Our Community

Many who practice Zen feel a need to address the suffering they witness both in the world at large and close to home. From saving our planet, to working towards a just and harmonious society for all, here are a few paths that are available through Valley Streams Zen Sangha and the Sacramento Dharma Center:

SDC Climate Sangha
Using One Earth Sangha as a model, the Climate sangha meets on the third Wednesday of the month at the Dharma Center from 6-7:30 pm. The group explores Buddhist teachings on caring for the Earth, in some cases, joins actions to address the climate crisis. For more information, contact Diana Cassady, dlcassady@comcast.net.

St. John’s Program for Real Change
This program supports women in crisis and their children through a comprehensive 12–18-month residential program developed to help them build a successful new life for themselves and their families. SIM and VSZS jointly purchase food and cook dinner once a month. To volunteer, contact Mary Howard, mhowarduu@gmail.com.

Racial and Social Justice as Dharma Practice (online)
The Racial and Social Justice as Dharma Practice Group is committed to intimate investigation, conversation, and embodied bodhisattva practice to actualize personal and collective freedom for all beings. We understand that we have grown up with systems of ‘baked-in’ oppression which harm us and others. Racial, social, and economic disparities permeate these systems. We strive to wake up to these unconscious identities and use them to develop compassion and wisdom. This is an ongoing group committed to deepening our investigation together. For more information, email chrisfortin@comcast.net or grindkaton@icloud.com.

SDC Grounds Maintenance
The Grounds Committee meets on the third Sunday of the month from 8-10 a.m. to rake, prune the yard and garden. Excessive heat or rain cancels. To volunteer, meet the crew on the third Sunday at the Dharma Center. For more information, contact Julie DeHart, julieedehart@gmail.com.


For as long as space endures and for as long as the world lasts,
may I live dispelling the miseries of the world.

from A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life by Śāntideva