Category Archives: News

Sangha Support Is for Helpers Too Sunday, August 9, 4:00pm – 5:30pm

Are you helping a loved one do things they used to do for themselves? Many in our sangha are doing so. Sangha Support is sponsoring a gathering to share experiences, tips, and resources to support your efforts, facilitated by Laurie Senauke and Debbie Schley. All are welcome to come on August 9, 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm, at the Senauke house, 1933 Russell.

Please RSVP at the contact info below (there won’t be a sign-up sheet for this). Also contact us if you’d like more information, or if this topic is of interest but you can’t attend:,, (503) 505-4282 (Debbie).

Caring for Buddha’s Robe

If you need assistance (or simply time and space) with rakusu/okesa/robe repairs, replacement, or finishing already started rakusu, the following dates are on the calendar. Each session is from 1-5pm except as noted. Please contact the sewing teacher, Jean Selkirk at (510) 655-0820, before you attend the first time. Any changes to the schedule will be made on the bulletin board.

Material fees only apply for envelopes or new (second or replacement) rakusu, and the usual class fee applies for new rakusu, which must be started by the end of August. Starting first rakusu for Lay Ordination will begin in January as usual. If you are considering this, please speak with your teacher and then also speak with the sewing teacher before the winter break begins.

Sunday August 2 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Saturday August 22 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Sunday August 30 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Saturday September 19 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Sunday September 27 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Saturday October 10 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Sunday October 18 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Sunday November 8 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Changing Hands

We are deeply grateful to Mark Copithorne for being our audio archivist for the past two years. He has done a great job of getting our Saturday talks and classes onto the website in a timely manner. We welcome Dean Bradley to this position.

Jen Taylor has been our newsletter editor these past three years. Each month she has solicited items, then formatted and edited them to produce a well-designed and informative document that conveys vital information to our sangha about our temple. Jen has done a wonderful job as newsletter editor. Thank you, Jen! Greg Denny has graciously agreed to step into this position.

Zazenkai: A Day of Just Sitting Sunday, July 12, 2015, 8:00 am - 5:10 pm

Sunday, July 12 , from 8:00 am to 5:10 pm, BZC priest Ryushin Andrea Thach will lead a silent one-day sitting. This will be a rare opportunity to spend a day doing nothing but zazen, kinhin, bowing and eating. We will maintain silence throughout, with the exception of bells to mark meditation periods, and chanting the Refuges aloud at 5:10 pm.

Participants should plan to come for the whole day. A break from 12:20 pm – 1:00 pm will allow time for sack lunches to be eaten in the community room or, if we’re enjoying fair weather, outdoors.

There will be a ten-minute period of bowing at your own pace prior to the lunch break, and we will have two periods of fast kinhin. Both of these activities can be adapted to harmonize with individual needs and abilities.

A sign-up sheet and further information will be posted on the courtyard bulletin board. The fee is $20.

Please feel free to contact Andrea Thach, if you have any questions

BZC Campout July 11 - 12, 2015

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 if you have questions, and look for a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board in mid-June.

Nepal Earthquake Relief

At the May 31 meeting, the BZC board voted to donate $1,000 to the Upaya Zen Center Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund. Upaya Zen Center has a community network of Buddhist chaplains and other public servants in Nepal who use local knowledge and resources to efficiently get emergency supplies to underserved areas damaged in the recent earthquake.

The board invites community members to consider joining them in this response.

Four-Day Mountains and Rivers Sesshin July 30 - August 2, 2015

The annual Mountains and Rivers Sesshin will take place Thursday through Sunday, July 30 – August 2, 2015, at Point Reyes.

Ryushin Andrea Thach will be joining us as doshi (officiating priest). Ryushin will be leading our daily discussions of Dogen’s “Mountains and Rivers Sutra” and/or other topics of her choice, and she will also be available for one-on-one practice discussions during our free time periods on Friday and Saturday afternoons.

The sesshin will begin with an orientation meeting Wednesday evening, July 29, in the community room. Thursday morning we will carpool to Point Reyes, then hike from the Bear Valley Visitors’ Center to Coast Camp, moving at a moderate pace with frequent rest stops and lunch along the way. We will get back to Berkeley around 5:00 pm Sunday. All meals are provided and camping experience is not required. Everyone is encouraged to do the full four days, but provision will also be made for those who may have to arrive late.

The sign-up sheet will be posted on the BZC bulletin board. Sign-up deadline is Saturday, July 25. The fee is $75. If you have any questions, please contact Christy Calame at

Lay Ordination

On Saturday, June 6, seven members of the Berkeley Zen Center sangha received lay ordination (zaike tokudo) from Sojun Weitsman Roshi and Hozan Senauke Sensei. This ceremony takes place once a year at BZC and is a significant rite of passage for each participant and for the whole sangha. We have the feeling that we are all together witnessing and participating as the ordinees receive Buddha’s precepts. We welcome these ordinees into the lineage of Shakyamuni Buddha and Suzuki Roshi’s family.

Hozan Sensei’s Students
Deb Self
Jin Kai Myô Gen
Compassionate Ocean Subtle Source

Sojun Roshi’s students
Michael Cole
Kô Shin Dai Ki
Vast Mind Great Capacity

Jeanne Courtney
Mon Shin Hô Etsu
Listening Heart Dharma Joy

 Kelsey Hermann
Ten Fu Hô Sei
Heavenly Wind Abundant Spirit

Heather Garnos
Shin Sen An Ryu
Deep Spring Serenely Flowing

Note: Teri Jo Tinus will receive lay ordination from Sojun later this year.