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Buddhadharma : Spring 2008
spring 2008| 86 |buddhadharma mahasangha news mountain” ceremony. ■ The hokyoji ZEn prActicE com- mUnity, located in rural south- eastern Minnesota, is now an independent center. The practice center was founded by Dainin Katagiri Roshi and developed by the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center (MZMC) sangha. At a cer- emony last summer, Tim Burkett, MZMC’s head teacher, handed over the deed for the Hokyoji land to Hokyoji’s chairperson, Jeff Eko Kelley, and its resident teacher, Dokai Georgesen (above, left to right). ■ In December, Pat Enkyo O’Hara, Kaz Tanahashi, and Joan Halifax sat the weeklong winter rohatsu sesshin together at the UpAyA ZEn cEntEr, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Rohatsu is Upa- ya’s largest and most challenging practice program of the year, offering 12 periods of sitting each day (each period lasting 25 to 50 minutes), oryoki meals, walking meditation, work practice, private interviews, and noble silence throughout. ■ If your capital cam- paign is a little tired, you might take a page from the fundraising book of the Ann Arbor Zen Bud- dhist Temple, led by Linda Murray and affiliated with the Buddhist Society for Compassionate Wisdom founded by Samu Sunim. They organize regular dUmpstEr- ■ Professor Kraft has a new self- guided course on engaged Bud- dhism available on the web, a collaborative effort with “Ashoka, the eDharma university.” It’s available at ashokaedu.net. ■ In October, scholars and donors from around the world gathered at the University of California, Berkeley, to dedicate the c . v. stArr EAst AsiAn liBrAry. The new library has more than 900,000 volumes of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean materials, which include woodblock prints, rare maps, scrolls, and Buddhist scriptures. The library name hon- ors the late Cornelius Vander Starr, a UC Berkeley undergradu- ate with a deep interest in Asia. Chancellor Robert Birgeneau said the library will be “an enduring symbol of UC Berkeley’s geo- graphic and cultural position at the crossroads of East and West.” ■ Last fall’s California wildfire season forced a five-day evacua- tion of the mEttA forEst monAstEry, located in the rural hills outside San Diego. The Thai forest monastery, founded in 1990 by Phra Ajaan Suwat Suvaco, for- tunately escaped the wrath of the fires that were fueled by the Santa Ana winds and caused more than $24 million in property damage and $42 million in crop damage in the state. ■ On October 13, joshin roBErt AlthoUsE (below, far right) was installed as abbot of the Empty Sound Temple in Chicago by Nicolee Jikyo McMahon (center). Bernie Glass- man (left, standing next to June Tanoue) and most of the temple’s community members came out to witness the “ascending the tEAching thE tEAchErs By Paul Hardman Emotional stress, burnout, and exhaustion have always been major problems for schoolteachers, while aggression and a lack of self- control are increasing problems for students. To find better ways to work with these, the Garrison Institute near new york city is developing programs to cultivate a more contemplative approach to education. Social and emotional learning programs aimed at increasing stu- dents’ awareness of their own emotions and cultivating empathy have been a growing part of the public school system for several years, but little has been done to foster these skills in teachers. As Patricia (Tish) Jennings, director of Garrison’s Initiative on contemplation and Education, says, “If the teachers do not have the skills to recognize and relate to their own emotions, it is hard for them to promote aware- ness and empathy in their students.” After more than two years of development and a pilot trial in Denver, Jennings led the first training programs for teachers at Garrison in late 2007 and early 2008. The programs are based on approaches to education discussed by the Dalai Lama at meetings of the Mind and Life Institute and on Paul Ekman’s work at the university of california on cultivating emotional balance, with input from Richard Brown of naropa university and christa Turksma, a developer and trainer for PATHS, a social and emotional learning program for students. Jennings says the two-weekend AcT (Awareness and concentration in Teaching) program uses meditation and contemplation techniques designed to “help teachers be aware of their emotions, experience them, accept them, and deal with them” and to develop “their capac- ity for a calm, focused mind—a mind with openness, responsiveness, and sensitivity.” Helping teachers cope with stress effectively does more than reduce burnout; it allows them to be role models for healthy social and emotional behavior, perhaps the best way of all to teach emotional maturity. “I am amazed at how the exploration of loving- kindness has changed my relationship with students,” said one teacher after attending the program. From April 4 to 6, Garrison will be holding a public symposium entitled “Developmental Issues in contemplative Education,” featur- ing Daniel Siegel, author of The Mindful Brain. The symposium will explore the relationships between recent scientific research and the many contemplative practices being used in schools, and look for the most promising and developmentally appropriate approaches. For more information about the Garrison initiatives in education, visit garrisoninstitute.org. Dr. Patricia Jennings and Richard Brown at a leadership council meeting for the Initiative on Contemplation and Education. ToMDIMAuRoPETERcunnInGHAMRoSEMARyTAyLoR