Half Day Sat., Nov. 10; Sunday Nights

Valley Dragon continues to meet on Sunday nights at our usual time (zazen at 7:15 pm). After zazen, we are continuing our casual study of excerpts of zazen-pertinent texts from both Zen and other traditions, led by Titus and other sangha participants. I want to take this chance to encourage you, if sincerely interested in the practice of silent contemplation, to consider exerting a bit of extra effort toward attending Sunday nights regularly. While I accept the years that I felt inspired to devote to intensive daily and residential practice, today I really believe Shunryu Suzuki when he said that regular weekly practice with others may be quite efficacious for most of us. It feels so for me. Our numbers are varying widely, from 15 one week to 2 the next. That’s totally fine, good even, but maintaining a regular core group keeps the energy strong, and I believe attracts good new folks (we do not recruit). Steadiness and consistency are some of Zen’s core values and benefits. Augmented with our monthly half-day sits, I feel that if consistently taken advantage of, these opportunities will grant a quite sufficient feeling for authentic zazen practice.

Our next half day sit is this Saturday, November 10th. You know you could use it!

The schedule is as follows:
1:00-1:35 zazen (sitting)
1:35-1:45 kinhin (walking)
1:45-2:20 zazen
2:20-2:30 kinhin
2:30-3:05 zazen
3:05-3:15 kinhin
3:15-3:50 zazen
3:50-4:00 kinhin
4:00-4:35 zazen
4:35 closing

There is no fee, and you may enter or depart at any point, preferably during the kinhin periods. Donations (for use of space and supplies) are welcome.

Please wear loose comfortable clothing, preferably in muted solid colors that cover knees and shoulders. Make sure cell phones are turned off – please check that vibration also is turned off. Please leave personal items, including purses, water bottles, phones, and watches, in non-practice spaces (entry or back room.)

As usual, we will be at Dragonfly Yoga. Please be in touch if you have questions or concerns.

Albers PC1981.263.2
Josef Albers, “Homage to the Square”, ca. 1950s, lithograph on paper, collection of the Albuquerque Museum

Taigen returns October 8, 2016!

returns to Valley Dragon!
Saturday, 10/8/16
12:30-5:30 pm


Cultivating the Empty Field:
The Teachings of Zen Master Honctefgzhi

Cultivating the Empty Field was Taigen’s first book. A personal favorite of many western Zen students, Taigen will spend the day revisiting and unpacking these rich, poetic translations of Soto Zen Ancestor (and major influence on Eihei Dogen) Hongzhi Zhengjue (1091-1157). Taigen’s visit represents a rare opportunity to study these seminal and poignant Mahayana Zen Buddhist teachings with one of the foremost Zen scholar/practitioners in America today. The program will begin with zazen (silent sitting), and include questions and discussion.


  • Taigen will also be speaking as part of our weekly Monday night program, 10/10/16 at 7:15 pm (zazen begins at 6:30.)
  • Taigen is scheduling dokusan (private interviews) with individual students. Contact Keizan in interested: keizan@valleydragon.org
  • Taigen will be teaching at Upaya in Santa Fe. Please check their schedule for details.


Taigen Leighton is founder and Senior Dharma Teacher of Ancient Dragon Zen Gate in Chicago, and a guiding teacher of Valley Dragon Zen Sangha. He is a Dharma heir in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki, the founder of San Francisco Zen Center and Tassajara Zen Monastery, the first Buddhist monastery outside of Asia. Taigen is the author of many books, including a translation of Dogen’s Eihei Koroku, Faces of Compassion, Zen Questions, and Just This is It: Dongshan and the Teaching of Suchness.

65 suggested donation for the Hongzhi event; no one turned away. Kindly RSVP
more information: http://www.valleydragon.org
email: info@valleydragon.org