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HomeZenFifty Years of Zen and Farming at Inexperienced Dragon Temple

Fifty Years of Zen and Farming at Inexperienced Dragon Temple


Picture by Margo Moritz

By Tova Inexperienced

Eijun Linda Cutts started her dharma speak on Could 8, 2022 by holding up a stable, heavy object. It was a part of the tusk of a mastodon that had been present in one of many Inexperienced Gulch fields after the land was acquired by San Francisco Zen Middle in Could 1972. Mastodons have been extinct for 10,000 to 11,000 years. From this attitude fifty years is a really brief time.

Eijun Cutts had been practising at Metropolis Middle for a yr and a half and had simply graduated from U.C. Berkeley when Yvonne Rand, who was then the president of SFZC, requested her and 4 different “homesteaders” to maneuver to Inexperienced Gulch in June 1972. At the moment there have been solely a ranch home, a barn, some outbuildings, and cattle and horses on the land. They sat zazen in a room that grew to become the library and is now the Welcome Middle.

George Wheelwright at GGF

George Wheelwright at GGF

The place we now name Soryuji, Inexperienced Dragon Temple/Inexperienced Gulch Farm, was a 115-acre cattle ranch owned by George and Hope Wheelwright. George Wheelwright offered the property to San Francisco Zen Middle for a really modest sum with a covenant that must be honored in perpetuity—to take care of a working farm and, within the spirit of the encircling Golden Gate Nationwide Recreation Space, to maintain the path system open to the general public.

In “A Historical past of Inexperienced Gulch Farm,” printed within the Windbell in 2002 on the thirtieth anniversary of Inexperienced Gulch Farm, Mick Sopko traced the methods by which Zen college students, with help from Alan Chadwick, a gardener and horticulturist, and Harry Roberts, a Yurok skilled Shaman and naturalist, created the farm and backyard. Residents additionally refurbished the barn right into a zendo and pupil housing (what’s now Cloud Corridor).

50th Anniversary cake

fiftieth Anniversary cake

Within the final twenty years, San Francisco Zen Middle constructed Sky Corridor and Stillwater Corridor at Inexperienced Gulch to extend pupil housing and add retreat area. As well as, insulation and soundproofing have been put in in Cloud Corridor, a brand new welcome heart and workplace have been added, and a bread bakery was added to the kitchen. The principle central buildings at the moment are joined by wheel-chair accessible paths. There has additionally been intensive creek restoration that has created the situations for coho salmon to as soon as once more thrive within the creek that runs by way of Inexperienced Gulch to Muir Seashore.

Eijun Cutts’ speak was adopted by a ceremony within the zendo. Eijun invoked the presence of coyote, bobcat, deer, nice horned owl, red-winged blackbird, newt, steelhead trout, bee, lizard, “and innumerable beings seen and unseen within the soil, on the bottom, within the water, within the timber and the air.” She expressed her want:

Could the time quickly come when the gate will open once more for all our mates to have the ability to be right here collectively as soon as extra—face-to-face, protected in well being.
Solely by way of the help of beings could we observe right here.
Solely our practising eternally can repay the kindness [we have received].

The ceremony ended with this dedication:

On this blessed day—within the fullness of springtime, surrounded by the inexperienced hills, gardens, fields, and the glowing ocean past, we mark with infinite gratitude and respect for all those that got here earlier than us to this land, the founding of Inexperienced Dragon Temple-Inexperienced Gulch Farm Zen Middle, Soryuji, fifty years in the past.

Could we proceed to study from the earth, hearth, water, and wind,
could we take care of this land and this observe,
could we develop in knowledge and compassion and open our hearts,
could there be tranquility and encouragement on this valley,
could there be peace all through the world,
and should we with all beings notice Buddha’s means.

Historic weblog posts about among the tasks referred to on this article:

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