Heather Shoren Iarusso Comes to Belfast

heather shuso ceremony

After her shuso ceremony at Tassajara, with Djinn Gallagher and Paul Haller 

Visiting teacher Heather Shoren Iarusso arrives in Belfast in late October for a two-month stay. During her visit she will give talks, meet with students, and take part in many events. Her first offering will be a dharma talk on the morning of Sunday, October 27, when she she will give her “Way-Seeking Mind” talk describing her journey towards practice.

Heather first moved to Tassajara in June 2008 thinking she’d stay for six months. Ten years later, she is finally leaving the peace and beauty of the monastic valley to take up residence in SFZC’s city temple in San Francisco – and fortunately for us, she will stop off in Belfast en route. Heather was ordained in October 2015 by Teah Strozer, who was the guiding teacher of Brooklyn Zen Center. Heather worked at BZC for two years as the ino, program director, communications coordinator, and the interim executive director. Heather served in various practice roles at Tassajara including the ino, tenzo, and most recently as shuso with our teacher Paul Haller. She has also participated in meditation intensives with Pema Chodron, Tenshin Reb Anderson, Shohaku Okumura, and Shodo Harada. Heather holds master’s degrees in communications, creative writing, and English literature. She enjoys traveling with her spouse Tanya when they’re not sitting in silence. We are so happy to welcome her to Belfast.

heather ordination

Heather puts on her priest’s robe for the first time, helped by Greg Snyder of Brooklyn Zen Centre

heather and teah

Heather after her ordination with her teacher, Teah Strozer

Full Moon Ceremony, November 10

full moon

Photo by Sergiu Vălenaș

Traditionally, Buddhists celebrate the full moon by renewing our vows with the ancient Bodhisattva Full Moon Precept Ceremony. On Sunday, November 10, after two periods of zazen, we will celebrate the November full moon. This ceremony marks a public renewal of our commitment to the ethical practices known as the 16 Bodhisattva Precepts. These guiding principles for our daily conduct in the world are:

  • The Three Refuges (refuge in Buddha, the fully awakened and compassionate nature of mind; refuge in Dharma, the flawless truth of interdependence and selflessness; refuge in Sangha, the community of those who practise the Buddhadharma together).
  • The Three Collective Pure Precepts (embracing and sustaining standards of conduct, embracing and sustaining good qualities, embracing and sustaining living beings).
  • The Ten Major Precepts (not killing life, taking what is not given, misusing sexuality, speaking falsely, clouding the mind, speaking of others’ faults, praising self at the expense of others, being possessive, indulging anger, disparaging the Three Treasures – Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha).

This ceremony is a ritual begun by the Buddha himself, where we renew our commitment to practising this way of life, in harmony with all beings.