All posts by Troy DuFrene

Sojun’s Winter Koan Class

Sojun will present a koan class series in January and March. Taking off from our recent Aspects practice period, he’ll select cases from our Chinese Ch’an ancestors and the three main koan collections: the Blue Cliff Record, Book of Serenity, and Mumonkan (Gateless Gate). Across these collections he’ll focus on multiple koans all relating to a particular teacher, and cover a limited number of teachers in this fashion as time permits. So not only do we get to take on the meaning of the case, but we’ll also get a feel for the character and style of the teacher its centered on.
The series will cover six Monday evening dates from over the two months. All classes begin at 7:15 pm and end at 8:45 pm.  These will be the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Mondays of the month. 1/11, 1/18, 1/25, 3/14, 3/21, 3/28. This is the first time he has taught a Monday evening class. The sign up will be posted on the patio board after Rohatsu or you send an email to Ron at rnestor1@yahoo.com. Cost is $60/series, but if you want to attend for just one month @ $30, that’s okay. This will not be a drop in class and as always discounts are available by talking to Ron.

Special Announcement: Rohatsu Sesshin Information Sunday, 29 November - Saturday, 5 December

This year’s Rohatsu sesshin, led by Sojun Mel Weitsman, begins on November 29 and ends on December 5. Each day begins at 5:00 am and ends at 9:00 pm, with the exception of the final day, which ends at 5:00 pm.

Times open to non-sesshin participants are:
  • Sunday
    • 10:15 am  Lecture
  • Monday – Friday
    • 5:50 am zazen
    • 10:15 am lecture
    • 5:40 pm zazen
  • Saturday
    • 5:50am zazen
    • 8:45am zazen instruction
    • 9:30am zazen
    • 10:15 am lecture

Everyone is also invited to attend these ceremonies:

  • Monday, November 30: Suzuki Roshi Annual Memorial at 7:40 pm (not 8:20 pm)
  • Saturday, December 5: Buddha’s Enlightenment Ceremony immediately after lecture
Please note that the following activities will not occur this week:
  •  Wednesday night drop-in group will not meet on December 2.
  • Family practice will not occur on December 5.

Rohatsu Sesshin Times Open to Non-Participants

The following periods, lectures, and ceremonies during Rohatsu are open to all:

Sunday, November 29

  • 5:50am zazen
  • 10:15am lecture

Monday  – Friday, November 30  – December 4

  • 5:50am zazen
  • 10:15am lecture
  • 5:40pm zazen
  • 7:40pm Annual Suzuki Roshi Memorial Ceremony (Monday, November 30 only)

Saturday, December 5

  • 5:50am zazen
  • 8:45am zazen instruction
  • 9:30am zazen
  • 10:15am lecture, followed by Buddha’s Enlightenment Ceremony

E-Voting Comes to BZC 2015 Board Election to Be Conducted on World Wide Web...Mostly

Overview

To date, BZC elections have been conducted using sequentially numbered paper ballot slips, which  are made available for eligible members on the patio bulletin board table. Members are given a window of time in which to vote using the paper slips by marking their choices and returning their ballots to  the laundry room door slot.

Presumably, this system as been adequate for our needs so far. A move to eVoting from the standing  paper system, however, makes BZC elections more convenient, accessible, easy to execute, and it could addresses several possible  (though unlikely) problems with the paper system:
● It is possible that single members or non-­members may cast multiple votes
● It is possible for non-­members to vote
● Members who don’t frequent the grounds yet are entitled to vote may not notice the notice in the newsletter preceding the election

How It Works

BZC eVoting  relies on a tokenized, anonymous web survey link emailed to each eligible  member. “Tokenized” means that the link is unique and issued just to one member (by email address).  Once the token is used by a member to submit a ballot, the token expires and is no longer usable.  The token is encrypted when associated with the ballot results, so that, even though a token can be  revoked and the related ballot data removed from the totals, the results are completely  anonymous. We can verify whether a particular member has voted but not how her or she has voted.

Once you get your ballot email, click the link it contains. Then, just follow the instructions on the screen. Voting should take you no more than two minutes, and that’s if you have to think about your votes very carefully.

But I Don’t Have an Email Account!!

While there are relatively few members without email addresses on file with the business office, there are a few. If you’re one of them, you’ll be receiving a paper ballot in the mail, which will contain instructions and information about deadlines. If you receive one, you may return your paper ballot by mail to the business office or push it through the laundry-room door slot.

What’s Next?

The polls for the 2015 election will open on October 1st, 2015.

For E-Voters

If you have an email address on file with the business office, you’ll receive your ballot email before 12:00 pm PDT on October 1st, 2015. If you don’t get it, please check your spam folder. If it’s not there, please email office manager Tamar Enoch at bzcofficemanager@gmail.com for a replacement ballot. Please note that you can only use your ballot link once, and you must complete the ballot in a single session. If you have trouble, email Tamar about that too.

Now would be a very good time for you to update the business office with your correct email if you need to make a change.

For Paper Voters

Paper ballots will be mailed to eligible members on October 1st, 2015. If you haven’t received your ballot in the mail by October 8th, please contact the Tamar for a replacement. You’ll need to complete your ballot and seal it in the internal, anonymous envelope provided. You can mail it in to the business office, but please be sure to postmark your ballot not later than Friday, October 23rd, 2015, to make sure it arrives at BZC by the October 31st, 2015, deadline. Ballots that arrive later than October 31st, 2015, will not be counted. You can put your paper ballot through the laundry-room door slot until midnight on October 31st, 2015 (and if you come that night, you might also want to wear a costume and bring a bag for candy.)

Family Sesshin: Not Just for Families Sunday, October 5, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Dharma brothers and sisters: we’re all just one big happy family, right? On Sunday, October 5, BZC will be offering its third annual ground-breaking Family Sesshin for all ages and stages of being. The day will begin at 9:00 am and go until 4:00 pm. It will include zazen, service, a mindful walk, work period, theater games, art projects, stories, and other fun activities for all ages. As usual, we need non-parents and non-children for ballast! You can attend all or part. Please sign up on the zendo bulletin board. Questions? E-mail Laurie Senauke (lauries@kushiki.org).

One Day Sesshin: Aspects of Practice Period Opens Saturday, October 18, 5:00 am – 9:00 pm

The Aspects of Practice opening sesshin, led by Laurie Senauke, will take place on Saturday, October 18. We encourage both long-term and new sangha members to participate. Please sign up on the patio bulletin board by Wednesday morning, October 15, after zazen. If this is your first sesshin at BZC, we recommend that you first participate in a full Saturday program and also speak with the sesshin director. The fee is $35 and should be paid in advance (a discounted fee is possible; please speak to the director). Put checks marked “October 18 sesshin” in the courtyard laundry room door mail slot or mail to the BZC office manager at 1931 Russell St., Berkeley 94703. You can also use the bill pay option on your banks’ website with the notation “October Sesshin fee.”

Please feel free to contact the sesshin director, Gerry Oliva at (510) 652-7217 or sesshindirectorbzc@gmail.com if you have any questions.