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:



Tucson Dharma Friends Study Program

This peer-led group meets Thursday mornings to promote engaged practice and Dharma discussion in an informal, friendly, and contemplative atmosphere. On the 1st and 3rd Thursday morning of each month, we meet via Zoom at 10am. For these Zoom discussions, we focus on chosen books. In February, we will be beginning a new book:  The Wakeful Body : Somatic mindfulness as a path to freedom by Willan Blythe Baker. In this book, Baker introduces meditation practice as the cultivation of a way of being rather than a way of doing. It is a way of being that is self-aware, self-compassionate, and embodied. This way of being is not limited to practice on the cushion or on the yoga mat—somatic mindfulness is available at any moment, activated by attention to the body’s wisdom and its teachings.

“This remarkable book brings the body into clear focus as a medium of awakening“.—Roshi Joan Halifax, abbot, Upaya Zen Center

On the 2nd & 4th Thursdays of the month, we meet in person. The 2nd Thursday, we typically meet at a park for a 30 minute group meditation, followed by time to check-in with one another. On the 4th Thursday of the month, we gather to go on short hikes, usually on Tucson’s West side.

We have regular members who are lifelong practitioners, as well as those new to Buddhism. All are welcome! For more information, please contact Dawn Messer at

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ for more information about location and exact meeting times.



Breast Cancer SUPORT Project

Survivors and Partners Online Research Together

University of Arizona College of Nursing


The University of Arizona College of Nursing has received a grant from the National Cancer Institute to conduct a nationwide online study of compassion meditation or health education designed to help reduce the distress experienced by breast cancer survivors and their supportive partners. Participants will receive either formal meditation instruction in Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT) or health education information about survivorship through Zoom sessions in 8 weekly 2-hour classes. Between classes, participants will be encouraged to practice meditation at home using audio recordings supplied by the study or engage in healthy lifestyle activities. At the end of the study, all those who attended the health education classes can choose to receive the compassion meditation classes if they would like.

 Cognitively-Based Compassion Training is derived from Traditional Indo-Tibetan Buddhism and developed by a former Buddhist monk at Emory University’s Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics. The program is completely secularized and is appropriate for people of any, or no, religious background. Instructors are trained and certified by Emory University and are themselves long-term meditators experienced in teaching meditation. Research is showing that participants enjoy learning to meditate and that survivors and their partners who practice compassion meditation are less emotionally distressed, support their underlying immune functioning, and have enhanced quality of life overall. These effects may even be stronger when survivors and partners meditate together. Using online technologies can allow those who don’t live near established meditation centers have better access to resources

Recruitment for the study is now open. People who are interested in learning more can visit the study’s online site, and can also leave their contact information there to receive a reply.

You may be eligible to participate if:

  • You are a breast cancer survivor who finished major treatments a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 5 years ago;
  • You are a family member who lives with a breast cancer survivor and will participate with her;
  • You or your partner exhibit a level of distress required for the study;
  • You are available and able to take part in online group classes;
  • You have access in your home to a computer or tablet with a 12-inch or greater diameter screen (participants will receive help in connecting to the online resources);
  • You are able to understand English.


The SUPORT study is funded by the National Cancer Institute to the University of Arizona College of Nursing, grant number R01CA264047(Thaddeaus W.W. Pace, Ph.D., Principal Investigator). It is conducted in collaboration with Emory University Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-based Ethics. The study has been approved for safety, privacy, and confidentiality by the University of Arizona Institutional Review Board.


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>


Sangha Care Support Volunteers

While there are many resources both for hire and as formal volunteer programs through Neighbors Care Alliances across Tucson (contact Pima Council on Aging 520-790-7262), 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.