Author Archives: Steve Wallace

Dogen Study Group

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Recommended Dogen books:

Realizing Genjokoan (Okumura)
Living by Vow (Okumura)
Opening the Hand of Thought (Uchiyama)
Moon in a Dewdrop (Tanahashi)
How to Raise an Ox (Cook)
Eihei Dogen--Mystical Realist (Kim)
Treasury of the True Dharma Eye (Tanahashi)

Eihei Dogen Zenji, the founder of Soto Zen in Japan, is one of the most influential Zen teachers who has ever lived. He is a peerless master of Dharma expression, and the study of Dogen is essential for anyone who practices shikantaza. And yet his writings are, to almost everyone who starts to read them, exceeding difficult to penetrate. We have found that a group study of his work is a wonderfully effective way of entering into these teachings. Some members of the study group refer to it as a "support group" for readers of Dogen.

GBZC offers a virtual Dogen study and discussion group on FOURTH SUNDAYS at 3:30 PM from September through May. Drop-ins are welcome! No prior reading of the text is required.  Come for one discussion, a few of them, or all of them as your schedule allows.  We'll gather on Zoom for this study group.

This group is led by Josh Bartok, Roshi and Steve Wallace, Sensei.  We'll be exploring selected readings from Kaz Tanahashi's translation of Dogen's Shobogenzo, "Treasury of the True Dharma Eye."

The study group starts Sunday, September 27, 2020.

Dates: Fourth Sunday of the month (except December 20)

Location: Via Zoom.  Full instructions here.

Time: 3:30-5:00pm

Suggested donation: GBZC members: $10 / non-members: $15. Click here for virtual dana box.


Sep 27:  Chapter 38, Shinjin Gakudo; Body-and-Mind Study of the Way
Oct 25:  Chapter 90, Shinjin Inga; Identifying with Cause and Effect
Nov 22:  Chapter 2, Maka Hannya Haramitsu; Manifestation of Great Prajna
Dec 20:  Chapter 31a, Gyoji, Jo; Continuous Practice, pp 332-337, 346-348
Jan 24:  TBA
Feb 28:  TBA
Mar 28:  TBA
Apr 25:  TBA
May 23:  TBA

Precepts Discussion Group

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Recommended books on the Precepts

The Mind of Clover (Aitken)
Waking Up to What You Do (Rizetto)
Being Upright (Anderson)
If You're Lucky, Your Heart Will Break (Ford)
The Heart of Being (Loori)

Recommended Books on the Precepts and Society

The Great Awakening (Loy)
The New Social Face of Buddhism (Jones)
Money Sex War Karma (Loy)
Pavement (Jensen)
Razor-Wire Dharma (Malone)

The Precepts of Skillful Action are the heart of what it means to practice Zen off the cushion--and their study is an endlessly rich, ever-unfolding practice.

During 2020, the Precepts Discussion Group is being led by Rev. Diane Shoshin Fitzgerald, Sensei, resident teacher of the GBZC Affiliate group, Zen DownEast, in Pembroke, ME. This discussion group is offered by conference call. These calls are a half-hour long and each call is devoted to discussing one of the sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts. The conference calls are open to all, regardless of where you may practice, and do not commit you to participating in Jukai (the formal ceremony of receiving the Precepts). Sometimes people simply want to learn more about the moral and ethical teachings of Zen.

Participants are asked to read two books: Reb Anderson’s Being Upright and the Bodhisattva Precepts and Robert Aitken’s The Mind of Clover: Essays in Zen Buddhist Ethics.

The Precepts Study Group occurs on Tuesdays 6:45-7:15 pm.  Join via conference call beginning July 28, 2020.  See the full schedule here. Contact Diane Fitzgerald at [email protected] for conference call number and password.

If you are interested in formally receiving the Precepts, you can inquire about this with any of our transmitted teachers, and you can find more information here.

Introduction to Zen Buddhism Class Confirmation

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Greater Boston Zen Center
Introduction to Zen Buddhism Class
Four Mondays: 7/6, 7/13, 7/27, and 8/3
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.

Thank you for registering for the Introduction to Zen Buddhism Class, co-led by Karen McCormack and Harry Gordon, practice leaders at GBZC. A spot has been reserved for you.

This four-session class is a perfect way to connect to the vibrant and welcoming contemplative community at the Greater Boston Zen Center and learn what Buddhism is all about. Through a mixture of history, philosophy, context, hands-on practice, and direct experience, you’ll learn about the Zen tools for finding peace—right in the middle of our busy, complicated lives.

Registration Fee: This class is made available on a sliding scale, according to means. The suggested donation is $20 for all four sessions, but please do not let money keep you away—pay whatever you can.

Please enter donation amount and click Pay Now button.

  • Circumstances of financial challenge: $ as you can afford (Please never stay away due to financial reasons. Your presence itself is valuable!)
  • $20 for all four sessions

With bows,
Karen McCormack

GBZC Teen Retreat June 14-16

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We invite students in high school and college, as well as recent graduates thereof, to join us for a somewhat-intensive three session "retreat." Sessions are to be held back-to-back - June 14th through 16th from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. - so that our practice together deepens quickly.

It would be best if participants could come all three days, but anyone can sign up for any day(s) that she or he can make it by emailing me at [email protected]

Our retreat will include chants, precept study, forms, and meditation practices, as well as discussions about Zen, meditation more generally, and how to weave practice into daily life.

Please come!