Zoketsu Norman Fisher
Zen teacher, Poet and Author
SAND 2011 is a journey and exploration of the nature of awareness from the perspective of modern science, ancient traditions, philosophy, phenomenology, psychology and direct experience. Hear presentations of world-renowned quantum physicists, scientists, lecturers and authors like John Hagelin, Stanislav Grof, Lynne McTaggart, Fred Alan Wolf, Menas Kafatos, Gangaji, Rupert Spira, David Peat, Dean Radin, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Jeff Foster and many more, over this four-day conference.
The theme which we will be exploring this year is Time. What is time and does it really exist? Linear, nonlinear time, eternal now, infinity… SAND 2011 will be an exploration of the concept and paradox of time from the perspective of modern science, ancient traditions, philosophy, phenomenology, psychology and of course direct experience.
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
Zoketsu Norman Fischer is a Jewish-American Soto Zen roshi, poet and Buddhist author practicing in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki. He is a Dharma heir of Sojun Mel Weitsman, from whom he received Dharma transmission in 1988. Having served as co-abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center from 1995 to 2000, he has published several works of poetry and books on Buddhism. Fischer founded the Everyday Zen Foundation in 2000, a network of sanghas with chapters in Canada, the United States and Mexico. He has authored several essays on interreligious dialogues, and to that end has attended gatherings such as the 1996 Gethsemani Encounter held at The Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani in Kentucky (where the Trappist Thomas Merton lived). Fischer has also stayed in touch with his Jewish heritage, occasionally attending services at Beth Sholom synagogue in San Francisco, California and offering instruction in meditation to interested parties there. In addition, he has also served as mentor to teenage boys, all of which is chronicled in his book "Taking Our Places: The Buddhist Path to Truly Growing Up." Fischer also serves on the Board of Directors for the Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco, California.
Important school of Buddhism that claims to transmit the experience of enlightenment achieved by the Buddha Gautama. Arising as Chan in China in the 6th century (introduced by Bodhidharma), it divided into two schools, the Southern school, which believed in sudden enlightenment, and the Northern school, which believed in gradual enlightenment. By the 8th century only the Northern school survived. Zen developed fully in Japan by the 12th century and had a significant following in the West by the later 20th century. Zen teaches that the potential to achieve enlightenment is inherent in everyone but lies dormant because of ignorance. It is best awakened not by the study of scripture, the practice of good deeds, rites and ceremonies, or worship of images, but by breaking through the boundaries of mundane logical thought. Methods employed vary among different schools and may emphasize the practice of zazen (in the Soto school), the use of koans (in the Rinzai school), or the continual invocation of Amida (in the Obaku school; seeAmitabha).