Red Cedar Zen Community, 1021 N Forest, Bellingham Washington

  • Home
  • Sangha Bulletin Board

Sangha Bulletin Board

Red Cedar Zen Community members are warmly invited to add information here about community activism and events and about Dharma studies and thoughts related to our lives as Zen practitioners. You can also leave encouraging comments and questions for other people. Note that you must be logged in as an RCZC members to add posts or make comments.
  • 08 Jun 2017 11:56 AM | Tim Burnett (Administrator)
    Submitted by Marilyn Withers. Join the Bellingham community and other sangha members in a march for the climate starting at 10am at the Bellingham Farmer's Market.
    What do do earlier that morning? Our weekly zazen meeting is 6am - 8:30am giving us time for breakfast at the Co-Op and conversation before heading down to the Farmer's Market.


    Last week, Trump announced that the US would exit the Paris Agreement. Since then, everyone from US mayors and governors to global leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to this historic climate deal — and dozens have stepped up to go further.

    On Saturday, June 10th, we’re mobilizing at City Halls and State Houses across the country to defend the Paris Agreement and show that we are still ready to move our country towards 100% clean energy.

    Click here to find an #ActOnClimate action near you this Saturday.

    We will celebrate those cities, states, and other institutions who have committed to meet or exceed the goals of the Paris Agreement regardless of the US’ involvement — and urge those who haven't committed to take action now.

    The Paris Agreement is far from perfect, but leaving it would be a huge step backwards. Following the hottest year on record we need climate progress — leaving the Paris Agreement is the exact opposite.

    Join us on Saturday and let’s show the world that we’re committed to climate action, with or without Trump.

    Click here to find an #ActOnClimate action near you this Saturday, and let’s move our country towards 100% clean energy.

    Now more than ever it’s important that we come together in our cities and states to fight for climate action. Meaningful leadership has always come from the grassroots, and in the face of a climate-denying President, local, state, and regional progress is the only thing we’ll see.

    On April 29th, we focused on Washington, DC for the Peoples Climate March, and over 200,000 people showed up. We need that same energy now, distributed across the country.

    Join us Saturday and let’s keep building our local movements for climate justice.

    See you soon,

    P.S. Can’t make it SaturdayShare the page of actions now and make sure that even if you can’t come, your friends do.

    It takes everyone to change everything — and now, more than ever before, everything is at stake. Become a donor to the Peoples Climate Movement today and keep growing the resistance to the attacks on our climate, our communities, and our families.

  • 16 Apr 2017 3:13 PM | Kenneth Oates (Administrator)

    The Seattle March for Science is April 22, starting in Cal Anderson Park, 1425 Broadway, Seattle, at 10 am with speeches and a rumored appearance by Pearl Jam followed by a march downtown.  This is part of the national March for Science going on this Earth Day and is a reaction to the current administration's rejection of science in decision making, especially as it relates to environmental issues, and to the administration's efforts to require scientists who receive government funding to subject their results to political vetting before publication.  Car caravan/ride sharing leaving from Burlington park and ride at 8 am for all interested.  Contact:

  • 30 Mar 2017 8:37 AM | Tim Burnett (Administrator)

    Our sangha committee looking into the local effects of national changes and issues around social justice (thank you Andrea, Marilyn, Dale, and Jaren!) recommends participation in the "Dignity Dialogues" organized by the Community to Community organization. 

    These will be held on 3/27, 4/3, and 4/17 at 7pm at First Congregational Church (2401 Cornwall Ave. in Bellingham).

    For more info: 360-738-0893 Note especially their impressive list of social justice opportunities on their events page.

  • 26 Feb 2017 7:21 AM | Tim Burnett (Administrator)

    Submitted by Marilyn Withers:

    A Zen Master's Advice on Coping with Trump

    The lead video includes inspiring images of Civil Rights Movement marchers pausing to pray on the road and much more. Very well done.

  • 03 Feb 2017 7:58 PM | Tim Burnett (Administrator)

    clipped from:

    On Not Knowing What’s Next

    Don’t get drawn into the craziness and hype. There’s a way to equanimity and action.

    By Norman FischerJan 20, 2017

    On Not Knowing What’s NextPhoto by Thomas Hawk |

    Today, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as our 45th president. This is an unprecedented event: Trump’s lack of previous political experience and his unusual style of rhetoric is completely different from anything we’ve seen before in a victorious presidential candidacy. No one quite knows what to expect from his tenure, although it’s perhaps an understatement to say that many expect very bad things. He did, after all, lose the popular vote by some three million votes. So he rises to power in a very divided and politically disturbing moment.

    Dealing with uncertainty in the face of potential catastrophe (like illness, old age, and death) is basic to dharma practice. In Zen especially we have the koan phrase “not knowing is most intimate.” This means what it sounds like it means. We don’t know what will happen, and we don’t even know what is happening now. We never know; even when we think we know, we don’t know. Not knowing can make us nervous, even panicky. But when, with our practice, we settle into not knowing, with some wisdom and courage, we see that not knowing is intimate. Not knowing, we have no choice but to plunge into reality as it is.

    In Soto Zen we take the practice of not knowing to mean that no matter what happens we will continue our practice with strength and devotion. We know what to do. Practice means not only the formal practices of zazen, study, and retreat, but also responding moment by moment, all day and every day, to conditions as we find them, with the values and attitudes we have long cultivated in our practice: compassion for all, generosity, kindness, respect, patience, and courage. We may well be in for rocky times. But dharma practitioners know how to maintain stability in such times. We know what it feels like to fall into the emotional maelstrom created by self-centeredness, and we know how to avoid such a fall, or cope when we have fallen. 

    For many decades American politics has been becoming increasingly spectacular in the literal sense of that word: like a spectacle, a show. Maybe Trump’s expertise as a reality TV star, and the consequences of his style, will finally inspire us to stop being spectators and begin being citizens. This is my hope. As citizens we will have to pay less attention to political hype and more attention to actual political details. We will have to be better informed and more critical. We will have to determine when it is effective and crucial to respond to events by writing, posting, agitating, and organizing. We will have to call local and state representatives, registering protests as necessary in the spirit of dharma: consistently, patiently, peacefully, and with respect for all. There will be many opportunities for creativity in our political expression. Staying close to our practice will help us to seize these possibilities.

    All this amounts to simple mindfulness. Usually we think of mindfulness as awareness of our thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Yes, mindfulness begins there. But true mindfulness, from a Zen perspective, involves mindfulness of who we really are, our true selves—which includes all others and the world. Paying attention to the world with wisdom, caring for the world as ourselves, and acting compassionately for the benefit of others will be our practice now more than ever.

    While many of us may well have a sense of great urgency in this political moment, we simply can’t allow ourselves to spend the next four years in a state of dismay and psychological teetering—even despair. With our sitting practice, our dharma study, our strong attention to friendship, and all the wholesome social and personal associations we participate in, we will build an alternative world. I am not talking about withdrawing from society; quite the contrary. But socially, spiritually, we can’t be drawn into the craziness. It is our duty to maintain and express a sane view. Our dharma communities will also be more important than ever, as it is from these communities that we will reach out to other dharma groups, to other spiritual and religious groups, and beyond. 

    The most terrible possibility of the post-inaugural world—the one most feared by many people I know—is a serious increase in hatred, violence, misogyny, homophobia, racism, and xenophobia, the usual forces that lie sleeping in any mass society, and when stirred up, can give rise to forms of fascism. I realize that fascism does happen. But I refuse to assume, absent hard evidence, that that’s where we are headed. My guess is—and my hope and faith is—that the quotient of blind hatred in America will remain more or less the same, and that in the end basic human decency will rule the day. 

    Thank you for subscribing to Tricycle! As a nonprofit, we depend on readers like you to keep Buddhist teachings and practices widely available.

    Norman Fischer is a poet and Zen priest who lives at Green Gulch Farm, a Zen center in California, where he is the head of the practice program.

  • 02 Jan 2017 8:35 AM | Tim Burnett (Administrator)

    Our colleague Susan Moon in the Bay Area is giving a Tricycle Online retreat on the precepts - it's a series of four 20 minute Dharma Talks.

    I think you have to be a Tricycle Online member - this is well worth it. $10 a year or something. Gives access to a vast array of articles, video dharma talks like this and so on.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software