May 25th 7PM- Guest Speaker Shojo Danny Parker

 “Embracing the Inconceivable Power of Life:  The Wisdom of Motomachi”

Rev. Shojo Danny Parker is currently the resident priest at “The Zen Room” in Cocoa Beach Florida.   Rev. Shojo received priest ordination at the Berkeley Zen Center in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi in 2011.  His long time zen teacher, Edward Espe Brown was the preceptor.  In addition to being a Zen teacher, Rev. Shojo is a writer, scientist and cook.


Guest Speaker KinKi ShinSei Ilaria Tassi to offer Way Seeking Mind Talk on Thursday May 11th 7pm

Kin Ki Shin Sei Ilaria Tassi to offer a Way Seeking Mind Talk on Thursday May 11th at 7pm

Inspired by the book When Breath Becomes Air by Mr.. Paul Kalanithi (who was a resident in neurosurgery when he died of lung cancer before completing his residency), Ilaria will talk about her identity as a daughter to her parents and as a scientist in a corporation and how the Dharma teachings guide her in these two important aspects of her life.

Ilaria Tassi is originally from Rome, Italy and moved to St Louis, MO, in 2003 to be trained as scientist in Immunology. She began her zen practice in Washington DC with the All Beings Zen Sangha in 2012. Where she studied with Rev. Inryu Bobbi Ponce-Barger. In April of 2016 she received Jukai with Roshi Dairyu Michael Wenger and Inryu Bobbi Ponce-Barger officiating.

Since 2014 she has lived in San Francisco, where she works as a scientist in a start-up company that is working to find cures to neuro-degenerative diseases. She currently practices at the San Francisco Zen Center with Anshin Rosalie Curtis and at Dragon’s Leap Meditation Center with Roshi Dairyu Michael Wenger.


Photo by Muhammad Alhawagri

Guest Speaker – Roshi Kotatsu John Bailes on Dogen’s “Ocean Mudra Samadhi”, Sunday April 30th, 2pm

Guest Dharma Teacher,  Roshi Kotatsu John Bailes to offer  a Dharma talk on Dogen Zenji’s “Ocean Mudra Samadhi”.

Sunday April 30th 2pm

Soto Zen Priest, Kotatsu John Bailes practiced Zen at the San Francisco Zen Center from the age of 19 to 32, 1972 through 1984. He was ordained a Zen Priest by Richard Baker Roshi in 1977, lived at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, a Zen monastery, for three years, practiced at Green Gulch Farm and the City Center in San Francisco during which time he held various positions from garbage man to Abbot’s Assistant and “Head” of the Zendo.

From 1984 until 2004 he practiced as an ordinary citizen while receiving a degree in International Political Economy from Harvard University, developing the Investment Advisory and Securities Division of a regional financial planning firm in the Boston area, marrying the visual artist Jesa Damora in 1989, participating in a sailboat race around the world in 2000 – 01 and becoming a professional sailboat captain, USCG 100 Ton Sail, RYA Yacht Master Ocean, and sailing about all over the world.

In 2004 John returned to community dharma practice, received the precepts from and was recognized and acknowledged as a Zen Teacher by Zoketsu Norman Fischer who invited him to participate in the Everyday Zen Community, the Red Cedar Zen Community of Bellingham, Washington, where he was Shuso, Head Monk, and the Mountain Rain Zen Community of Vancouver BC all of whom so kindly adopted him and helped him Open to this One Heart of Being. We cannot do this alone.

Kotatsu currently resides in Somerville, MA and is the guiding teacher for the Monmouth Zen Circle/Compassion Ocean Sangha in NJ.


Guest Speaker Rev. Ben Connelly, April 27th 7pm

All Beings Zen Sangha is pleased to host
Rev. Ben Connelly for a Dharma Talk about the practice of Yogacara
Thursday April 27th – 7pm.  
Ben Connelly is a Soto Zen teacher and Dharma heir in the Katagiri lineage. He teaches at Minnesota Zen Meditation Center. Ben is also a professional musician and teaches mindfulness in a wide variety of secular contexts. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Rev. Ben Connelly has written Inside Vasubandhu’s Yogacara : a practical, down-to-earth guide to Vasubandhu’s classic work “ hirty Verses of Consciousness Only” that can transform modern life and change how you see the world.  

Sunday March 26th, 2017 8-9:30am Dharma study: “Everything has a crack, that’s how the light gets in.”

The Dharma of Jikan Leonard Cohen

The iconic songwriter, poet and raconteur was a committed lifelong practitioner of Rinzai zen. Jikan Cohen’s Buddhist name—“the silence between two thoughts”—embodies well his many contradictions. This meeting will be guided by Jikan Cohen’s music and especially the timeless appeal and compassion of his extraordinary poetry.

The Study session will be lead by: Shinren Mark Stone who received the Buddhist precepts from Dairyu Michael Wenger in the Soto Zen Buddhist lineage and practices with the All Beings sangha. He leads mindfulness classes in residences for men and women in transition and at his home. After a career in economic policymaking, he is now an international economics consultant and lives in Washington DC with his wife Jessica and two wonderful sons Sam and Maurie.



Guest Speaker – Rev. Satya Cynthia Scott on Saturday March 11th, 2017 10am

“For more than a year, members of the Standing Rock Sioux nation, called Water Protectors, have resisted the Dakota Access Pipeline, which will run underneath the Missouri River, the tribe’s main source of water.  My talk will reflect on how the Buddhist path has led me to listen deeply and respond in vow to the witness of native Water Protectors.”  – Rev. Satya Cynthia Scott

Rev. Satya Cynthia Scott is an ordained Soto Zen Buddhist Priest in the lineage of  Dainin Katagiri Roshi.   She is currently a practitioner at the  Clouds in Water Zen Center in St. Paul. Minnesota   She is also a full-time magazine editor at the University of Minnesota.   She bows in gratitude to indigenous people who are prodding us to wake up with a deeper sense of urgency.  She belongs to Clergy Standing With Standing Rock, which issued a call to support the All Nations Action in Washington DC on March 10, 2017.

Spring 2017 Events


Sunday March 26th – 8-9:30am Shinren Mark Stone to lead the Dharma Study on the work and life of Leonard Cohen.

Thursday April 6th – Rev. Inryu Ponce Barger to offer a Dharma Talk following one period of Zazen

April 10-15th – 6 Day Sesshin at Woodburn Hill Farm

April 27th – 7pm Guest Speaker Sensei Ben Connelly on the topic of “Vasubandhu’s classic work “Thirty Verses of Consciousness Only”

Saturday May 20th 8-9:30am – Dharma
Our Second Study/Book Discussion “The Mind of Clover” by Robert Aitken – our second revisit of this book.

Thursday June 8th 30th 7pm Robert Quinn to offer a Way Seeking Mind Talk following one period of Zazen.

Women’s March January 21st, 2017

From Central Abbess of San Francisco Zen Center Linda Cutts

On January 20, I flew to Washington, D.C., and joined hundreds of thousands of others who were traveling to the U.S. capital to express themselves by marching and speaking and embodying in myriad ways their deepest feelings. On the small plane from Charlotte, N.C., the man next to me said, “There seems to be a party atmosphere on this plane.” I asked him if he knew why and he said, “No.” I told him, “They’re all here for the Women’s March tomorrow!” As soon became clear, we were among millions throughout the country and the world who walked in solidarity on January 21.


Our group was skillfully and carefully organized and supported by the Abbot of Houston Zen Center Setsuan Gaelyn Godwin and Myōan Grace Schireson of Central Valley Zen Foundation, with the help of many other people who added their first-hand experience and knowledge of how to take care of yourself in a large demonstration. Before the march, not knowing what might happen, we were cautioned to wear layers, bring extra socks, a bandana, and swim goggles in the event of tear gas, to write our emergency contact information in permanent marker on our forearms, and to bring snacks, water, rain gear, and money to get out of jail. Many of these precautions were thankfully not needed. In fact the peaceful atmosphere as well as the absence of security checks and police presence was notable.


Many in our group met the night before the march at All Beings Zen, a SFZC Branching Streams affiliate sangha in Washington, D.C., whose resident teacher, Inryū Bobbi Ponce–Barger, had recently returned from the Tassajara Fall Practice Period. After a time to greet each other we performed a ceremony Myoan Grace Schireson had created, reciting the names of our women ancestors, “for protecting lives and Inspiring Right Intention for all participating in the Women’s Marches all over Our Planet.”

Our core group, Gaelyn Godwin, SFZC President Linda Galijan, Joan Hoeberichts, from the White Plum lineage—all donning their pussycat hats and tiaras—and I, were the anchor for our meet-up spot at the National Museum of the American Indian. When we arrived, there was a group of Native Americans gathered who were drumming, dancing, and singing and we joined them in a rhythmic circle dance. We set up our banner, “Zen Women for Democracy,” beautifully designed by Gaelyn, and ended up staying in the same spot, being unable to move due to the ever-increasing crowds, until the afternoon. More and more people arrived in a swirl of pink hats, heading to the nearby rally. However, the core group wanted to stay in one place since all the communications had said that was where we would be meeting up. Through the morning we received messages from people who said they were on their way but could not get through the crowds to find us. The huge numbers of people seemed to be all of one spirit—filled with a robust and buoyant, radiant and joyful energy, and were ready to get to work. The kindness, caring feeling, and the recognition of kindred spirit allowed a vast community to be created and recognized, a kind of sangha of harmonious and heartwarming liveliness. Linda Galijan commented, “We were crowded so tightly together and everyone without exception was so understanding and kind, patient and joyful. We were all our best selves, everyone looking out for one another, beautifully manifesting the sangha jewel.”


More people located us—women and men from Dharma Rain in Portland, Mid City Zen from New Orleans, a Vajrayana Group, Houston Zen Center, Washington, D.C., Brooklyn, and, of course, Grace Schireson with her red sign of an ox-herding picture saying “Zen Women Stop the Bull!” Eventually we heard that we could not march along the designated route because it was already completely filled with people, so everyone just started flowing down Pennsylvania Avenue to the National Mall, past the White House, chanting slogans of solidarity, inclusivity, tolerance, and love. more here.


Upcoming: Cooking Class and Half-Day Retreat



All Beings would like to invite the community to two upcoming events next week.

Sunday, January 15th, 8:30 AM: I, Sam, will provide a one-hour lesson in how to cook a basic Japanese oryoki breakfast of rice, soup, and pickles.  I’ll include ingredients, tools, and methods.


Monday, January 16th, 6:30 AM or 9:00 AM to 12 Noon: Half-Day Retreat in the zendo. This will include one oryoki meal, a talk by Inryu Bobbi Ponce-Barger, and an opportunity for one-to-one practice discussion.  When you RSVP, please let Inryu know which start time works for you.

RSVP to Inryu for either event.

Be well, and stay warm,