Sitting with Burning Difference: Dharma talk with Greg Snyder, Nov 4

Event Details

  • Date:

Please join us November 4th for our usual Saturday morning schedule, which will include a dharma talk titled Sitting with Burning Difference by BZC co-founder and current President Greg Snyder. The talk will be at 11am and will follow a period of zazen starting at 10:20 am. Meditation instruction will be at 9 am.

Sitting with Burning Difference

We would love the world to reflect who we feel we are, for everyone to “meet” us in a way that feels complete and whole for us. The problem is that the one who usually wants this is not and can never be whole. From separation we long for wholeness as if it is the right of this one we call self. This longing must not be confused with wholeness realizing itself. The former wants the sangha, community, teachers, leaders and the world to mirror back to us our values, beliefs, truths commitments exactly as we understand them. We will even fight and hate in their defense. But wholeness does not come from a struggle for it, it comes from giving up that struggle. Wholeness comes from a deep silence, stillness and grace. Yet from this silence we must speak and from this stillness we must act if we are to transform the suffering of the world. How do we do this? How do we not confuse the self-centered thinking of our grasped conditioning with the realization of wholeness that is our path? How are we 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? How does wholeness meet this separation that burns with grasped sameness and grasped difference?

About Greg Snyder 
Greg Snyder is a dharma teacher at Brooklyn Zen Center, as well as its co-founder and current President. He is also the Senior Director of Buddhist Studies at Union Theological Seminary, where he directs and teaches in a Masters of Divinity program focused on Buddhism and Inter-religious Engagement. Greg received priest ordination and dharma transmission from Teah Strozer and is a lineage holder in the Suzuki Roshi lineage of Soto Zen. Greg is active with multiple interfaith and community networks organizing around peace-building, anti-violence and social justice initiatives, and currently sits on the Brooklyn Borough President’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Community Partnerships. Greg’s practice of Zen and the dharma includes an understanding that personal and social liberation are a deeply integrated process of mutual unfolding. In addition to teaching in a formal Zen context, he facilitates Undoing Whiteness and Undoing Patriarchy workshops and ongoing groups that focus on investigating self-identities that may unconsciously perpetuate societal suffering. His efforts include ensuring the dharma is truly available to everyone, supporting young people in practice, developing a community-responsive Zen center, and advocating for bringing the illumination of conditioning around patriarchy, racism and economic exploitation to the center of our Buddhist exploration of self. He is devoted to co-creating an American dharma movement that fully embraces a deep social engagement focused on transforming inequity, bias and violence in ourselves, our communities and the world.

Access Notes: There is one short flight of stairs leading to the entrance to the building. Please press 3-0 to be buzzed in. The center is located at the top of a steeper second staircase of around 20 steps. A ramp and elevator are available via an alternate entrance; please email in advance if you need access. Chairs, benches, and extra support cushions are available. We are not yet a fragrance-free space; our hand soap is scented with essential oils. If you have any additional questions about accessibility, please contact us at