honoring the life and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King.

You can find more dharma talks at the Audio Dharma section of this website.

Our programs are given free of charge and made possible by the donations we receive. If you would like to support Brooklyn Zen Center, please visit the “Giving” section of this website. A suggested donation of $10 per audio dharma talk is greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

New Sesshin Audio Dharma by Teah Strozer

You can now listen to a dharma talk by BZC’s root teacher Teah Strozer, offered during the rohatsu sesshin (formal retreat) in December, 2017: Rohatsu Sesshin Day 3 (12/06/2017).

The seven-day rohatsu sesshin took place at the Brooklyn Zen Center in December and was co-lead by teachers Teah Strozer, Greg Snyder, Pam Weiss and Laura O’Loughlin. More talks offered during the retreat will soon be available.

As Teah shared during this talk:

“Everybody has their ancient twisted karma. Everyone is carrying that package of karma on their back. And it is possible to put it down. We can get that twisted ancient conditioning down. And doing a retreat is one of the best ways to do that because we take the time to stop and look at what it is that is causing the suffering. There is no person there. There are just believed ideas, believed systems of thought and emotion that we identify with. But there is no structure there, so that when you can see them clearly enough they dissolve. But some of these really core identities take years, decades, to clear. So it’s a good thing to get started.”

You can find more dharma talks at the Audio Dharma section of this website.

Our programs are given free of charge and made possible by the donations we receive. If you would like to support Brooklyn Zen Center, please visit the “Giving” section of this website. A suggested donation of $10 per audio dharma talk is greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

New Audio Dharma Talk: Greg Snyder

You can now listen to a dharma talk by BZC’s co-founder and dharma teacher Greg Snyder: Embodying the Path of Liberation in Our Lives, Part 1, (02/17/2017).

 

This talk was offered during a three-day sesshin at the Brooklyn Zen Center:

Embodying the Path of Liberation in Our Lives

The Buddha taught that the end of suffering was found in what he called the Noble Eightfold Path. The elements of this path are divided into three emphases that have traditionally been referred to as the Threefold Training. These three are sīla (behavioral discipline), samadhi (gathering mind) and prajñā (wisdom). These three areas of training are necessary for living a life of liberation. Our tradition of Soto Zen, grounded in the teachings of Eihei Dogen, emphasizes the Buddha’s realization that freedom cannot be found without all three of these trainings together as one.

As Greg shared during this talk:

“We don’t come to Zen to cultivate a mind beyond the world. We come to Zen to let go of the mind that thinks it’s beyond the world. And fall into the everydayness of our existence and our lives together.”

Together with BZC visiting teacher Lama Rod Owens, Greg will be co-leading a three-day retreat on Undoing Patriarchy and Unveiling the Sacred Masculine (January 5-7, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Greg will also be leading a one-day retreat, Cultivating Bodhisattva Effort Until Death (January 20), honoring the life and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King.

You can find more dharma talks at the Audio Dharma section of this website.

Our programs are given free of charge and made possible by the donations we receive. If you would like to support Brooklyn Zen Center, please visit the “Giving” section of this website. A suggested donation of $10 per audio dharma talk is greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

New Audio Dharma Talk: Lama Rod Owens-PENDING PERMISSION

—PENDING PERMISSION to post from lama Rod—

You can now listen to a dharma talk by Lama Rod Owens, Introduction to Radical Presence (2016-02-06).

 

In this dharma talk, Lama Rod explored the power of narrative and the offering of radical presence:

“I wonder if we can focus our practice on that very moment where we approach others and say ‘I have your whole story line right here for you… I’m going to relate to you through my own story line and you don’t get agency.’  I wonder if that’s so much a part of the ways in which we struggle to live together.  If I write the narrative, I have control over that narrative and I don’t have to change.”

Lama Rod Owens is the Guiding Teacher for the Radical Dharma Boston Collective and teaches with Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme), where he is also a faculty member for the organization’s teacher training program. Lama Rod is also a BZC visiting teacher and will be co-leading, together with dharma teacher Greg Snyder, a three-day retreat on Undoing Patriarchy and Unveiling the Sacred Masculine (January 5-7, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

You can find more dharma talks at the Audio Dharma section of this website.

Our programs are given free of charge and made possible by the donations we receive. If you would like to support Brooklyn Zen Center, please visit the “Giving” section of this website. A suggested donation of $10 per audio dharma talk is greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

Half-Day Sits for Beginners

These special sits are geared toward beginners and feature 30-minute meditation periods, walking meditation, discussion, and short talk. Each sit includes ample time for questions and responses. All are welcome!

Partial scholarships are available for the attendance of these offerings and no one is turned away for lack of funds.

Please see the information for each sit to learn more and for scholarship application deadlines. In the upcoming months, BZC offers the following half-day sits for beginners, always from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.:

Sunday, January 21, with Ian Case and Jefre Cantu

Sunday, March 25, with Larry Lane and Koshin Monica Rose

Sunday, May 20, with Yoko Ohashi and Erica Essner

Sunday, July 15, with Jozen Tamori Gibson and Terence Caulkins

We hope you can join us for one or several of these sits in 2018!

 

New Audio: Sebene Selassie on The Erotic as Power

You can now listen to an audio offering by dharma teacher Sebene Selassie on The Erotic as Power: Exploring the Feminine in Your Spiritual Practice (2016/03/26).

This offering was made during a meeting of Love Circle Sangha, one of BZC’s affiliate sanghas.

In early 2018, Sebene will be co-leading, together with BZC dharma teacher Laura O’Loughlin, a two-daylong retreat at BZC: Reconnecting to Our Bodies, Reconnecting to Nature: Reclaiming the Feminine in Our Practice (Sunday, January 28th, & Sunday, February 4th, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.). The registration for this offering is a two-step process: before registering, please fill out the application form by December 31st. If you are selected to attend this offering, you will receive an email invitation to register by January 7th.

You can find more audio dharma offerings at the Audio Dharma section of this website.

Our programs are given free of charge and made possible by the donations we receive. If you would like to support Brooklyn Zen Center, please visit the “Giving” section of this website. A suggested donation of $10 per audio dharma talk is greatly appreciated.

New Audio Dharma Talk: Greg Snyder

You can now listen to a dharma talk by BZC’s senior dharma teacher, co-founder and President Greg Snyder on the Zen Path of Seeing Yourself (05/20/2017).

 

 

In this talk, Greg explored how we see ourselves in practice:

“We always have to ask ourselves, when we’re having a feeling that we’re not being seen: who wants to be seen?  Is it my bound up conditioned self that wants to be seen, or is it the mind of liberation that wants to stop being told that it’s some pint-sized version of itself?”

In this exploration of views of ourselves in practice, Greg brought up Nina Simone’s song “Feeling Good”:

“’Birds flying high / You know how I feel/ Sun in the sky / You know how I feel.’ There is this recognition of nature confirming, completely, the freedom and the liberation and the wholeness of the person [singing the song]. No other views, no other people, no other anything. It is the wholeness of heart and mind and life itself. ‘Freedom is mine and I know how I feel.’ There is no convincing. There is just sitting in liberation.”

You can find more dharma talks at the Audio Dharma section of this website.

Our programs are given free of charge and made possible by the donations we receive. If you would like to support Brooklyn Zen Center, please visit the “Giving” section of this website. A suggested donation of $10 per audio dharma talk is greatly appreciated.