New Zendo in El Cerrito

Sunday, January 13, 2019, we will be celebrat­ing the opening of the Blue Mountain Zendo at 1020 King Drive in El Cerrito. We will have an opening ceremony at 5:00 p.m., followed by a templewarming and housewarming party. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have made donations to BMZ to make this opening possible.

The zendo will be open from January 14 on. For those who may be interested in coming and sitting with me at any point, here is the tentative schedule:

Every day except Saturday I will be sitting at Blue Mountain with the squirrels, deer, and blue jays, and anybody who shows up. The weekday sittings will be at 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. The length of sittings and services will be the same as those at BZC. In the morning there will be a clunk at 6:40 for stretching or for anyone who may have to leave. The rest of us will continue to sit through to 7:00 a.m. and then do a short service.

Sunday sitting will begin at 6:30 a.m., with two periods, one of forty minutes, and one of thirty minutes, with kinhin in between, followed by a longer service. When the service ends (around 8:15) we will have coffee, tea, fruit, yogurt, and croissants in the community room. This coffee/tea time will be informal to encourage dharma friendship and right speech. Then we will return to the zendo at 9:00 a.m. for another period of zazen, followed by a short talk.

Beginning in February, I will offer a Dharma Seminar the second Saturday of the month from 2:00‒4:00 p.m., followed by a one-hour walk in the El Cerrito nature area two blocks from BMZ, which includes stunning views of the Bay. I will present during the first hour of the Seminar, followed by an open dis­cussion. I also plan to invite speakers, in which case they will present first and I will respond, followed by open discussion. Snacks and beverages will be available.

I will offer zazen instruction as necessary. Zazen instruction in Spanish will be offered during Wednesday afternoon zazen.

I hope to see you at the January 13 opening celebration and look forward to practicing here with any of you who may be interested.