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Sesshins held at ZCLA in 2015.

Save the Date!

Sunday, October 18 11:00 a.m.

Head Trainee Hossen for Katherine Senshin Griffith

(see details below)






Residential Training Opportunity

Resident training offers Zen students the opportunity to deepen their practice by living with a resident teacher and a community of practitioners. Residents combine Zen training with family and careers, engage in shared stewardship, and explore the dynamic life of Sangha. Zen Center of Los Angeles (ZCLA) has two apartment buildings for its Residential Training Program.   Applicants with either a little or a lot of experience as a Zen student may apply. Before the application process begins, prospective residents are asked to complete the introductory Zen practice classes, ZP1 through ZP3. The Buddha Hand Circle (BHC) oversees the application and admission process. Interested parties can contact Betsy Enduring-Vow Brown via Senshin, the ZCLA Program Steward at for information and requirements.


2015 Fall Practice Period October 3 - December 31


We are still accepting the Fall Practice Period Commitment forms.  Please hand in your form so we can add your name on the Sangha Training Board and in the next edition of the WaterWheel Newsletter.

For a copy of the Practice Period Commitment form, click here. 

For a copy of the Song of Gratefulness, click here.

For more information on the Practice Period and filling out the form, click here

Coming Up!


Dharma Talk by Sensei Ryodo Hawley

Thursday, October 8, 8:00 p.m. (Service 7:15 p.m.; Zazen 7:30 p.m.)

On Thursday nights, we offer a series of Dharma Talks. Everyone is welcome to attend. No charge, donations welcome.  And please come early for service! For more information on Sensei Ryodo, click here.


Founders Service

Saturday, October 10, 8:30 a.m.

Once a month we hold a special service to honor our founders, Baian Hakujun Daiosho and Taizan Maezumi Honored One, and the main ancestors of our Lineage. Service is held in the Founders Room on the Saturday closest to the 14th of the month.  All welcome!


Money: Our Elephant in the Room

Saturday, October 10, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

A Council based workshop led by Leon Berg & Andrew Taggart

Money is a burning mystery. Each day we use it, allude to it, ask questions around it, but almost never directly approach it. Attracted to yet repulsed by it, wanting more of it while wanting to be done with it, we sense that we'll never get to the bottom of it.

  • Why is the very thought of money so often angst-producing?
  • Why are we so secretive, so private about what we have or lack, make or share?
  • And how is money connected to what we value, pursue and avoid, care about and reject?

During the afternoon, we'll explore where our views of money came from, what basic beliefs about the world they're connected to, and how we can free ourselves from our money demon.

Leon Berg is a founding member of the Ojai Foundation and a Senior Facilitator and Trainer in the Way of Council, a communication process for cultivating active listening and authentic speech, and has been facilitating Council groups in the U.S. and abroad for the past 20 years.

Andrew Taggart is a Ph.D.-trained philosophical counselor who teaches individuals and organizations how to inquire into the things that matter most. In his philosophical practice, he speaks daily over Skype with Europeans, Canadians, and Americans about the nature of a good life. He lives in Ojai.

$25 for Members; $35 Non-Members.

Please rsvp to (Workshop limited to limit 25)



Reception for new Roshis Merle Kodo Boyd and Ilia Shinko Perez

Sunday, October 11, 9:45 a.m.

On Saturday evening, October 10, Roshi Egyoku will give Inka (the White Plum uses the word “Inka,” but the full term is Inka Shomei, Seal of Approval) in a private ceremony to her first disciple Sensei Merle Kodo Boyd ( and to Sensei Ilia Shinko Perez, who is a Dharma Successor of Roshi Egyoku's Dharma brother Roshi Gerry Shishin Wick (  You are all invited to a reception to welcome the new Roshis on Sunday morning, October 11, at 9:45 a.m. in the Sangha House Dining Room. The new Roshis and Roshi Egyoku will be co-leading the Autumn Wind sesshin.



Sacred Circle Dancing

Sunday, October 11, 11:00 a.m. -12:30 p.m.

A new group is forming to explore Sacred Circle Dance on an on-going basis. All welcome to attend, no experience necessary. For more information on Sacred Circle Dancing, go to or email Kane Buzen Phelps at



Autumn Wind Sesshin

October 11 eve. - October 18, 2015

Led by Roshis Egyoku, Kodo Boyd and Shinko Perez

Sesshin, "to unify the mind," is an essential practice for the deepening for one's zazen. It is an extended, silent retreat in which most of the normal schedule of the Zen Center is set aside to allow for a more focused zazen practice, integrated with walking meditation, face-to-face meetings with a teacher, work practice, chanting, rest, oryoki meals, and talks.

Part time and full time participation is welcomed. Part time consists of at least a half a day, including all scheduled activities. Please fill out application online.

A fee of $25 will be added after Wednesday, October 7 Noon, for any late registrations, schedule changes or dropping out (with rare emergency exceptions). No applications will be admitted after sesshin has started. Housing is not guaranteed and is on a first come basis.

for fee structure click here.

for application click here.

for schedule click here.


Honsaku Gyocha -- Ritual presentation of Head Trainee's Case & Tea

Saturday, October 17, 7:30 p.m.

Everyone is invited to attend this ritual in the Zendo.


Head Trainee Hossen for Katherine Senshin Griffith

Sunday, October 18, 11:00 a.m.

Head-Trainee Katherine Senshin Griffith’s year’s training as Head Trainee will culminate with the ancient ceremony of Dharma Combat with the Sangha. The Head-Trainee has been working on a case koan, which she will present to the Sangha and challenge the dragons and elephants (you!) to dharma combat. This is an important rite of passage for the Head-Trainee and for the Sangha, so please plan on participating to support this practice effort. Followed by group photo and celebration.



Dharma Talk by Guest Speaker Zen Master Jeong Ji Feng

Thursday, October 22, 8:00 p.m. (Service 7:15 p.m.; Zazen 7:30 p.m.)

Zen Master Jeong Ji (Anita Feng) will talk on her new book SID and there will be a book signing afterwards.  She has practiced Zen in the lineage of Zen Master Seung Sahn since 1976. In the late '70s she lived and studied intensively with Zen Master Seung Sahn at the Providence Zen Center. Since the 1990s she has studied under the guidance of Zen Master Ji Bong, receiving Inka in 2008 and transmission in 2015. Anita works as a ceramic artist making raku Buddhas. She currently practices and teaches at the Blue Heron Zen Community in Washington. 

ABOUT THE BOOK "SID": What would the life of Buddha look like if it were lived today?
Anita Feng has crafted in Sid a delightful jewel that captures both the classic story of the Buddha, as well a deeply personal and familiar reflection of the story in a contemporary retelling. Sid weaves the traditional tale of Siddhartha, the Buddha-to-be with the story of Sid, an everyman who finds himself waking up amid the reality of work and family life in the modern world. Returning to the standard tale with careful consideration of the relationships in Buddha’s life—to his wife, parents, and child—Feng’s narrative embodies the Mahayana perspective of living one’s enlightenment in the world.  Beautifully told in poetic prose, Sid teaches that the key to the story of the Buddha’s life is that the story could be about any of us.  Includes beautiful black and white illustrations, created especially for this book.

Everyone is welcome to attend. No charge, donations welcome.  And please come early for service! 


Beloved Luminous-Heart Farewell Poetry Slam/Roast/Tribute and Pizza Party

Friday, October 23, 7:30-9:00 p.m.

In the Sangha House Lounge Dining Room

Beloved long-time Zen Center member and former resident Penelope Lumionus-Heart Thompson will be moving upstate on November 10.  At ZCLA, she has been a regular Day Manager, Steward of the Health Circle,  a former Head Trainee, a member of numerous circles and we are sorry to see her go.  She is also a published poet and for fifteen or so years has been a chaplain for men at the Central Jail.  Please join us and bring a poem you write in her honor or a poem that makes you think of her or just come and share your feelings about her. All welcome.  RSVPs appreciated:




Day of Reflection on Precept #7 Not Elevating Oneself and Blaming Others

Saturday, October 24, 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Led by Conrad Butsugen Romo

Aproximately every third Saturday is devoted to the Zen Bodhisattva Precepts. The day begins with a recitation of the precepts and includes zazen and face-to-face meetings with our teachers, a brief precept talk, and a precept circle. Open to everyone. For precise schedule click here.


Dharma Chat: "Longing for Connection/Perception of Connecting"

Sunday, October 25, 11:00 a.m.

led by Jessica Oetsu Page

Once a month, we usually have an hour-long Dharma Chat led by a Sangha member on various topics of interest. We discuss how we practice in everyday life situations and other issues. This follows our usual Sunday program of Service at 8:30 a.m. and Zazen at 9:00 a.m.


Atonement Ceremony

Thursday, October 29, 7:30 p.m.

During this ceremony of renewing the vows and Precepts, we each have an opportunity to bear witness to our conduct in thoughts, words, and actions. Everyone is welcome. Those who have received the Precepts are asked to attend on a regular basis.


Neighborhood Collaborative Clean-up

Saturday, October 31, 9:00 a.m. - Noon

We will be joining in with other groups to clean-up our neighborhood. Details will be forthcoming.






Ways to Give to ZCLA:


  • To donate now with a credit/debit card, Click Here


  • Mail a check made out to ZCLA and send to: ZCLA, 923 S. Normandie Ave, Los Angeles, CA  90006

  • Place cash, checks or your credit card information in the donation box located in the Sangha House.

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