Author Archives: Laura Wallace

Writing as Spiritual Practice Group

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Greater Boston Zen Center (GBZC) member Rebecca Doverspike invites all to join her in this new, monthly sitting group.

This group will gather to share (and maybe inspire further) creative works with one another and to collaborate in conversation about how those works relate to spiritual practices as a whole. Often, we cannot see alone what we are doing, or could do, with a particular creative piece and readers can help by sharing what they see in it. We will also spend time doing spiritual reading practices and free-writing together.

You are welcome to bring other author’s creative works that relate to spiritual practice for you to share with the group (instead of, or in addition to, your own). For the first meeting, please bring a creative piece (partial or complete) of your own or another’s (even a quote from an author you like) to share and writing implements from computers to pens. Or, if you want to listen in to simply gauge interest, please be welcome.

Quarterly, we will hold an interfaith open mic night for anyone interested in and beyond our


Greater Boston Zen Center
552 Massachusetts Avenue #208
Second Floor
Cambridge, MA 02139

When: Once a month from 7:00-8:30 P.M. on the last Thursday evening of the month unless otherwise noted. First meeting: June 27th.

Who: All are welcome for any of the meetings.

Questions/Comments: Please contact the group's facilitator, Rebecca Doverspike, at [email protected]

Persons of Color Monthly Sitting Group

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Greater Boston Zen Center (GBZC) member Leilani Diaz invites persons of color (POCs) to join her in this new, monthly sitting group. This is an opportunity to cultivate a diverse community rooted in inclusivity, justice, and compassion; it is also a chance to open our hearts and eyes to the history of Western convert Zen Buddhism, which has historically been quite white. This group is meant to be both (a) an entry point for POCs new to Zen and (b) an exploratory practice for POCs familiar with Zen. This is a shortened Zen Buddhist service that will include chanting, seated meditation, walking meditation, and discussion (with tea and cookies). No RSVP required.


Greater Boston Zen Center
552 Massachusetts Avenue #208
Second Floor
Cambridge, MA 02139

Held the third Monday each month, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. Please note the following exceptions:
June 24th
July 29th
Newcomers please try to arrive at 6:30 p.m. for a brief orientation and warm welcome.

Questions? Please email Leilani at [email protected]

About Leilani Diaz: Leilani is a social worker hailing from Somerville, MA. She first started sitting at GBZC in January 2015, and it has been her spiritual home since then. In her free time, Leilani enjoys making mixed media collages, playing the guitar, keeping up with friends and family, and petting the neighborhood cat that sits on her stoop.

Uji, Being-Time Study Group

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For the 2018-2019 season, the Thursday night book study and discussion group will explore the new book Being-Time; A Practioner's Guide to Dogen's Shobogenzo Uji by Shinshu Roberts.

Shinshu Roberts writes, “In this world we are surrounded by much prejudice and violence born of deep ignorance of our sameness. To understand the truth of mutual identity and mutual interpenetration is not an abstract philosophical idea, it is the dharma gate of compassion and wisdom.”

All are invited to join us in exploring how Dogen’s teaching Uji, Being-Time can help us actualize our Bohisattva vows in our daily lives. Drop-ins are welcome! Prior reading is not required and a few books will be on hand to use during the discussion. Come for one discussion, a few of them, or all of them as your schedule allows.

This book study and discussion group will meet on the SECOND THURSDAY EVENING of the month at 7:15 PM and will be facilitated by GBZC Practice Leader, John Vetrano.

We'll be meeting each month, September through May. Please note that there are some exceptions to our typical schedule of meeting on the second Thursday of the month.  The dates below are underlined if they are NOT the second Thursday.
Dates: 9/13, 10/11, 11/15, 12/13, 1/31, 2/21, 3/28, 4/18, 5/9

Time: 7:15 – 8:45 PM

Suggested donation - GBZC members: $10 / non-members: $15


Sep 13
Uji, p. 25 and the first three paragraphs on p. 26
Chapter 1, p. 35 through the top of page 40
Oct 11:
Chapters 2 and 3 
Nov 15:
Pages 72-78
Dec 13:
Chapter 8: Pages 86-90
Jan 31:
Pages 112-117
Feb 21:
Pages 96-102
Mar 28:
Pages 150-155
Apr 18:
Pages 180-185
May 9
Pages 210-215

Buddha’s Birthday Celebration

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Tuesday Evening, April 12th

7:00 P.M.

You are invited to the Celebration of Buddha's Birthday

During the regularly scheduled Tuesday evening practice period, we will have a special ceremony to celebrate Buddha's birthday.
The ceremony will be followed by a social gathering with our sangha-mates and the chance to enjoy birthday cake.
Looking forward to seeing you there!

Rohatsu Remembrance

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GBZC will have two special opportunities for
you to engage in this deeply held remembrance.

Rohatsu Sit: Fri night, Dec 12th, 8:30 – 10:00 pm

In symbolic observance of the Buddha's own all-night sitting, the Center will be open Friday night from 8:30 pm – 10:00 pm for zazen. Come for all or part of this special opportunity to sit together.

"This zazen is not meditation practice.
It is simply the Dharma gate of joyful ease, the
practice-realization of totally culminated enlightenment.”
- Fukanzazengi


Rohatsu Commemoration: Sat, Dec 13th, 9:00 am – Noon
(during the weekly Saturday morning program)

In addition to the regular Saturday morning program of zazen and interviews, there will also be a special Dharma talk and ceremony to commemorate Buddha’s awakening and the awakening of all beings.

How has this practice changed your life? Let’s sit together and honor the gift of Buddha’s enlightenment.

Zen Forms

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Chanting, bowing, offering incense, ringing a bell, playing a drum,
leading kinhin -- h
ow do these traditional Zen forms
support and guide us in our practice?


Please join us on Saturday, August 23rd (during our regular Saturday morning sit) for an opportunity to explore and deepen your connection to the various aspects of practice in the zendo (meditation hall).

We'll be talking and learning about playing instruments used in our sutra service, being time keeper (jiki) and leading walking meditation, being chant leader (ino), bowing, and offering incense.  We'll explore how we do them, the spirit in which we practice them, and the many different ways in which we may meet these forms -- none of which is a problem! 


Saturday, August 23rd, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Liturgy service
Exploring Zen Forms Discussion
Hands-on Learning & Practice

Whether you are brand new or have been sitting with us for years, everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend!