August 6th Guest Speaker

Rev. Wakoh Shannon Hickey to offer Dharma talk on the topic of Buddhism and Sexuality

7pm – She asks that you bring your questions so that we may have an engaging dialogue on the subject of Buddhisms historical and current attitudes toward sexuality and gender. Please RSVP so that we can have adequate cushions and chairs.

IMG_3566 (1)


Wakoh received Shukke Tokudo (lay ordination) from Sojun Mel Weitsman at Berkeley Zen Center in 1987. She was ordained a priest of Sōtō Zen in 2003 by Rev. Gengo Akiba, former bishop (Sokan) of Sōtō Zen in North America, and abbot of Zenshuji Sōtō Zen Mission in Los Angeles. Wakoh completed her Head Monk training (Shuso Hossen-shiki) at Kojin-an n 2010. Rev. Wakoh is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Notre Dame of Maryland University (NDMU); and the Buddhist Campus Minister for Johns Hopkins University. She is also a Certified Leader of InterPlay®, a group creative practice involving improvisational movement, story-telling, music-making, and stillness.

On Zazen Being Hard

Morning Zazen Practice

Morning Zazen Practice

Zazen is just sitting there on a cushion, so it’s really easy. Until you try to do it for more than 30 seconds. Then it can get kinda difficult. I have been sitting for a few years now, and I still remember when 5 minutes felt like a long, painful time to be sitting still.

If you’re having a hard time sitting for long periods of time, like the 30 or 40 minute sits we do at All Beings, try doing zazen at home. Do it for 5 or 10 minutes, once or twice a day. 30 or 40 minutes doesn’t feel so long for a few of us, but to beginners, it can feel like an eternity.

If you find yourself thinking the whole time, that doesn’t really mean you’re doing it wrong, and that you’re bad at zazen, and that you should stop. It actually means you’re doing it right, because you’ve just noticed that you’re thinking a lot, that your mind wanders. I believe the idea is to, when you notice, try to bring your mind back to a still point, ‘thinking non-thinking’ as it’s said. This’ll probably last about 10 seconds, and that’s ok. Just keep trying.

We call it practice for a reason. If someone handed you a violin and said ‘play this’, you’d be bad at first. It’s the same with anything, and certainly with zazen. The more you do it, the ‘better’ at it you get. Also – it’s not necessarily supposed to be ‘enjoyable’, though it can be.

But yeah, sit for shorter periods more often, and talk to Bobbi about posture, which is really important for your physical well being. —Sam Reggio

July 26th, 2015 – Zen Retreat with the Cicadas

Full Day Zen Retreat All Beings Zen Sangha
Sunday July 26, 2015


Join us for a day of Dharma study, zazen/sitting, walking and oryoki meals at the height of summer. Early birds begin at 6:30 and late joiners at 8am. We will conclude the day with refuges by 5pm. – The day will include work practice, Dharma Talk, multiple periods of zazen and two meals eating Oryoki style. Please R.S.V.P by email to
Note: From 8-9:30am we will include our monthly dharma study. The topic this month is Dogen’s Genjokoan.

Call for Artists

Call to Artists! All Beings Zen Sangha is announcing a call to artists for the 2016 Sangha calendar project. Drawings, paintings, photography, poetry, brief writings, and other forms are now being considered. Please submit up to three works by July 30, 2015, either in person or via e-mail to


Background: Zen has a long history of embracing and inspiring art. Following in this tradition, All Beings Zen Sangha is proud to display member’s work in calendars, web sites, and other media. Founded by a small group of dedicated Zen students in 2004, All Beings Zen Sangha serves as a warm space for the Zen Dharma practice in Washington DC. Visit us on the web at:

Rev. Inryu to offer Dharma talk on June 6th, 2015 at Ka Shin Zendo, Takoma Park MD


Rev. Inryu Bobbi Ponce-Barger (ShinChi InRyu – Body Wisdom, Hidden Dragon), will be offering a Talk on the topic of “Freedom” on Saturday June 6th, 2015 at Ka Shin Zendo in Takoma Park, MD.

Rev. Inryu is a Soto Buddhist Priest in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi (founder of the San Francisco Zen Center She is the resident priest for the All Beings Zen Sangha in Washington DC

Ka Shin Zendo is located in the Library of the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church, 310 Tulip Avenue, Takoma Park MD 20912
The Saturday Practice will begin with Zazen starting at 8:30am. And the morning program is usually completed by 11:00am.

Speakers at All Beings Zen Sangha in May 2015

rakusu_tree_sm Monday May 18th, 2015 7pm Guest Teacher

“If we lose the spirit of continuous practice, it could be a very awful thing. But if we continue our practice, something very meaningful and beautiful will result. The most meaningful thing is our effort to develop Buddha’s
Way.” –         Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

Sensei Steve Weintraub will explore this quote by Suzuki Roshi for his Dharma Talk on Monday May 18th, 2015 7pm.  Sensei was ordained as a Soto Zen priest in 1973, has been teaching Buddhism at San Francisco Zen Center for over 30 years, and received Dharma transmission in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi in 1993, from Sojun Mel Weitsman. Steve has a psychotherapy practice in San Francisco and Mill Valley, and works as a therapist in the context of contemporary analytic depth psychology.

Sunday May 24th, 2Tova photo for publicity015 8am – Guest Teacher
Jisan Tova Green is a Soto Zen priest in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki-roshi.She will be exploring the topic of “Tenderness and Compassion.   “Tender” means both “raw or painful when touched” and “showing affection or love for someone or something.” We can transform the pain we feel when we judge ourselves or internalize negative messages we receive from others to feeling tender in the sense of caring for ourselves and one another.
Jisan serves as the Development Director at the  San Francisco Zen Center and was ordained a priest in 2003. After many years of Vipassana practice, Tova Green began sitting at Green Gulch Farm in 1990 and became a resident of the San Francisco Zen Center in 1999. She is the former President of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship (BPF) and was also a coordinator with the Buddhist Alliance for Social Engagement (BASE), the first Buddhist volunteer corps of its kind. She currently resides at the San Francisco Zen Center.