All posts by BZC News

Position Changes

Gary Artim will take over from Ken Powelson and join Peter Overton as Co-Sesshin Director.

Community room porch bulletin boards will be maintained by Peter Carpentieri and Ko Blix, assuming the push pins from Afsaneh Michaels.

Heather Burns and Todd Gilens, our newsletter distribution team, will pass the position on to Alexander Coward.

Rhiana Wiggins will assume the role of Kitchen Keeper from Shingetsu Teri Jo Tinus.

Thanks to you all for your dedication! 🙏

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? Next trainings will be March 3 (after Saturday program from 11:30 to noon) and April 13 (Friday 4:30 to 5:00 p.m.) Check the courtyard bulletin board for the sign-up sheet or just drop in. Contact Sue Oehser ((510) 339-0243 or if you have questions or want to pick another date.

BZC Board News

The BZC Board is very pleased to announce that the new Vice President is Carol Paul. Since this change was not made prior to the election last October, she will serve as interim Vice Pres­i­dent until next October, when her name will be put forward to the sangha for ratification.

The Board is also pleased to welcome Gregory Smith as its new Recording Secretary.

Sangha members are welcome to attend board meetings. The agenda for meetings will be posted on the two Yahoo group lists several days in advance of each meeting, so that members can see if items of interest will be addressed. The meeting dates in 2018 are: March 18, April 29, May 20, June 10, July 15, August 19, September 16, October 14, and November 18. It has been our practice not to meet in December, and one of the meetings during the summer may be canceled.

All-sangha potlucks are scheduled for March 20 and September 25.

In the next few weeks we will be asking you to fill out a short questionnaire. This will help us update our knowledge of the experience and skills within the sangha. Your response will help us plan our work projects during the year ahead.

20s/30s Hills and Streams Sesshin April 20 - 22, 2018

BZC’s 20s and 30s Dharma Group is happy to announce it will be hosting its fourth annual “Hills and Streams” backpacking sesshin, from Friday, April 20, through Sunday, April 22 (plus a mandatory orientation meeting on Thursday, April 19). The sesshin will be held at Sky Camp in Point Reyes. You can sign up either at BZC or online at the BZC website. Cancellation deadline is April 8.

The topic of discussion (led by Gerry Oliva) will be the concept of “Acceptance and Radical Acceptance in Zen Buddhism.” We will be reading from Suzuki Roshi’s talks on the koans “Every Day Is a Good Day” and “Sun-Faced Buddha, Moon-Faced Buddha,” and also Thich Nhat Hahn’s poem “Call Me by My True Name.” This is an intensive meditation retreat which will involve significant hiking and will maintain (to the extent possible) a sesshin atmosphere and practice. This includes long periods of silence, sitting zazen, and shared responsibilities (cooking, cleaning, etc.). If you are new to backpacking or to sesshins, please speak with the directors, Sandeep Lehil or Chris Frost. This sesshin is a wonderful way to connect with other young sangha members and experience practice in wilderness. If you or someone you know is interested in attending, please email Sandeep ( or Chris ( We hope to see many old and new faces there!

Upcoming Sesshins

March 24 and April 28 are two sesshin dates to mark on your calendar. Both sesshins are on Saturday, with a 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. schedule.

The March 24 sesshin will be led by Gerry Oliva. The April 28 one will be led by Sojun Roshi and will begin our practice period.

The fee for each sesshin is $35, and should be paid in advance. Leave checks marked with the name of the sesshin in the laundry room door donation slot. Please contact sesshin director Peter Overton ( with any question or concerns.

New Year’s Eve Sitting and Celebration December 31, 2017, 8:00 pm - 1:30 am

Join us on Sunday evening, December 31, for the chance to ring in the New Year with the quiet and reflection of zazen, punctuated by 108 soundings of the bell to mark the last 108 minutes of 2017 and a bonfire after midnight. Everyone is welcome to attend any portion of the program, entering the zendo during kinhin or the beginning of a period of zazen.     The schedule is:

8:00 Zazen
8:35 Kinhin
8:45 Zazen
9:20 Kinhin
9:30 Zazen
10:05 Tea
10:14 108 Bells Begin
10:30 Kinhin
10:40 Zazen
11:20 Kinhin
11:35 Zazen
12:05 Slow Heart Sutra

A celebration will follow that included refreshments in the community room and a bonfire in the courtyard.

Please enter the zendo only during kinhin (periods of walking meditation). If you arrive during a period of zazen, you may sit in the community room or join in the preparations.