Category Archives: News

Changing Hands

You may have already noticed that we have a new Saturday work leader. Ed Herzog has stepped into this role and is now responsible for leading us during our Saturday work period. We offer many thanks to Bruce Coughran for filling this position for almost two years. His quiet steady presence on Saturday mornings helped us all pay attention as we worked together to care for our temple.

Dharma Group Opening

There are a few openings in Jake and Leslie’s dharma group. We meet in the zendo about once a month on a Saturday, 12:30-2:30pm. Our time together includes zazen, a short check-in, and reading and discussing a text. We are currently reading Not Always So. Our intention is to relate our Zen teachings to our everyday lives through our discussion of these texts. Please contact Jake or Leslie at lbartholic@comcast.net if you are interested in joining this group.

CPR/AED Training

BZC is offering a class for training in adult and child Lifesaver CPR and use of our AED. The class will be held on Saturday April 18 from 12:30-2:30pm. Attendees will receive CPR certification. The cost is $40. It’s very important that we have sangha members trained and certified in these skills, so please consider joining this class. See Margret Wotkyns, health and safety manager,  with any questions. Sign-up deadline is April 1.

Opening of Practice Period Sesshin Saturday, May 2, 5:00am – 9:00pm

Sojun Mel Weitsman will lead a one-day sesshin on Saturday, May 2, from 5:00am–9:00pm. This will include an entering ceremony for our shuso for the Spring Practice Period.  We encourage old and new sangha members to participate. This is a great opportunity to start off the practice period and to support the shuso. Please sign up on the patio bulletin board by Wednesday morning, April 29 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 “May sesshin” in the mail slot in the courtyard laundry room door 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 and make the notation “May sesshin fee.”

If you have questions, contact the sesshin director, Jake Van Akkeren at sesshindirectorbzc@gmail.com or (925) 933 – 3486 before 9:00pm.

One-Day Sesshin Sunday, April 12, 5:00am – 5:00pm

Denkei Raul Moncayo will lead a one-day sesshin on Sunday, April 12, from 5:00am–5:00pm. This is a good way get ready for the spring practice period in May. We encourage old and new sangha members to participate. Please sign up on the patio bulletin board by Wednesday morning, April 8 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 “April sesshin” in the mail slot in the courtyard laundry room door 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 and make the notation “April sesshin fee.”

If you have questions, contact the sesshin director, Gerry Oliva at sesshindirectorbzc@ gmail.com or (510) 652-7217.

Buddha’s Birthday Saturday, April 4, 8:30am

This year Buddha’s Birthday will be celebrated at BZC on April 4. Please bring family and friends! Children are especially encouraged to attend. The celebration will include a song by the children and birthday cake.

An important part of the day is bathing the baby Buddha. Everyone is invited to help decorate his flower bower from 7:30 – 8:30am. Flowers from your garden such as iris, daisy, ranunculus, sweet William, and camellia are appreciated.

The Saturday program will begin at 8:30am with a work period, followed by zazen, a short lecture, and the ceremony. Information is posted on the bulletin board. Questions? Please contact head chiden Stephanie Seaborg at slseaborg@gmail.com.

Spring Practice Period

Our annual spring practice period will begin with a one-day sitting on Saturday, May 2 and continue through the shuso ceremony on Sunday, June 14. Sojun Roshi invites everyone to increase their commitment to practice during this period while still tending to their obligations outside the gate.

Sojun Roshi has invited Sentei Kunka Susan Marvin—Spring Garden/Virtuous Influence—to be the shuso this year, sharing the abbot’s seat and setting an example for us all. Chodo Kaiku Dean Bradley—Wild Bird Path/Open Sky—will serve as benji, assisting the shuso.

There will be a Thursday night class with Sojun Roshi, with the topic to be announced. You can download the detailed  2015 Practice Period Calendar. Practice period applications will be available on the main bulletin board shelf in April. Please fill one out and return it to the shuso’s box on the community room porch by Mon., April 27.

In addition to signing up for practice period and turning in a registration form, sign up separately for a number of the individual practice period events. See the bulletin board for signup sheets.

Practice Period Events

  • Opening Sesshin: May 2, 5:00am to 9:00pm
  • Opening/Shuso Entering Ceremony: May 2, about 4:00pm
  • Shuso Talks/Lectures: May 4, 16, 22, and 30
  • Classes: Thursday evenings, May 7-June 4, 7:15-8:45pm
  • Bansan (tea and dharma discussion with the abbot): Friday, May 15, 5:40pm
  • Dinner and Skit Night: Saturday, May 23
  • Shosan (dharma dialogue with the abbot): June 5, 5:40pm and June 8, 5:40am
  • Lay Ordination: Saturday, June 6, 3:00pm
  • Five-Day Sesshin: June 10 to 14
  • Shuso Hossen (dharma dialogue with the shuso): Sunday, June 14

Changing Hands

We are grateful to Gary Artim for being our oryoki instructor for the past two years. He offered instruction in this form for groups and individuals, conveying both the simplicity and details of this way of receiving and eating our food in the zendo. Thank you, Gary! We welcome Alexandra Frappier to this position. She will be offering instruction to groups several times a year. Keep an eye on the bulletin board for the dates for this. You may also contact Alexandra directly if you wish to schedule instruction for another time.