Admission to the Botanic Gardens is $22 for adults, $16 for seniors. Additional donations to the Temple are gratefully accepted. – $5.00 - $50.00

Date & Time Details: Saturday, August 3, 10am - 12:30pm

Location: Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

Address: 150 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY, USA

Contact: ZCNYC


Touching the Earth at Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

with Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei, Sandy Joshin Del Valle, MRO and James Sanzen Cole, MRO

August 3, 2024

Join us in this Touching the Earth sangha outing and let’s see what’s in bloom at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) this summer. As we tour through the grounds, Sanzen & Joshin will offer some historical background about the gardens and breath practices to settle us into the space. Then we’ll take a walking path for about 2 miles, stopping on occasion to sit quietly and enter the art practice of illuminated journaling led by Hojin Sensei.

Illuminated Journaling is the art of noticing, the art of live recordings. This is not a journal in the sense of a personal reflective diary, but live recordings of what we notice. It is an invitation to a journey of intimacy into the world, of expanding our connection with our surroundings and our senses. A way to let our life dash through the pages and leave mysterious tracks behind! Then, over time, we can see how apparently random details cohere and form memories that are distinct, unique, and eternally fresh.

To avoid the hottest part of the day, we’ll meet at 10:00 am at the Eastern Parkway entrance by the ticket selling windows (just off the Eastern Parkway / Brooklyn Museum stop on the 2/3 subway line). Be prepared to pay the admissions price. Admission to BBG is not covered by registering for this event with us. Unless you are a member, ticket prices are: Adult $22, Senior $16; BBG also offers Community Tickets, which are available free for those who need them by selecting a Community Ticket during checkout. Any additional donations to the Temple are gratefully accepted.

What to Bring: water, comfortable walking shoes, a handheld journal, and a few art supplies (pens and pencils you find floating in desk drawers at home will be fine). We will also provide some watercolors and brushes to share.

Lunch (in case you’d like to join us in Prospect Park afterward for a picnic).


Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei
Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei received the priestly transmission (the transmission of the Precepts) from Daido Roshi, who began the process in 2009, and from Shugen Roshi, who completed the transmission in 2012. In 2017, she received full dharma transmission from Shugen Roshi. She serves as the Training Director for the Mountains and Rivers Order and Abbot of the Zen Center of NYC-Fire Lotus Temple. Hojin Sensei began her artistic career early and has taught drawing, ceramics, and painting, opening people up to the wonders and mysteries of the creative process and continues to offer Art Practices as part of her teaching. She has been in full-time residential training at the Monastery since 1990 and now shares her time at the Brooklyn temple.
Learn more about Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei
Sandy Joshin Del Valle, MRO
Sandra Joshin Del Valle was a civil rights lawyer for over twenty years before becoming a high school English teacher. She is a member of the Temple Advisory Council and was a member of the MRO’s Beyond Fear of Differences group. She became a student of Shugen Roshi in 2011 and a jukai student in 2016.
Learn more about Sandy Joshin Del Valle, MRO
James Sanzen Cole, MRO
James Sanzen Cole started working in New York City Public Schools first as an Outward Bound instructor and later as a middle school science teacher. Since 2002, he has worked as a middle school assistant principal. Sanzen is a member of the Earth Initiative. He became a jukai student in 2013.
Learn more about James Sanzen Cole, MRO