All posts by BZC News

Lay Ordination Saturday, June 9, 2018, 3:00 pm

This year’s Zaike Tokudo (Lay Ordination Ceremony) will take place on Saturday, June 9, at 3:00 p.m. in the zendo. Cheryl Gordon will receive lay ordination from Sojun Roshi. Rhiana Wiggins and Greg Smith will receive lay ordination from Hozan Sensei. Congratulations in advance to the ordinees, who have been studying and sewing diligently with our sewing teacher, Jean Selkirk. Everyone is encouraged to attend the ceremony and the reception afterwards. Check the zendo bulletin board for details and please sign up for assistance with preparation and cleanup.

Tenzo Kyokun Class Thursdays, May 10 - June 11, 2018, 7:15 - 8:45 pm

he subject of our Practice Period class will be the Tenzo Kyokun, Master Dogen’s teaching for the head of the kitchen, as an example of complete engagement in the Way. The whole of Dogen Zenji’s Shobogenzo is expressed in this practical manual of day-to-day, moment-to-moment enlightened activity of continuous awakening—the special quality of nothing special. This is a great opportunity to find your way into Dogen’s teaching, which is at the heart of our practice.

Classes will be on four Thursday evenings AND one Friday evening in the zendo, 7:15‒8:45 pm. The dates are May 10, 17, and 24 and June  1 and 7. The fee for the five classes is $50, payable at our first meeting. Discounts are available if needed and can be arranged at the first class. This series is open to everyone, not just Practice Period participants.

Five-Day Sesshin: Close of Practice Period June 13 - 17, 2018

In June, Sojun Roshi will lead the five-day sesshin to close the spring practice period, which will culminate with the Shuso Hossen ceremony. Please arrange your life commitments to participate fully a minimum of three days. The fee is $35 per day and should be paid in advance. The signup list will be posted two weeks ahead of time. If you have never participated in a sesshin or if you have any questions, please contact sesshin director Gary Artim ( or (510)676-9756).

Spring Practice Period

Our 30th annual practice period will begin with a one-day sesshin on Saturday, May 5, and continue through the Shuso Ceremony on Sunday, June 17. Sojun Roshi invites everyone to increase their commitment to practice during this period while still tend-ing to their obligations outside the gate. Sojun has invited Honkyo Joso Ellen Webb to be the Shuso this year, sharing the Abbot’s seat and setting an example for us all. Rondi Saslow will serve as Benji, assisting the Shuso.

For a practice period application and detailed descriptions of practice period activities, see the main bulletin board shelf. Please fill out the application and return it to Shuso Ellen Webb’s mail slot on the community room porch by Monday, April 30.

Remember that in addition to signing up for practice period and turning in an application form, you need to sign up separately for all the individual practice period events. See the bulletin board for these signup sheets.

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!