Category Archives: News

Friday Tea Time

Every Friday at 5:00‒5:30 p.m. (just before the afternoon zazen period) BZC welcomes members and friends for tea, tasty treats, and informal discussion, hosted by a rotating team of BZC senior students. Weather permitting, we meet in the garden; otherwise, in the community room.

Oryoki Training

I invite you to take advantage of the next oryoki training, especially before Aspects of Practice. I will be offering it Saturday, September 21, and Saturday, October 19, either in the zendo or in the community room, from 11:30 to 12:15 after morning program, or by appoint­ment. Please contact me, Sue Oehser, at (510) 339-0243 (voice, not text), or text (510) 541-3264, or soehser@earthlink.net for questions or to arrange another time to meet.

Briefer oryoki instruction is also offered before breakfast at all full Saturday morning programs, except during sesshins.

Walkway Upgrading

BZC volunteers joined together in August to rebuild the brick walkway alongside the zendo wheelchair ramp. The walk was widened to 36” and flattened out, to make it easier for people using wheelchairs and walkers to move smoothly into the zendo. Thanks to Ross Blum, Cheryl Gordon, Matt Haug, Rob Lyons, Susan Marvin, Ron Nestor, Alex Senauke, Laurie Senauke, and Lance Shows for their contributions!

Sangha Support Network: List Renewal and Updating

The Sangha Support Network email list needs to be rebuilt, due to a computer glitch that deleted many people off the list. Whether you’ve been on the email list all along, or are interested in joining for the first time, please email me at eahorowitz1@gmail.com with your name and email address and I’ll put you (back) on the list. And please be sure to add me to your email Contacts list so my emails don’t land in your spam folder!

For those of you unfamiliar with the Sangha Support Network, here’s what it is:

When a sangha member needs temporary assistance or support, usually due to a medical issue, we recruit members to help out. Assist­ance may include driving to an appointment, doing errands, preparing a meal, helping in the home, or assisting with child or pet care. Support may include visiting someone at home or in the hospital, providing caregiver relief, or providing emotional support.

Requests for assistance are generally infrequent, and you will never be expected to respond unless the spirit moves you. Even if you doubt you’ll ever have time to volunteer, you can be on the email list just in case someday a request feels like the right thing for you to take on. Nobody is ever asked to help out more than they’re comfortable doing.

Here is what one sangha member who received help from the Sangha Support Network (and who subsequently has volunteered to help others) wrote about that experience:

“Thanks for organizing this. This is a deeply important job for all of us—both by making help available to those who need it and also by making the jobs okay/manageable for people to do them. I received monumental amounts of help. . . . It’s such a special skill to be able to offer the opportunity to help to the degree one is comfortable and to stop or draw lines when that feels appropriate. That kind of thing is so hard to manage when the person needing help has to ask people directly. . . . Sangha Support provides all of us a great service: Those who need assistance can get it; those who want to help others but are not comfortable signing on for open-ended situations, can offer specific and limited help.”

Liz Horowitz, coordinator
Laurie Senauke, assistant coordinator

Lay Entrustment

In the quiet dawn hours of July 22, 2019, a Lay Entrustment ceremony was held for Seishi Tetsudo Ross Blum and Sentei Kokyo Susan Marvin, performed by Sojun Roshi and Hozan Sensei. The ceremony was a recognition of two seasoned practitioners’ commitment and deep understanding of the Dharma. Ross and Susan received green rakusus and each gave a short talk and responded to formal questions. Here are some words from our new Lay Entrustees:

Ross: “Having finally gone through this bamboo tube I feel I can both rest in the stillness of this acknowledgment and trust Sojun Roshi has bestowed, and continue the activity of supporting our temple in the myriad forms available to us.”

Susan: “I very much appreciate practicing with Sojun and our Sangha through thick and thin. May we continue to practice together with heart and humor and continuous effort.”

Walk to Feed the Hungry Saturday, October 5, 2019

BZC is pleased to be one of the hosts for this year’s Walk to Feed the Hungry, organized by Buddhist Global Relief, a worldwide social welfare project begun in 2007 by Bhikkhu Bodhi. The Berkeley date is Saturday after­noon, October 5. Please register, donate, and join us for the whole march, or come and greet the marchers at BZC around 3:00 p.m.

Registration is from 12:00 noon to 12:45 p.m. at Dharma College, 2222 Harold Way, Berkeley, near the downtown Berkeley Post Office. The walk (2.5 miles) will begin at 1:00 p.m. We will stop for rest, refreshment, and brief presentations at the Berkeley Buddhist Temple and Berkeley Zen Center, then return to Dharma College, concluding about 4:30.

For information and registration, or to make a donation, see: www.firstgiving.com/event/BuddhistGlobalRelief/2019-Berkeley-CA-Walk-to-Feed-the-Hungry or contact Dhammadipa Konin Cardenas: bk_walk@buddhistglobalrelief.org

Aspects of Practice

Gerry Oliva, along with other BZC senior students, will lead our annual four-week Aspects of Practice. It will begin with a one-day sesshin on Sunday, October 6 (5:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) and continue through the closing sesshin on Saturday, November 2 (5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.).

As always, this is an opportunity for new and old students to make or intensify their commitment to practice through an emphasis on following basic forms of zazen, partici­pating in sangha activities, and studying the Dharma here at BZC. Participants are encouraged to sign up for practice discussion, attend weekly classes, participate in an entire Saturday program, and attend Friday afternoon tea. Information on the study topics will be posted on the bulletin board with copies of any reading materials.

This year there will be two opportunities to ask questions about Aspects and how to complete the Aspects sign-up sheet before the practice period starts: A senior student will be available in the community room after Saturday lecture on September 21 and 28.

Sign-up sheets for Aspects of Practice and the Thursday evening classes will be posted two weeks before the program starts. Please sign up for the October 6 sesshin on a separate sign-up sheet on the patio bulletin board by Wednesday, October 2, 7:00 a.m.

Friday Tea Time

Every Friday at 5:00‒5:30 p.m. (just before the afternoon zazen period) BZC welcomes members and friends for tea, tasty treats, and informal discussion, hosted by a rotating team of BZC senior students. Weather permitting, we meet in the garden; otherwise, in the community room.

Oryoki Training

Oryoki training is available with Sue Oehser by appointment during July and August. Please contact her at 510-339-0243 (voice, not text) or soehser@earthlink.net to schedule a time to learn or fine-tune your oryoki practice.

Briefer oryoki instruction is also offered before breakfast at all full Saturday morning programs, except during sesshins.