Welcome to SnowFlower Sangha

Kaz Tanahashi Calligraphy workshops

Kazuaki Tanahashi is a master teacher of Shodō, or the Way of the Brush, a Zen practice of awareness, asthetics and intention. Kaz is also internationally admired as a Zen calligrapher, artist, translator, scholar,  and peace activist. His recent books include The Heart of the Brush:The Splendor of East Asian Calligraphy; The Heart Sutra; and Zen Chants.

Kaz will offer two workshops in Madison this August: Breakthrough with the Brush, a class for all levels (including students who have never done calligraphy) will take place August 5-7The Golden Age of East Asian Calligraphy will be an advanced workshop on August 8th, studying the styles of master calligraphers of the Tang dynasty.
Many students return year after year to study with Kaz because he not only teaches calligraphy, he in a sublte way introduces you to yourself.
For more information, please contact kaztanahashimadison@gmail.com.

Mindfulness Training for Police Officers
This October in Virginia, Dharma Teacher Cheri Maples and Lt. Richard Goerling will conduct a 3-day retreat, Cultivating Resiliency: A Mindfulness Immersion Training for Police Officers, First Responders, and Criminal Justice Professionals. 

 Cheri Maples urges local sanghas offer a scholarship to their local police department to financially sponsor the attendance of one or more officers at the retreat.

 Attendees of this groundbreaking immersion training will embark on a deep exploration into the science and experience of mindfulness as it relates to awareness, compassion and community building. The event will focus on mindfulness skill building to enhance self-awareness, attunement to others, compassion, balance, connection and wisdom. These newly learned skills and a more developed awareness have the potential to translate into peak performance, both personally and professionally.

 About the retreat, Maples states as follows:

 “Having been a police officer for 20 years and in the criminal justice system in other capacities for much longer than that, I often get asked the question by practitioners, ‘What can we do to improve local relationships with our police department and begin to build bridges?’   In my own life, the ripple effects of showing up at my first retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay), in 1991 and being present at the retreat he did for police officers in 2003, continue to this day.

 “I find the true ambassadors for change in departments are front line police officers who find alternative ways to care for their emotional well being.

 “We know the importance of planting seeds.  Here is a concrete way for your Sangha to get involved with your local police department.  Once they attend the training in October, they could be asked to report back and then asked how you could be of assistance in bringing mindfulness to your local police department.

 “I know our beloved teacher Thay is very invested in the engaged practice of bringing mindfulness to the criminal justice system in all avenues possible.  Here is one concrete way to plant a seed.”

 Read more about this important retreat here.  

thich nhat hanhWhen he woke up at the foot of the Bodhi Tree, the Buddha Shakyamuni said, "How strange—all beings possess in themselves the capacity to understand, the capacity to love, the capacity to be free. Everyone has that capacity, but everyone allows himself or herself to be carried away on the ocean of suffering. How strange." This is what the Buddha declared at the moment of his enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. 

He noticed that what we are looking for, day and night, is already there within oneself. What is beautiful, what is true, what is good, is already there in oneself. We can call it the Buddha-nature, the Buddhahood, the awakened nature, the true freedom, which is the foundation for all peace and happiness. This wonderful thing is in us, and a real teacher is someone who can help you to touch that thing in yourself, who helps give birth, to bring about the real teacher which already exists in yourself. – Thich Nhat Hanh

For more information about our Sangha, see our About Us page.

We welcome newcomers and any questions.  If you do have any questions at all, click here (questions@snowflower.org).  We also have an e-mail list-serv to keep you up to date on sangha events.  To subscribe, click here (listserv@snowflower.org).