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December 5, 2017

Junsei Jana Drakka’s Funeral

Gengetsu Junsei Jana Drakka / Mysterious Moon, Pure Spirit
October 21, 1952 – October 27, 2017

Funeral Ceremony – Friday, December 15, 2017, 4 pm

Hosshinji – Beginner’s Mind Temple
San Francisco Zen Center’s City Center, 300 Page Street, SF

For more information, call 415.863.3136.

Funeral Ceremony Program
(Will be available at the ceremony.)

There is an accessible entrance.
The event will be Livestreamed to accommodate those who are not able to attend.


November 14, 2017

Remembering Del Carlson

Still from video by Frazer Bradshaw

December 1923 – November 7, 2017

From the Facebook post of San Francisco Zen Center, courtesy of Linda Galijan and Sachico Ohanks:

Del Carlson passed away on the morning of November 7 in Sarasota, Florida. Del came to Tassajara in 1969 at the invitation of Yvonne Rand and spent many summers working in the Tassajara kitchen. He also regularly joined the community at Green Gulch Farm for practice periods. We hold him in our thoughts.

“Sooner or later we may die, and we will go to the same place we go when we sit.” —Suzuki Roshi, July 30, 1965

This video by cinematographer Frazer Bradshaw opens with Del working diligently in the Zen kitchen at Tassajara. page on Del Carlson

Still from video by Frazer Bradshaw

November 7, 2017

Remembering Junsei Jana Drakka

Gengetsu Junsei Jana Drakka / Mysterious Moon, Pure Spirit
October 21, 1952 – October 27, 2017

Memorial service at San Francisco Zen Center, 300 Page Street, Thursday, November 9, 6:10 – 6:30 pm

Funeral Ceremony at City Center on Friday, December 15, at 4 pm in the City Center Buddha Hall. There is an accessible entrance. The event will be Livestreamed to accommodate those who are not able to attend.

From the Facebook page hosted by Rev. Joko Mira Ingram and Shishin Junsei Benn Meyers:

Reverend Gengetsu Junsei Jana Drakka departed her body on October 28 at 9:16 pm. Please join us for a memorial in her honor at San Francisco Zen Center on Thursday, November 9 at 6:10 pm sharp. With her “Zendo Without Walls,” Rev. Junsei Jana Drakka brought the Dharma to many of San Francisco’s poor, houseless, and marginalized communities. She created and taught Harm Reduction Meditation to support people facing great stressors. She could often be seen on the streets of San Francisco giving comfort to people who were suffering, and her presence will be greatly missed.

Jana wanted you to know that loving you was a great joy in her life. Like her teacher, Zenkei Blanche Hartman, she felt that kindness is one of our most important practices. She said, “There is never such a thing as too much love.” This is a basic realization that has sustained her in the past difficult days, freeing her to do her inner work despite the pain.

Prior to the memorial, there will be the usual evening period of zazen/meditation starting at 5:40 pm (please arrive by 5:30 pm). Anyone who is attending the memorial is welcome to join the period of zazen beforehand. The memorial will begin promptly, and parking is scarce, so please allow yourself extra time to park if driving.

This event is wheelchair accessible. San Francisco Zen Center is at 300 Page Street at Laguna. Entrance to the memorial will be at the Laguna Street double-door entrance (enter through right-hand door).

Junsei Jana Drakka dies at 65 by Lilly Greenblatt posted October 30, 2017 on the Lion’s Roar web site.

September 25, 2017

Remembrance of Hilary Parsons and Lin Zenki

by Diane Miller and Basya Petnick

Hilary Parsons
Shin Ke Rei Gen
Deep River―Spiritual Source
January 1, 1949 – August 19, 2017

Lin Zenki
Kan Shin Zen Ki
Generous Heart―The Whole Works
October 28, 1951 – August 28, 2017

Hilary Parsons and Lin Zenki were passionate women. They were lovers―loving each other, their community of friends, and their lives in practice. They were also fighters―New Age warriors fighting for social justice as nurses, political activists, and as practitioners.

Hilary’s practice began with martial arts and then evolved when she became a student of Ruth Dennison. Lin’s practice began in her college years with Francis Cook at UC Riverside. It was the night shift on an oncology ward where Hilary and Lin’s relationship began and so did their joint devotion to the dharma. They lived and practiced together at San Francisco Zen Center for many years.

Their nursing careers followed the course of the AIDS epidemic. Lin was one of the first nurses to care for patients with this mystery disease. She, along with other UCSF nurses, were recognized in And the Band Played On: Politics, People and the AIDS Epidemic, a book by Randy Shilts that was made into a film. Lin later worked with HIV prevention programs for heroin addicts. But as her health weakened and she could no longer do hands–on nursing care, Lin transitioned to a case management program for patients with complex medical problems. However, taking her difficulties in stride, she kept working and learning and earned her MSN in nursing from Holy Names University.

read more…

September 30, 2016

Celebrating Lee in the Hamilton Ballroom 10/9

You’re Invited!



Ninsen Kashin (River of Patience, Singing Heart)
December 9, 1937 – August 17, 2016


SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2016, 2 – 5 pm
631 O’Farrell Street, San Francisco CA
between Hyde & Leavenworth

It was Lee’s wish that upon her death, her community of family, friends, colleagues, students,
dharma brothers and sisters, volunteers, teachers, and medical caregivers would be invited to
gather in a spirited celebration of her life – with music, laughter, frivolity, storytelling,
delicious snacks, and, of course, CHOCOLATE AND COOKIES!
Please bring a favorite photo and come write a note with a precious memory of Lee, as a gift for her
baby great-grandson Aiden – so he may know his great-grandmother through your eyes when he grows up.


If you plan to attend, kindly email your name to

August 29, 2016

Larry Yang Remembers Lee Lipp

Larry Yang - stephen pickard

Larry Yang. Photo: Stephen Pickard

Remembering Lee Lipp

I remember meeting Lee Lipp in the early 2000’s when some of us practitioners of color and our white allies created a few “Diversity as Practice” events both at San Francisco Zen Center and in the East Bay. These memories also reminded me of how long and how deep Lee’s commitment was to the practices of inclusion, multiculturalism, and anti-racism within the total context of the Dharma. She was an ardent ally, maybe because of what she said, what she believed, but even more than that, because of how she moved and acted in the world. She fully understood and felt how intention-of-heart connects to action-in-world connects to impact-on-others. Her felt understanding allowed the beautiful qualities of humility and leadership to emerge simultaneously and blend seamlessly with how she was in the world.

Along with having her clinical private practice, her dedication to supervise interns and clinicians at the Haight Ashbury Clinic, and serving on the Board of Buddhist Peace Fellowship, she involved herself in anti-racism work and diversifying the reach of the dharma by being involved with the efforts at both San Francisco Zen Center and Spirit Rock Meditation Center for over 15 years. She contributed to multicultural teaching teams at East Bay Meditation Center where she brought her deeply impactful work of Transforming Depression and Anxiety workshops to diverse communities. She also assisted EBMC by managing and coordinating their Continuing Education Unit program.


Lee leading her “Befriending Your Pain” class

From 2000-2005, Lee was the Diversity Coordinator of SF Zen Center’s Outreach program. She worked with the Diversity Committee at Spirit Rock to coordinate daylong retreats on diversity and anti-racism work that were joint ventures by both SF Zen Center and Spirit Rock. In 2007, when the Diversity Coordinator position became further woven into the Zen Center infrastructure by being moved into the Abbot’s office, Lee once again filled that role. She wrote in one 2008 report:

“A widening of focus from racism to include study of other isms has resulted in growing interest in these efforts from a greater number of people, and more enthusiasm for addressing racism. Students and staff in various locations have formed ongoing groups looking at isms. SFZC is providing Staff with conflict resolution training and empathy-building training. Tassajara recently completed a three-day diversity training and some staff from Tassajara, GGF, and City Center completed two days of empathy training. More teachers of different traditions now being invited to teach, with workshops for POC, LGBTQIQ, youth, and other specialized classes and events.”

In 2012, Lee graduated from the fourth iteration of Spirit Rock’s Community Dharma Leaders training program which was ground-breaking in its diverse demographics and intention to serve diverse communities. She was totally in her element and was a deeply engaged participant and resource to both the training group and the training team.

Thank you, Lee, for being such an ardent ally who has been consistent in bridging the difficult complexities of culture and identity across space, time, and lineage. But even more, I bow to you as a precious member of family. You are dearly missed.

With much love,

Larry Yang

August 19, 2016

Lee Lipp’s Last Dharma Talk: Bodhisattvas/Angels – Relating to Cancer


Bodhisattvas/Angels – Relating to Cancer, the last dharma talk given by Lee Lipp, was on April 27, 2016, at City Center. You can listen here.

August 18, 2016

Photographs of Lee Lipp

Here are some photos of Lee Lipp by Shundo David Haye.


Lee, center, in the City Center courtyard with her Shuso’s fan after her Shuso Ceremony in 2013. With her are, left, Marsha Angus, and right, then-Abbess Kiku Christina Lehnherr, who led the practice period. Photo: Shundo David Haye.


Lee with her dear friend David Zimmerman, left, after her Shuso Ceremony in 2013. Photo: Shundo David Haye.


Lee’s familiar smile. Photo: Shundo David Haye

August 15, 2016

Zenkei Blanche Hartman’s Funeral: Video

Ceremonial Procession

  • Inkin: Myoju Erin Merk
  • Ashes: Sojun Mel Weitsman
  • Portrait: Seiren Barbara Kohn
  • Memorial Plaque (Ihai): Kosho McCall
  • Staff: Tony Patchell
  • Robe: Ryumon Baldoquin
  • Sammotsu: Jana Drakka
  • Bowls: Myozen Joan Amaral
  • Whisk: Keiryu Liên Shutt
  • Seeds for a Boundless Life: Zenju Earthlyn Manuel
  • Personal item (Pincushion): Renshin Bunce
  • Doshi: Eijun Linda Cutts
  • Doshi: Rinso Ed Sattizahn
  • Jisha: Kyoshin Wendy Lewis
  • Inkin: Tim Kroll


The Names of Buddha
Vairochana Buddha, pure Dharmakaya
Lochana Buddha, complete Sambhogakaya
Shakyamuni Buddha, myriad Nirmanakaya
Maitreya Buddha, of future birth
All buddhas throughout space and time
Lotus of the Wondrous Dharma, Mahayana Sutra
Manjushri Bodhisattva, great wisdom
Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, great activity
Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, great compassion
All honored ones, bodhisattva-mahasattvas
Wisdom beyond wisdom, Maha-prajñaparamita

Harmony of Difference and Equality
The mind of the great sage of India is intimately transmitted from west to east.
While human faculties are sharp or dull, the way has no northern or southern ancestors.
The spiritual source shines clear in the light; the branching streams flow on in the dark.
Grasping at things is surely delusion; according with sameness is still not enlightenment.
All the objects of the senses interact and yet do not.
Interacting brings involvement. Otherwise, each keeps its place.
Sights vary in quality and form, sounds differ as pleasing or harsh.
Refined and common speech come together in the dark, clear and murky phrases are distinguished in the light.
The four elements return to their natures just as a child turns to its mother;
Fire heats, wind moves, water wets, earth is solid.
Eye and sights, ear and sounds, nose and smells, tongue and tastes;
Thus with each and every thing, depending on these roots, the leaves spread forth.
Trunk and branches share the essence; revered and common, each has its speech.
In the light there is darkness, but don’t take it as darkness;
In the dark there is light, but don’t see it as light.
Light and dark oppose one another like the front and back foot in walking.
Each of the myriad things has its merit, expressed according to function and place.
Phenomena exist; box and lid fit. Principle responds; arrow points meet.
Hearing the words, understand the meaning; don’t set up standards of your own.
If you don’t understand the way right before you, how will you know the path as you walk?
Progress is not a matter of far or near, but if you are confused, mountains and rivers block your way.
I respectfully urge you who study the mystery, do not pass your days and nights in vain.

Dai Hi Shin Dharani
Namu kara tan no tora ya ya namu ori ya boryo ki chi shifu ra ya fuji sato bo ya moko sato bo ya mo ko kya runi kya ya en sa hara ha ei shu tan no ton sha namu shiki ri toi mo ori ya boryo ki chi shifu ra rin to bo na mu no ra kin ji ki ri mo ko ho do sha mi sa bo o to jo shu ben o shu in sa bo sa to no mo bo gya mo ha te cho to ji to en o bo ryo ki ru gya chi kya rya chi i kiri mo ko fuji sa to sa bo sa bo mo ra mo ra mo ki mo ki ri to in ku ryo ku ryo ke mo to ryo to ryo ho ja ya chi mo ko ho ja ya chi to ra to ra chiri ni shifu ra ya sha ro sha ro mo mo ha mo ra ho chi ri yuki yuki shi no shi no ora san fura sha ri ha za ha za fura sha ya ku ryo ku ryo mo ra ku ryo ku ryo ki ri sha ro sha ro shi ri shi ri su ryo su ryo fuji ya fuji ya fudo ya fudo ya mi chiri ya nora kin ji chiri shuni no hoya mono somo ko shido ya somo ko moko shido ya somo ko shido yu ki shifu ra ya somo ko nora kin ji somo ko mo ra no ra somo ko shira su omo gya ya somo ko sobo moko shido ya somo ko shaki ra oshi do ya somo ko hodo mogya shido ya somo ko nora kin ji ha gyara ya somo ko mo hori shin gyara ya somo ko namu kara tan no tora ya ya namu ori ya boryo ki chi shifu ra ya somo ko shite do modo ra hodo ya so mo ko


  1. Daughter Trudy Hartman
  2. Daughter Mitzi Levine
  3. Granddaughter Rebecca Huenink
  4. Son Joe Hartman, singing This Little Light of Mine
  5. Statement by Hoitsu Suzuki, Abbot of Rinso-in, read by Kiku Christina Lehnherr
  6. Statement by Taiho Fukuyama, Head Priest of Sotoshu, and Ryubon Kamada, President of Sotoshu, read by Rev. Gengo Akiba, Bishop of Japanese Soto Zen in North America
  7. Ryushin Paul Haller
  8. Shosan Victoria Austin, reading When Death Comes, by Mary Oliver
  9. Zenki Mary Mocine, reading To Be of Use, by Marge Piercy
  10. Daigan Gaither, reading Gone to the Unseen, by Rumi
  11. Tim Wicks, reading And She Sewed, by Patsy Creedy


Ushers: Jordan Thorn, Rita Cummings, Arlene Lueck, Siobhan Cassidy, Thomas Ingalls
Doan: Michael McCord
Fukudo/Shoten: Paula Pietranera
Ino/Kokyo: Caitlin Burnham
Jiko #1: Judith Randall
Jiko #2: Lucy Xiao
Big Drum: Eli Stevenson-Brown
Instrument players: 1) Erin Merk (Inkin 1), 2) Tim Kroll (Inkin 2),  3) Djinn Gallagher (Drum), 4) Eli Stevenson-Brown (Drum), 5) David Zimmerman (Cymbal), 6) Allison Tait (Cymbal)


August 15, 2016

A Poem for Zenkei by Jane Hirshfied

jane_hirshfieldSpell To Be Said Upon Departure

What was come here to do
having finished,
shelves of the water lie flat.

Copper the leaves of the doorsill,
yellow and falling.
Scarlet the bird that is singing.

Vanished the labor, here bells are.
Completed the asking.
Loosing the birds there is water.

Having eaten the pears.
Having eaten
the black figs, the white figs. Eaten the apples.

Table be strewn. Table be strewn with stems,
table with peelings of grapefruit and sweetness.

Table be strewn with sweetness,
what was here to be done having finished.

Blanche, you were, with Lou, my Zen godparents, the ones who first welcomed me into this sangha. You were the head of my dining room crew at Tassajara, and in later years the warm supporter of my practice with words, the kind and steady witness of it as a path. You practiced with us undisguised. When I last saw you, at Age Song, you were discouraged, and so I told you a story of Katagiri Roshi when he was dying. You answered me with one about Suzuki Roshi. Asked if he was afraid of dying, he said, “I know who I am.” Thank you for practicing with us as yourself. Thank you for your great kindness.

Jane Hirshfield




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