The Community page is where sangha members can post self-organizing sangha participant activities such as hikes, picnics, outings, other practice opportunities, resources, etc.  These activities are not initiated nor officially sponsored by Upaya Sangha of Tucson LLC.

If you would like to post an event, please send an email to Sensei Al Genkai Kaszniak with the title, event description, date of the event, where to meet, how to contact you, etc.


Bill Thompson’s Art & Poetry

Click here to see Bill Thompson’s art and read his poetry.


New Announcements:


Anti-Racism & Dharma Resources Submitted by Upaya Sangha of Tucson Participants

Angel Kyodo Williams (2000). Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living with Fearlessness and Grace. New York: Penguin Compass.

Angel Kyodo Williams & Lama Rod Owens (2016). Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

Zenju Earghlyn Manuel (2015). The Way of Tenderness: Awakening Through Race, Sexuality, and Gender. Boston: Wisdom Publications.

Hilda Gutierrez Baldoquin (Ed.) (2004). Dharma, Color, and Culture: New Voices in Western Buddhism. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press.

Resmaa Menakem (2017). My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies. Las Vegas, NV: Central Recovery Press.

Tricycle, Jan 31, 2017 presient article “Teachings for Uncertain Times” by Wendy Joan Bittlecombe Asgar. It presents a video series with 13 Buddhist teachers of color. I especially love the Feb. 6 one by Mona Chopra: a METTA MEDITATION for BLACK LIVES MATTER.

Aspen Ideas Festival <>

21-Day Equity Building Habit Challenge <>

James Baldwin’s fiercely true (1965) UK speech why Black Lives Matter. The subjugated and the master: <>

James Baldwin’s talk before the National Press Club (1986) about distorted myths and the truth of our interdependence (CSPAN). During Q&A at 40 minutes into this, James Baldwin gets to the heart of it.

Land Loss and Black America < utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20June%2018%202020%20-%201654815923%20UPDATED&utm_content=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20June%2018%202020%20-%201654815923%20UPDATED+Version+B+CID_b0f697ba9778dd1d4339d644b7c6fc0f&utm_source=campaign_monitor_us&utm_term=might%20address%20this%20vestige%20of%20slavery>


Instructions Available for Simple No-Sew Face Masks

(Note that These Face Masks Provide No Guarantee Against Infection of Yourself or Others, and Should Be Worn Only Once, Washing Afterward in Hot, Soapy Water Before Using Again. Do Not Touch the Inside or Outside of the Mask During or After Use Before Washing. Masks Do Not Replace the Necessity of Primary Infection-Prevention Measures, Such as Social Distancing, Staying at Home, Washing Hands with Soap and Water for 20 Sec., Hand Sanitizers, and Not Touching Your Face.)


New Weekly Meditation Opportunity

Note: Cancelled Due to COVID-19 Pandemic Until Further Notice


Sangha participant and long-time Zen practitioner, Merrill Collett has graciously volunteered to hold a group meditation practice session from 5:30 – 6:10 pm each Thursday at the new TCMC building (1147 N. Howard).  

Merrill began practicing at Berkeley Zen Center in 1989 and received the precepts from Abbot Sojun Mel Weitsman Roshi two years later. Following that he lived at San Francisco Zen Center and at its Tassajara monastery for eight years. During this time he worked as a hospice volunteer and wrote the book At Home With Dying, a Zen Hospice Approach (Shambhala, 1991). In addition, he has sat retreats with the One Drop Zen Community (Rinzai) on Whidbey Island in Washington, Great Vow Zen Monastery in Oregon, Upaya Zen Center in New Mexico, and Wat Suan Mok Phalaram in Thailand.


New Meditation Center Looking for Teachers & Scheduling Manager

Kintsugi Yoga and Meditation Center is looking for teachers and a scheduling manager. Many possibilities, considering conditions. The center will open between Jan and Mar 2020. Location is 1234 E. 16th St. Contact Tim Clark at


Two New Support Groups at TCMC

Note: Now Being Offered Online:

TCMC is now offering two practitioner-oriented interactive support groups, meeting on the first Sunday: one for cancer support, the other for grief support.

  • SARANA Cancer Support is open to anyone dealing with, or affected by, cancer, at any time, for any reason. Dealing with a life-threatening illness, especially cancer, is a physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually complex, traumatic situation. Everyone involved needs support, but it’s not always easy to find. especially in a spiritually supportive environment. It can be helpful being with people who “get it,” people with whom no one needs to explain anything. And hearing the differing perspectives of those in the room can be eye-opening. Sarana will meet on the first Sunday of each month, from 12:30pm-1:30pm, just after the Sitting Together program. Each meeting will start and end with a few minutes of silent meditation. Sarana is a Pali word for “refuge” or “shelter.”
  • SANTIKARA Grief Support is open to anyone dealing with grief and loss of any kind, whether current or from time past. Santikara will meet every first Sunday of the month for 90 minutes, from 2:30pm-3:30pm. Each meeting will start and end with a few minutes of silent meditation. “Santikara” means “soothing” in Pali.

Neither of these groups will have an agenda, except what each person brings to the group. We’ll have basic guidelines, which we’ll review at the beginning of each meeting, and a facilitator to keep things on track, but that is the extent of any formal structure.


Facilitator contact information:
Steve Ross, MA, LMFT (CA): (520) 825-2009 or
Sen Talley:  520.989.3347 or


Need Help in Finding a House in Arizona (Tucson or Flagstaff) to Hold 2020 Buddhist Election Retreat

If you have a lead on a house in or near Tucson or Flagstaff, please email Stan Dewey ( or Ed Herzog and be sure to type “House in Arizona” on the subject line.

If you’d like to help us find a house, please consider the following:

Our goal is to find a house with 3+ bedrooms, for 18 days:

• Move-in day, Sunday October 18, 2020

• Retreat duration Monday, October 19 through Tuesday November 3

• Move-out day Wednesday November 4, 2020

Qualities of Ideal House:

• Good kitchen: sink, stove/oven, refrigerator. Food storage. Place for coffee/tea/water. Counter space.

• Dining room. Seating for 12-18 at one or more tables.

• Room we can use as a meditation space (zendo) for about 12+ folks.

• Sleeping spaces: bedrooms, living room, couches, (zendo).

• At least two bathrooms, at least one with a shower.

• Yard suitable for a couple of tents.

• On-street parking for up to 8 cars.

It is also helpful if there are satellite sleeping spaces nearby: for example, hotels and guest bedrooms in sympathetic homes, church basements, etc. Often the host family vacates the house, but occasionally has lived in it with us, in fewer rooms.

An ideal location would be close to local Democratic headquarters.

Possibilities may include:

• Farmhouses; Empty houses in foreclosure; Houses for rent; Summer houses; Live-work warehouse spaces; empty houses that are for sale or will shortly be brought to market; Community facilities; And so on . . .

People who might offer us leads for houses may be: Local Buddhists; Local Democratic party; Swing Left, Indivisible, Emily’s List, or other progressive organizations; Faith groups, including Unitarian, Quaker, etc.; Real estate agents, banks; Arts groups; Friends of friends . . .


Sangha Care Support Volunteers

While there are many resources both for hire and formal volunteer programs through Neighbors Care Alliances across Tucson (contact Pima Council on Aging 790-7262), a few of our regular sangha participants have offered their limited availability to help their fellow sangha participants if something unexpected arises where they need some additional help which might include a friendly visit or phone call, assistance with errands, meal delivery, etc.  Please send an email to <> with questions or requests.  We might be able to help you either find existing community resources or do a little limited assistance.  Take care.


Upaya Hiking Club
Our Sangha has initiated a hiking club. We will meet on the 3rd Sunday morning of each month, October through April. The hikes will last about 2 hours, with about 30 minutes dedicated to silent walking, or seated meditation if we find a nice spot to sit. Please check the Upaya calendar or contact Dawn Messer at or text 520-975-4839 for location and exact meeting time.


Finding Goodness in Everyone:  Volunteer Opportunity at Tucson State Prison

My name is Marge Houy, and am currently teaching a new 10-session course in the minimum security unit at the Tucson State Prison on S. Wilmot Road.  Because it has been so well received by the participants and prison staff, I am seeking additional volunteers so that the course can be offered to more inmates.  The course, called The Path of Freedom, was developed by a former federal prison inmate and teaches participants emotional intelligence skills, including self-awareness, self-control and social awareness.

This course is different from others taught in prisons because it also includes meditation training, which is the bedrock for learning the other skills.  This course is currently being taught in prisons and jails in other states including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Washington State, and Arizona.  I have taught this course in Massachusetts and now in Arizona.  It is hard to describe how appreciative the participants are for the course materials and how personally gratifying it is to work with this under-served population.

I am interested in meeting with anyone who may be interested in learning more about the content of the course, the teacher training process, the nature of ongoing support provided to teachers.  More information about the Path of Freedom course can be found on the Prison Mindfulness Institute’s website at  Please note that there is a $295 tuition fee for the 6-week on-line training with scholarships available for up to half the cost.


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