Rev. Inryu officiating for an Arlington Va wedding in September 2015

Our resident priest Rev. Inryu officiated for a recent outdoor wedding in Arlington VA.  We set up a simple Altar on a small table.Unknown

As part of the ceremony those in attendance were asked to close their eyes and take a moment to bring full attention to the current moment.  Feeling their bodies, the air around them, the sounds in the environment and to observe their breathing. We then shared a moment of silence to settle into the beauty the moment and place.Roxanne & Jamal A-398


The couple vowed to take refuge in Awakening, Truth and Community.

The vowed to support and cherish life, to live generously with an open heart, to remain faithful in relationship, to communicate honestly and simply, to treat all beings and each other with dignity and respect, to work for the benefit of others, to be humble, to not hand on to grudges or angered and to awaken to their connection to all life.Roxanne & Jamal A-430Rev. Inryu has been the official celebrant for weddings in Maryland, Virginia, Georgia and Washington DC.  She is a registered officiant with the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Virginia.


The photos above are from Phyllis Petronello Photography

All Beings Zen Sangha in the Mountains of Virginia Wednesday October 21st, 2015

Taking the All Beings Zen Practice into the Mountains of Virginia last Wednesday. A group of us spent 4 1/2 hours on the BlueRidge Mountain and Appalachian Mountain trails: sitting two periods of zazen, sharing a quiet period of hiking and enjoying discussions about Dharma and practice throughout the remaining hike and on the drive to and from our homes.


Rev. Wakoh Shannon Hickey offering a talk on the topic of Buddhism and Sexuality – Thursday October 15, 2015

Rev. Wakoh Shannon Hickey offering a talk on the topic of Buddhism and Sexuality – Thursday October 15, 2015

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She asks that you bring your questions so that we may have an engaging dialogue on the subject of Buddhism’s historical attitudes towards sexuality and gender.

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.

Canceled – Dairyu Michael Wenger Roshi to visit All Beings Sangha September 10th – 14th, 2015

Dairyu was suddenly unable to travel due to illness.  We will hope to reschedule with him for Spring 2016.

Dairyu Michael Wenger Roshi (All Beings Zen Sangha’s guiding teacher) trained and practiced for many years at the San Francisco Zen Center and received Dharma Transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman. He is now Guiding Teacher of Dragon’s Leap Meditation Center where he emphasizes zazen, brush painting and Dharma classes. Courage, compassion and creativity are his touchstones.

Thursday September 10th – Dairyu to offer a Dharma Talk on Dogen’s GenjoKoan 7pm – Adams Morgan

Friday September 11th – Morning Zazen and Dokusan with Dairyu, Service 6:30am – Adams Morgan

Saturday September 12th – Day Retreat at Woodburn Hill Farm with Dairyu focusing on Dogen’s GenjoKoan and offering Dokusan, carpooling from the city at 8:15am. – Mechanicsville MD

Monday – September
14th – Morning Zazen and Dokusan with Dairyu, Service 6:30am, with breakfast “out” in the neighborhood following the morning program – Adams Morgan

Please email Inryu at to register for any or all of these opportunities to study the “way of zen” with Dairyu.

Dokusan – is a one to one interview with the teacher. It is a rare and valuable opportunity to have a senior zen teacher with us offering his time and support. Everyone is welcome to avail themselves of the Sangha gatherings and one-on-one interviews with while Dairyu is here. Please join us…..

Film “States of Grace” – August 18th, 2015

August 18th at 7PM – BloomScreen and All Beings Zen present an inspiring new documentary… States of Grace



States of Grace (2014, 74 min), by Helen Cohen and Mark Lipman – After surviving a near-fatal head-on collision on the Golden Gate Bridge, a revered physician struggles to come to terms with her injuries and discover new meaning in her radically altered life. Her longtime partner cares for her and their disabled teenage daughter as the family embarks on a journey of loss, resilience, and renewal. (

The screening will be followed by audience discussion and Q&A with Rev. Inryu Bobbi Ponce-Barger, a Soto Zen Buddhist Priest.

*Suggested Donation: $10. Proceeds support both BloomBars and the work of All Beings Zen Sangha, a Zen Buddhist Community in Washington DC and Maryland. Free organic popcorn.
BloomScreen is located at: 3222 11th Street NW, Washington DC 20010

If you are on Facebook you can RSVP via this link:

or RSVP via email to Inryu at

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