Community Projects

Ethics of Eating

with Syracuse University Student Buddhist Association
Syracuse University | September, 2011 - October, 2011

Zen Center of Syracuse members collaborated with Syracuse University to create "The Ethics of Eating", a 6-week seminar series offered in the fall 2011 semester at Syracuse University. For six Mondays evenings, the event offered a lecture, meal, and discussion sessions. See Caroline Savage's blog for more information:

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Meditate and Destroy

with Noah Levine
Hendricks Chapel | November, 2010

Typically, when the Zen Center hosts a guest lecturer or performer, he or she will have ample opportunity to relax, prepare for the event, and rest before traveling home.

And then there’s Noah Levine.

While the Syracuse University/SUNY ESF Student Buddhist Association initially asked Noah to stay two nights in Syracuse and give one lecture at the university, he graciously agreed to give 2 additional talks in the Syracuse community in the same amount of time.

He arrived late...

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Zen Center Community Engagement

with Various Organizations
Zen Center of Syracuse |

ZenCenter instructors bring basic meditation techniques into the community so that young people and their families may learn effective methods of dealing with stress and anger in everyday life.  Classes are taught at children’s residential centers, agencies, the county justice center, Auburn Prison, and after-school programs; special post-incarceration meditation classes and mindfulness training for teen parents address specific needs, while one agency’s developmentally disabled clients benefit from meditation offered weekly. We are the only organization in Syracuse...

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Prison Sangha

with Auburn Correctional Facility
135 State Street Auburn, New York |

The Sho-Shin (Beginner's Mind) Sangha was formed in March 2008 at Auburn Correctional Facility. Every Friday, two Zen Center members and one other volunteer lead meditation and chanting for inmates at Auburn. They also hold dharma study, one-day sittings, and commemorate Buddhist ceremonies. Letters and essays from the Sho-Shin Sangha appear regularly in the Dharma Connection, the Zen Center of Syracuse newsletter. Some members began practicing meditation years before the Zen Center of Syracuse helped organize the Sho-Shin Sangha.

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"My Community" by Michael Rhynes

with Auburn Correctional Facility
135 State Street Auburn, New York |

I went to the Sho Shin (Beginner’s Mind) Sangha as a refugee seeking sanctuary from the politics of worshipping in a prison environment. In the politics of prison worship, there are three factors one must contend with before reaching God, enlightenment or a higher power:

  1. Prison administrations
  2. Religious hierarchy
  3. The body politic of the prison yard

After years of having my soul tossed and battered from these factors, I had no tolerance for religious instruction based on books, religious authority or yard politics dictating who could worship or...

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