New Events for January / February 2014



Greetings All –

We’ve put a few upcoming events on the events page.  A Dharma Talk, a guest speaker, a half day sit, and book club discussion.  Check them out, and we hope you can come.

Stay warm, everyone!

– All Beings


Reading Group Update – Fukan zazengi is next



Hey everyone – 

Just yesterday, the reading group finished our third and final session discussing Red Pine’s Lankatavara Sutra.  I think we all agreed it was a tough read, but a good text to come back to periodically.  You can read paragraph after paragraph and be totally confused, but then stumble across a passage that really resonates.  Amazing for a text as old as it is, and Red Pine’s notes and presentation are, as always, just top notch.  

Next we’re going to read the Fukan zazengi, Dogen’s classic, short pronouncment/manifesto ‘Recommending Zazen to All People’.  It’s short, practical, and very beautiful.  

There are numerous translations of this text.  Here are a few on the open internet for your reading pleasure:

Again, it’s very short, folks – most translations clock in at under three pages.   

We’ll meet on Sunday, January 19th to talk about this text.  Hope you can make it!  



Thirteen People participated in the opening day of our Fall Practice Period!

Despite not being able to listen to Dairyu’s Dharma talk mid-day, it seemed that we had a very useful discussion during that break period in sitting.  Later in the day we were able to Skype with Dragons Leap to participate in the Shosan Ceremony before closing our Sesshin with chanting the refuges.

Many thanks to Lane and Ilaria for sharing Tenzo duty on Sunday and nourishing our practice with healthy, delicious food!  Thanks also to Carlos for baking cookies for and managing the afternoon tea.

Here is a photo which Curt Ponce-Barger took of the sangha members still in the zendo at 8pm.
Looking forward to our next half day sit on October 20th, 2013 from 9am-2pm.

Image 2

2013 Fall Practice Period

This year, All Beings Zen Sangha will be participating in a Fall Practice Period beginning on September 29th.  Practice period is a tradition in Buddhism allowing for more time dedicated to focused practice, and in the Japanese Zen tradition, it is known as “ango” or “peaceful dwelling”.  This traditional period is an opportunity to clarify spiritual intentions, deepen understanding and more fully integrate practice with life circumstances.  It is said that participating in practice period is not only a way of returning to the three treasures of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, but also of upholding and revitalizing the entire community.

Below are details of the offerings at All Beings during this period:

Two main opportunities for deepening practice period will be in the areas of zazen (including sesshin) and dharma study as described below.  Note that for Dharma study we will be reading and discussing the Lankatavara Sutra.  This is the famous text Bodhidharma gave to his successor right before he vanished, saying something to the effect of, “Everything you need is in this book.”  It is a classic Zen text.


Full-Day Retreats (one):  Sept. 29th

– Half-Day Retreats (three):  Oct. 20th, Nov. 16th, Nov 17th

Regular sittings:  Thursday evenings at 7pm, Monday and Friday mornings at 6:30am

5 Day Sesshin (at conclusion): Starting Tuesday December 3rd, Ending Saturday December 7th

Dharma Study & Talks:

– The Practice Period will open with a Dharma talk offered by long time All Beings member Ja Shin Elizabeth Bourne on the topic of “Quotes that inspire my zen practice”.  The talk will be given following one period of zazen on Thursday September 26th.

–  Three Sunday Morning Teas will be offered to discuss the Lankatavara Sutra on these dates; October 13, October 27 and November 10th.  8am- 9:30am.  The first morning we will read the introduction together and decide upon topics for the following two study discussions.

–  Other Dharmas Talks, provided by Dairyu Michael Wenger of Dragons Leap Temple in San Francisco California via audio broadcast during full-day sittings and sesshin and by Inryu Bobbi Ponce-Barger our All Beings Sangha Resident Teacher.

Here is a draft sample of the next half day schedule .

– October 20th, 2013-

9am – Zazen

9:30 – Kinhin

9:40 – Zazen

10:10 – Service Heart Sutra

10:20 – Break/Walk

10:50 – Zazen

11:20 – Kinhin

11:30 – Zazen

12:00 Oryoki Lunch

12:45 – Break

1:15 – Dharma Talk

2:00 – Refuges and Closing


The efforts of many hands bring forth the Dharma.  If you are in a position to support the Sangha financially through a donation it is most welcome.  Donation envelopes can be found near the door of the zendo.

The Lankatavara Sutra

The Lankatavara Sutra


Hi everyone –

So, a few of us are going to be reading and discussing the Lankatavara Sutra, the famous text Bodhidharma gave to his successor right before he vanished, saying something to the effect of, “Everything you need is in this book.”  It’s a Zen standard.

Red Pine is the name Bill Porter takes when he translates old Chinese texts.  His translations are fantastic, both for their erudition and the presence the author brings to the work.  Red Pine lives this stuff, and it shows in his translations.

Bobbi is going to be getting a few copies of Red Pine’s Lanka for members to purchase, but if you want to try to find it through a library, here’s the link to the record in WorldCat (WorldCat is a compendium of library catalogs around the world).

Thanks everyone.  Looking forward to reading this with others.


Ten People attended All Beings Half Day Retreat in Adams Morgan on June 23rd, 2013

The All Beings Zen Sangha hosted a half day sitting on Sunday June 23 in Adams Morgan.    Ten people attended the 6 hour retreat.  We were blessed with an amazing rain storm during the mid-morning and the sounds of birds and city life throughout.

Here is a photo of the zendo before we began.


Gratitude to the many people who helped with zendo duties and clean up.

Peace and Blessings,

Inryu Bobbi & Anastasia


Fifteen people attended our May 19th Half Day Retreat

Recipe for the Muesli that went into the first bowl for Oryoki breakfast on May 19th, 2013


  • 3 tablespoons of apple sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup flaked almonds
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups puffed rice
  • 1 cup all bran
  • 1/2 cup chopped apricots
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup raisins


Preheat the oven to 200C / 390F. Makes about 8 servings

In a large bowl drizzle the apple sauce and maple syrup all around the inside of the bowl. Add the oats, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir in until all the apple sauce and maple syrup is mixed in.

Spread the oats evenly on a large oven proof tray and bake in the oven for ten minutes.

Remove the oats from the oven and sprinkle the pecans, almonds and pepitas on top. Sprinkle the coconut on last. Return to the oven for around 3 minutes; until the coconut is toasted.

Take from the oven again and add the puffed rice. Turn the oven off and put the muesli back in for a minute to crisp up the puffed rice.

Remove the tray from the oven, pour the muesli back into the bowl with dried fruit. Mix together and leave to cool before storing.


The recipe is a slight adaptation from: