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Jizo Ceremony for Loved Ones Who Have Died Saturday, October 14, 1:00pm – 3:00pm

 To support one another through a process of grieving and honoring, we will gather for a ceremony in our Jizo garden. Jizo represents the compassionate presence of “Earth Store” Bodhisattva and is viewed as a guide and protector, particularly for children, who have died. For this ceremony we welcome anyone grieving loss of a loved one, including loss through miscarriage or abortion, sickness, suicide, accidents or violence. We also welcome those who have lost pets dear to them. Our time together will include making a personal token of remembrance, as well as sharing tea and refreshments after the ceremony. Feel free to bring a picture or photo or personal belonging of your loved one to include on the altar.

The ceremony will be led by two Berkeley Zen Center priests:

Gerry Oliva, MD, MPH, is a pediatrician and an associate  professior at UCSF



Judy Fleischman, BCC, MS, is a board-certified chaplain with HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN)



  • All BZC members, members of other Buddhist sanghas and neighborhood residents are invited to attend.
  • There is no fee. Donations (dana) are welcome.

For more information and to sign up by phone or email, please contact Gerry at or (510) 652-7217 or

Family Practice at BZC

Our Family Practice program is in transition; we are not sure what we will be offering during the rest of this year. We’d love to hear from you what you want and need.
We also have a Yahoo email group devoted to family practice issues. We only send at most one email a week. To join the group or to send any other comments or queries, please contact Laurie Senauke at


Like a Grinding Stone

Monks ought to behave like a grinding stone.
Chang-san comes to sharpen his knife. Li-tsu comes
to grind his ax. Everybody who wants to have their
metals improved in any way makes use of the stone.
Each time the stone is rubbed it wears out, but it
makes no complaint, nor does it boast of its usefulness.
Those who come, go home benefited; some of them
may not be quite appreciative of the stone,
but the stone remains ever content.


(Selected by Sojun from a traditional Zen text)

Jizo Ceremony for Those Who Have Died

The loss of a loved one often opens a well of profound grief. No matter whether the loved one dies suddenly or slowly, whether through illness, accident, miscarriage, abortion, or suicide, our sorrow is deep and may be long-lasting. To help families and friends in their process of grief, we will honor our lost loved ones in a ceremony in our Jizo garden on Saturday, October 14, 1:00-3:00 pm.
Jizo, the Earth Store Bodhisattva, is viewed as a guide and protector for those who are enduring the loss of a loved one, particularly a child lost in miscarriage, stillbirth, abortion, or in early life. Jizo’s vow is to remain in the world until all beings are free from suffering, and he accompanies children when they pass out of this world.
Before the ceremony we will spend time making a personal memorial for a lost one, by writing a message or by making a simple necklace, a robe for our Jizo statue, or other offering. Attendees are also invited to bring a picture of their loved one or other personal tokens of remembrance for our altar.
The ceremony will be led by two BZC priests, Gerry Oliva and Judy Fleischman. All BZC members, members of other Zen groups, and neighborhood residents are invited to attend. A more detailed description will be posted on the BZC courtyard bulletin board. There is no fee but offerings of dana are welcome. We will not have a sign-up sheet, but request that those attending let us know in advance so that we can have adequate supplies and refreshments. For more information or to let us know that you’re coming, contact Gerry Oliva at or (520) 652-7217.

CPR and AED Class Saturday, October 21, 12:00 - 2:00 pm

“Life is too important not to be prepared.” On Saturday, October 21, Chris Peters and Lifesaver CPR will be offering a CPR and AED class in the BZC community room from 12:00-2:00 p.m. This class is free for BZC members (though a contribution of any size to offset the cost of the class would be appreciated). Cost to nonmembers is $45, payable by check in advance to BZC. Please sign up on the BZC bulletin board with your email address and contact information, and also send an email to Nancy Suib at for further information and a registration form. Prior first responders, please register for this class if your certification was obtained more than two years ago.
Please consider becoming a part of our health team! Becoming a First Responder is a great way to ensure the well-being and safety of our sangha.

Oryoki Training

Are you ready to deepen your formal meal practice in the zendo? Would you like to explore and learn how to use oryoki bowls with cloths? Please look for flyers on the bulletin board for monthly half-hour trainings. Upcoming instructions will be happening Saturday, September 23, 11:30 a.m. to noon; and Friday, October 20, 4:30-5:00 p.m. You can also contact Sue Oehser at (510) 339-0243 or to arrange some other time.
Mary Stares from San Francisco Zen Center gave a wonderful talk about the spirit of oryoki which you can find at

Men’s Shelter Dinner: Join Us!

A BZC crew cooks and serves Friday night dinner at the Berkeley Men’s Shelter twice a month, every month—and we’ve been doing it for 20 years! Lance Shows and Laurie Senauke take turns being head cook. Every time, they need two or three volunteers to be assistant cooks, four more people to serve food and clean up the shelter kitchen at the end of the meal, and someone to provide dessert.
It’s satisfying work, a good way to get to know other BZC members, and a chance to contribute to the well-being of others. More help is always needed. Sign up on the community room porch bulletin board or let Lance and Laurie know that you are interested and we will send you a reminder a few days before the next date: or

Caregiver Support Meeting

Are you helping a loved one with health challenges or to do things that they used to do for themselves? Many in our sangha are doing so. Being responsible for another can be an unrelenting practice. Sangha Support is sponsoring a gathering to share experiences, tips, and resources to support your efforts, facilitated by Laurie Senauke and Debbie Schley. All are welcome to come on Sunday, September 17, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m., at the Senauke house, 1933 Russell. Please RSVP at the contact info below (there won’t be a sign-up sheet for this). Also contact us if you’d like more information, or if this topic is of interest but you will not be able to attend. Please contact Debbie at or (503) 505-4282.

Just Out! Vol. 1 of Sojun Roshi’s Lectures

For BZC’s 50th anniversary we have produced a thumb drive with 80 digitized lectures—Volume 1 of Sojun Mel Weitsman’s recorded dharma talks at Berkeley Zen Center. The first recording is a talk by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi at BZC in January 1970. The remaining files cover Sojun Roshi’s first recorded lectures at Russell Street, given between November 1980 and May 1983.
This set of recordings represents the first step in the proposed digitization of all Sojun Roshi’s lectures, and those of other BZC teachers. In the long run, we would like to create a searchable library of transcribed texts. These recordings offer a vivid picture of Sojun Roshi’s dharma, extending the Zen essence he received from Shunryu Suzuki Roshi.
This elegant and portable thumb drive will be available for the nominal price of $10.

Nominations for the BZC Board

Every year the sangha elects three of six members-at-large to terms of two years to the BZC Board. There is a two-term limit. Elections take place in October and the new term starts in January 2018. The Board will present its three nominees at the all-sangha meeting on Tuesday evening, September 12. Other nominations can be made by sangha members at that time from the floor. Two current members-at-large who are now serving their first term, Katy Guimond and Mary Beth Lamb, have agreed to be Board nominees for a second term. Laurie Senauke, another current member-at-large, has been appointed by the Board and Sojun to be the BZC treasurer, so her seat is open. The Board will thus be considering whom to nominate to fill the one vacant member-at-large position. We would like to receive suggestions from BZC members. If you have a suggested candidate or are yourself interested in being nominated, please contact the Board Recruitment and Elections Committee chair, Stan Dewey, at Please include any relevant information about why you think the person you mention would be a good BZC Board member.