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Lions Roar : September 2012
SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2012 38 I attended Dharma Eye, about half of the twelve people present wore lay robes called rakusus. One newcomer was a Catholic col- lege student on assignment from her religion class to experience the rituals of another tradition. Dharma Eye Zen Center, guided by Steve Stücky, front, meets in a majestic Victorian home that has been converted into a university chapel. It is one of Zen Center’s more than forty affiliate groups. For half a century, Zen Center has helped ensure the continuation of Suzuki Roshi’s lineage by ordaining priests—nearly 200 of them now—who then start their own centers and sitting groups. Ninety of those priests have received dharma transmission—full authority to teach and transmit to other priests. There are many Dharma Eyes across the country, even the globe, con- nected to San Francisco Zen Center by a teacher or the teachings. Some groups meet in borrowed rooms. Oth- ers have more permanent homes, whether with well- worn zafus or freshly painted walls. “That Zen Center is still around gives people confi- dence,” says Sojun Mel Weitsman, who ordained with Suzuki Roshi in 1969 and has led his own sangha at the Berkeley Zen Center continuously since 1967. Zen Center calls these affiliated groups Branching Streams, after a line from a poem by an eighth-century Chinese Zen ances- tor: “The spiritual source shines clear in the light; / the branching streams flow on in the dark.” They also flow on in the pages of books. Suzuki Roshi’s Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, the first Zen Center book, is a modern spiritual classic. Zen Center has overseen the publication of many essential translations of traditional texts, perhaps most notably PHOTOSBYANDREAROTH