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Sitting & Ritual

Update on activities for 2019

Sangha & Inclusion, Service & Engagement, Sitting & Ritual, Study & ArtsGuiding TeacherComment

Dear Students of the Way,

For many of you, it has been a while since we have practiced face-to-face, whether virtually or in person. Know that I think of you often, and send kindness.

Since we have entered a new year and the Spanish online course is completed, I am settling down to prepare the curriculum for the 2019 online offerings. I am hoping to offer one class in the spring and in the fall, as well as a summer book club again this year.

I would like the Spring 2019 class to begin in late April or early May. It will be based on Dogen's "Guidelines for the Practice of the Way," originally titled "Gakudo Yojinshu" in the Chinese. It is Dogen's top ten list of important points for Zen practitioners to keep in mind, and it touches on topics such as effort, student-teacher relationships, compassion, and the koan "mu." Of course, there will be some supplemental materials as well. I expect the course will involve a pre-recorded talk and a group discussion meeting each week. Once the class dates are set, I will post them to this website and to Twitter. For now, if there are other folks you know who may be interested, please feel free to pass this page along to them.

It's not too early to make suggestions for the summer book club, also. It will be a bit short this year, starting in mid- or late July and ending by October 1st.

In the more immediate time frame, I am going to be offering practice discussion online. If you would like to connect for a practice discussion, please write to {hey.konin@gmail.com} to request one of these times. Also, please specify whether you prefer Zoom or Skype video chat, or a phone call and to what number.

And I have added some more “Study & Arts” posts to the home page, including recent poetry and watercolor paintings from my solitary retreat.

Lastly, my next retreat offering is to co-lead a 5 day sit in early May at Spirit Rock in Northern California. It's wait listed, so mention this post if you decide to sign up. We'll try to get you in.

I look forward to seeing you soon. In the meantime, let's keep sitting!

Yours in the Dharma,

Dhammadīpā Kōnin Cardenas

Imágenes del Ser - SFZC Online Dharma class in Spanish

Study & Arts, Sitting & Ritual, Sangha & InclusionGuiding TeacherComment

Con Ven. Dhammadipa (la Reverenda Konin Cardenas)

22 de octubre – 19 de noviembre

Este curso de el Centro Zen de San Francisco, en linea, se concentrará en el estudio del ser y del no-ser en medio de la vida contemporánea. Con el propósito de experimentar una práctica más amplia y clara, vamos a explorar juntos extractos del libro Mente Zen, Mente de Principiante de Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, además de enseñanzas de una variedad de Maestros de Zen, incluidos Dongshan Liangjie y Eihei Dogen.

El curso ofrece:

  • Cuatro Pláticas del Dharma, una cada semana

  • Cuatro reuniones virtuales, una hora en vivo cada semana

  • Acceso a un sitio web privado e interactivo

  • Un foro de discusión con Ven. Dhammadipa y los demás participantes

  • Lecturas suplementarias

  • Zendo virtual

    Regístrese aquí

Ekan Zen Study Center is in Transition

Sangha & Inclusion, Service & Engagement, Sitting & Ritual, Study & ArtsGuiding Teacher

Dear Dharma Friend,

The path of practice can be one of broad personal discovery and inner transformation. This has certainly been true for our Guiding Teacher who, as you may already know, has reached back to the roots of Zen tradition to embrace early Buddhist monasticism and the practice of the Vinaya. Now Reverend Konin Cardenas is also known as Venerable Dhammadipa. She has committed to long-term residential training at Aloka Vihara, a women's monastery in California, practicing the Theravada Forest Tradition of the West.

These changes are reflected in Ven. Dhammadipa’s practice, in the breadth of her teachings, and in the precepts she is now following. While she continues to offer teachings primarily focused on the Zen tradition, she is also teaching early Buddhism together with her Dhamma Sisters at Aloka Vihara.

Ven. Dhammadipa is now largely supported by the Saranaloka Foundation, which is financially responsible for all of the nuns at the vihara. Her basic needs for food, shelter, clothing, and dental care are provided for by donors to the monastery. Her personal needs for travel and other minor expenses are provided for by her family. These changes are in accord with the Vinaya training precept of not handling money, which Ven. Dhammadipa has taken.

To reflect these changes, over the next few months, the EkanZenStudyCenter.org site will change to Dhamma-Dipa.com, a site that will be Ven. Dhammadipa's personal online presence. Her audio and video archives, blog posts, and personal teaching calendar will be available there. Ekan Zen Study Center will no longer exist as a 501(c)3 non-profit, and the corporation will be dissolved at the end of 2018. The donation page on the Dhamma-Dipa.com site will reflect new information about how to contribute a tax-deductible donation to the Saranaloka Foundation, for Venerable Dhammadipa or for the monastery in general.

The Ekan Zen Study Center Board of Directors fully supports Ven. Dhammadipa’s current path of practice, and your continued relationship with her and her teachings. We encourage you to grow your relationship with her. Should you have any questions or concerns our contact information is below, and we welcome hearing from you.

Together we affirm the mutual support that arises when practicing the Way together, intimately. May it continue, for the benefit of all beings!

With abiding support for your awakening life,

Norma Fogelberg, President

Rev. Choro Antonaccio, Treasurer

Rev. Konin Cardenas, Guiding Teacher/Secretary

Going Forth and Reaching Back

Sangha & Inclusion, Service & Engagement, Sitting & RitualGuiding TeacherComment
Ven. Dhammadipa (also known as Konin) kneeling on left, Ven. Cittananda kneeling on right

Ven. Dhammadipa (also known as Konin) kneeling on left, Ven. Cittananda kneeling on right

On May 11th, I formally took the eight precepts of an Anagarika in the Theravada tradition. Though I have been practicing eight precepts for some time now, wearing the white robes felt very light. It also made for a clear and appropriate transition from my black attire as a Zen priest. This step marked my intention to wholeheartedly take up the Theravada way, and during the ceremony I took dependence on Ayyas Santacitta and Anadabodhi as my teachers in this tradition. I can honestly and joyfully say that it is their commitment to demonstrating the path of practice of the early Buddhist teachings that enabled me to aspire to this practice myself.

Then, on Saturday, May 12th at Buddhi Vihara in Santa Clara, California, I went forth in the Theravada tradition, after many years of practice in the Soto Zen tradition. Going forth is an outward, conventional expression of an enigmatic evolution that is happening within. Having known the Ayyas for six years, and having visited Aloka Vihara a few times in the past, I came to live here in October of 2017. At that time, I was in search of a place where the practice would support turning inward, where practice would support a transformation of mind, heart, and body toward its natural clarity and peace. For me, the practice of monastic renunciation, the practice of Vinaya, is just such a support. It allows me to set down, again and again, those things that are unessential. It allows me to commit my entire life’s effort to the activity of being an instrument of Dhamma. And, it is like reaching back all the way to the beginning of the Zen lineage in which I was ordained 11 years ago, integrating the practice of the Original Teacher Gotama Buddha and the earliest disciples. I received the name “Dhammadīpā,” which means light or lamp or island of Dhamma.

The day of the Pabbajja was a shining example of blending like milk and water, as the more than eight sanghas that were involved joined together to make the day’s events both memorable and easeful. In particular, Ayya Sudinna, the Pavatinī (Preceptor) who came all the way from Carolina Buddhist Vihara in Greenville, South Carolina was so joyful. It was a day full of mudita (empathetic joy), not just for me, but also for Ayya Cittananda who received her bhikkhuni (higher) ordination. It seemed to me that everyone shared such heartfelt caring for each other. The beautiful sunny weather was reflected in our hearts, and the great generosity of the dana revealed how deeply sangha members are moved by the Triple Gem of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. My heart is full of gratitude and joy for everyone who is playing some part in making it possible for nuns to go forth into this life. Anumodana! I rejoice in your good works!