All are warmly invited to the annual Berkeley Zen Center Campout, scheduled for July 11-12. We’ve reserved a group campsite in nearby Tilden Park, and will meet for a potluck dinner and possibly a short hike, as well as s’mores and songs around the campfire, sleeping under the stars, and waking up to oatmeal and coffee/tea/cocoa in the morning. Join us to pass on the campfire rounds we grew up with, tell stories, and learn the latest songs from our own kids.
All ages are welcome! If you prefer not to stay for the night, come for the dinner and company. If you would like to stay but are missing a tent or sleeping bag, let us know, and we can almost definitely find one for you. Contact email@example.com if you have questions, and look for a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board in mid-June.
Practice period at BZC this spring begins with the Opening Ceremony on the afternoon of Saturday, May 2 and ends with the Shuso Ceremony on Sunday, June 14. Sojun Roshi has invited Susan Marvin — Sentei Kunka — Spring Garden/Virtuous Influence to be shuso and serve as exemplar of devoted practice for us. We invite BZC members to participate in this time of intensified practice. The full schedule of events is on the BZC website and the bulletin board.
To participate, please complete a registration form on the bulletin board shelf. You must also sign up separately for sesshin and a number of events, even though you may have noted them in your registration form. Those sign-up sheets will be posted.
There are some requirements for participation in the practice period. These are detailed on the registration form. The spirit of this practice is expressed by Sojun Roshi in his words here.
The start of this year’s spring practice period will coincide with a major milestone in BZC’s presence on the World Wide Web. Our completely new WordPress-built website will go live on May 1.
The new site will introduce several new features, including:
- Podcasting for our dharma talks and classes (subscribe through iTunes or RSS)
- Live calendars of upcoming events, family practice events, and 20s and 30s group events
- Faster downloads of files, including the newsletter PDFs
- Better image gallery views
The best part is that you won’t need to do anything to enjoy the new site. Simply continue to visit www.berkeleyzencenter.org as you always have. If you miss any features from the old site, catch any errors, or have any other feedback, please drop our webmaster, Troy DuFrene, a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Barbara Stevens Strauss created a beautiful white vase and donated it to BZC in memory of Nancy McClellan, and Andrea Thach donated a special black Japanese vase. These vessels will be used and loved.
There were a number of mistakes in the BZC directory this year. We are preparing an erratum that we mail out to our Yahoo groups in a few weeks. If you would like to have one sent to you by regular mail, please contact the office manager at (510) 845-2403 or email@example.com.
If you stay for breakfast on Saturday morning it is expected that you will stay for the following work period (samu).
Morning moon gives birth to a shadow
Robe chant reveals a rakusu-berét
Moon sets, sun rises and the bell ends this movie
—Ross Estes Blum
Weaving our lives
We’re working from the underside
as tapestry makers do.
We’re looking at the wispy bits of yarn
and the knots. It looks so messy.
Only toward the end of life
can we turn it over, see the whole.
Then we say—
“Oh yes, there is a pattern here.”
— Meghan Collins
So tell me, Daisy, destroyer of tennis balls and pine cones,
Those big brown black-lab eyes,
Does a dog have Buddha-nature?
What about your new friend, Lola?
She reeks of strong puppy-nature, that’s for sure!
Sunday, I moved the zafu to the garden shed.
Bare wood, a pile of boards for an altar.
Tonight the rain drums on the roof,
Dribbles from shingles to puddles on the path,
Transports me across time and space to the attic
Of the big old house on Dwight.
No roosters here, nor fire trucks,
Only Daisy snuffling through the bushes.
She steps into the light from the candle,
Her big, blunt snout hovers over the altar
Next to the incense. Without a sound
She sets in place an old wet pine cone.
— Bud Bliss. Bud writes from Oregon: “Some readers may remember sounds from sitting in the attic zendo on Dwight. We buried Daisy with this poem from 1999 a couple of years ago. “