Category Archives: News

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.

Self-Defense Primer Workshop Saturday, March 21, 12:30 – 3:00 pm

The March 21 self-defense workshop will now be held in the zendo, so the class size will no longer be limited to 20 people. The sign-up sheets will include room for more names.

This workshop is offered free by BZC. If you are moved to provide a dana gift, that would be gratefully received and would help offset the cost. The workshop will be taught by Hand-to-Hand.

Hand-to Hand…

“…provides traditional martial arts training and self-defense classes. The center was founded in 1980 by Professor Coleen Gragen and remains under the leadership of Chief Instructor Sonya Richardson. (They) teach adults of all genders and are affiliated with the Kajukenbo Association of America… In a highly supportive environment, Hand to Hand classes explore the links between personal safety and community wellness because seeing this connection provides an opportunity for healing and encourages every individual to walk fearlessly in their lives.”

For more information, contact Mary Duryee at maduryee@earthlink.net.

New Priests in Our Family

In the far north of Germany Juen Ryushin Friederike Boissevain and Nanzan Shunki Harald Schoklmann were ordained as Soto Zen priests by Hozan Sensei at Wind und Wolken Sangha on February 8. Juen and Nanzan began this group in 2002, and have long dedicated themselves to the dharma even as they each maintain active lives as physicians and creators of the region’s first hospice organization. As dharma names Juen Ryushin means Circle of Giving/Arising Heart-Mind; Nanzan Shunki translates as South Mountain/Bright Spirit.

Saturday Practice Opportunities

Every Saturday BZC offers breakfast to people attending the morning program. If you’ve been looking for ways to help out at our temple, the Saturday program offers several practice opportunities that do not require any prior experience: assisting the head cook, serving the meal, and washing dishes.

Assisting the head cook in the kitchen begins at 6:00 am. This is a wonderful way to see what kitchen practice is all about. The head cook will provide training as you work together to prepare the meal. We also need servers to serve the breakfast in the zendo. If you haven’t done this before, the head server will train you during the second zazen period. During the serving of the meal, each server practices fully meeting each person being served. After breakfast, the dishwashers go to the kitchen to wash the dishes. You work as a team, led by the head dishwasher, to get the dishes washed and the kitchen cleaned. All three of these activities are fundamental elements of our sangha practice.

We encourage you to join us. There is a sign-up calendar on the porch bulletin board that includes all of these activities. If you have any questions about these practice opportunities, or how to sign up, please contact the coordinator, Leslie Bartholic at lbartholic@comcast.net.