We’re having a retreat and refuge ceremony Saturday, September 21 – join us!

  • Retreat – Sept 21st, 10am-4pm.
  • Refuge Ceremony & Celebration – 4-6pm, open to all.
  • Register now, or read more below.


Refuge in Awakening, Shelter from the Storm

When we’re born, we’re cast into this world as wanderers. Our heart wants to find the way home. That’s what refuge is about. We find it in all sorts of ways, in friends, in work, in a genuine experience of who we are and the road we’re on. There’s also a place of rest and refuge that’s deep inside, rooted, an anchor that we can feel in our body and in our soul. It’s a point from which we can move outward into the world, find courage, do what needs to be done.

Taking refuge is an old idea, it’s committing to the refuge deep inside and finding that we aren’t alone, we have companions, and we always will. There are rituals to make us feel this. The refuge ceremony we enact in Zen is one of those rituals. The vows we repeat are koans, they are stepping stones in the dark, ways to understand suffering and relief, and to consider what we love and where we want to go. It’s an action, too, something that is done in time and with our bodies and our voices. It’s a play, an experiment, something we do together.

Our retreat will explore the experience of going out and coming home, in meditation and stories and koans and conversation. Then we will have a refuge ceremony, open to everyone. Linda Pelton and Karma Forbes (who have come from Toronto and from Seattle for the retreat and ceremony) have been exploring the vows of refuge for awhile now and will give their own responses and receive a rakusu (symbolic robe) and a name. It’s about recognizing each other as companions and giving and receiving welcome.

The retreat is from 10am to 4pm, including lunch.The ceremony & celebration is from 4-6 which is open to everyone who would like to come, retreat participants and anyone else. It’s good to support each other and do these things together. Come along. I will be teaching, and it will be good to have you. There’s still room if you’d like to sign up, but do it soon. Scholarships are available if you need one.

– Rachel Boughton


Register Now



Searching, Searching: A Half Day Meditation & Teaching with Jon Joseph

Sunday, Sept 22nd, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Koan: People go to wild places to search for their true nature. When you do this, where is your true nature?
– Doushuai’s Three Barriers, Gateless Barrier, Case 47

Like most koans, the one above asks for an embodied response. For me, at least, this koan affirms that the very act of searching is itself our true nature. We don’t need to go far afield to find out that the wild places are right here.

A Pacific Zen member recently shared the following short newspaper article:

Missing Woman Mystery Solved(QMI Agency)

A group of tourists on Saturday spent hours Saturday night looking for a missing woman near Edgjá Canyon, only to find her among the search party.

They group was traveling through Iceland on a tour bus and stopped near a volcanic canyon. Soon, there was a report of a missing passenger. The woman, who had changed clothes, didn’t recognize the description of herself, and joined in the search.

But the search was called off about 3:00 am, when it became clear the missing person was accounted for and searching for herself.

Join us as we search, together.

– Jon Joseph



Life is a Bubble: Meditation & Teaching with Rachel Boughton

Monday, Sept. 23rd, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

It’s written in the Diamond Sutra:

As a lamp, a cataract, a star in space
an illusion, a dewdrop, a bubble
a dream, a cloud, a flash of lightning
view all created things like this.

The world of form is so compelling, I get stuck in it, mired in its sticky realness. But sometimes I look around and see the way everything changes. What’s so real now wasn’t so 10 years ago, and 10 years from now everything will be different. What was so 100, 1000, 10,000 years ago, we can’t even find it. And even one second ago, that’s only connected to now by the fragile threads of my memory and invention.

And if I blink, it’s all new again. Yet, beyond that there’s an eternity in this moment, the way my heart touches down and is home, without going out to find anything. Seeing the bubble, dewdrop, dream, it helps me to notice the eternity as well.

Come join us. We’ll meditate and find ourselves at home.
This talk will be livestreamed in case you can’t be there in person



A Look Ahead…

Sunday, Sept 29th, 10:30am -12pm,
Meditation & Talk with Orlando O’Shea
Monday, Sept. 30th, 7-9pm Quiet Sitting with Amy Robinson


What is Zen? Snow in a silver bowl.
Audio recording of a talk by Rachel Boughton @ SRCZC



Spread the word:

Office Rental Space is available at our beautiful Santa Rosa Creek Zen Center.

Shared furnished office space, view of garden and creek, good for psychotherapy, counseling, tutoring. Rent is $150 and covers one day per week for a full month.

Contact rachelcboughton@gmail.com for details. Thanks!

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