This year’s lay ordination ceremony—zaike tokudo—will take place on Saturday, June 6, in the zendo at 3:00 pm. Receiving lay ordination from Sojun Roshi are the following students:
- Michael Cole
- Jeanne Courtney
- Kelsey Hermann
- Heather Garnos
- Teri Jo Tinus
Deb Self is receiving lay ordination from Hozan Sensei.
Congratulations in advance to all who have been studying and sewing diligently with our sewing teacher Jean Selkirk. Everyone is warmly encouraged to attend the ceremony and the reception afterwards. Check the zendo bulletin board for details and please sign-up for preparation (tenzo assistance & set-up) and clean-up.
After serving as BZC librarian for more than two years I have become familiar with the collection we house in the community room and have come to truly appreciate it. I frequently stumble across unknown (to me) gems on the bookshelves. Also, the library regularly acquires new books and subscribes to several periodicals (Tricycle, Shambala Sun, Buddhadharma, and more). All of these are available to check out. I try to be in the library on Tuesday afternoons from 4:30 to 5:30pm. You are welcome to come in and browse. If the library is not open, look for me in the office.
A new version of the computer program we use to catalog books was recently installed (thank you, Troy DuFrene). Several new books are just being processed and will soon appear on the “New Books” shelf. They include: The Heart Sutra, Kazuaki Tanahashi; Unfathomable Depth, Sekkei Harada; Meditation on Perception, Bhante Gunaratana, and The Nirvana Sutra, Vol. I, translated by Mark L. Blum.
Last but not least, the librarian’s plea: remember your overdue books and return them soon!
Maria Winston and Tamar Enoch have been our co-head jikidos for the past two years. They have done a wonderful job of organizing the morning cleaning of the zendo. They also purchased cushions for the zendo chairs which has been much appreciated by the people who use them. We offer our heartfelt thanks to Tamar and Maria and welcome Ben Clausen to this position.
High noon…that watershed moment when morning turns to afternoon. No better way to celebrate the turning than by sitting zazen at BZC, Monday through Friday. We sit from 12:00 pm to 12:30 pm, informal zazen, just sitting. Please join us.
Half-day sittings include five periods of zazen, kinhin (walking meditation) and an informal tea. Sojun Roshi asks participants to commit to the entire four-hour schedule. A $10 donation is requested. If you have questions or if you cannot sign up on the bulletin board, contact the May half-day director Peter Overton (email@example.com or (510) 848-5239).
Our spring practice period will conclude with a five-day sesshin from Wednesday, June 10 to Sunday, June 14. The first four days’ schedule is from 5:00am until 9:00pm, while the final day’s schedule is from 5:00am until 3:10pm, followed at 3:30 by the Shuso Hossen, dharma dialogue with the shuso. Please sign up on the patio bulletin board for a minimum of three days; we encourage you to make two of those days consecutive. If you want to request an alternative schedule, please speak to the sesshin director. Sign-ups close on Saturday, June 6, at 12:00 noon.
The Shuso Hossen ceremony will begin promptly at 3:30pm, and will be followed by a reception. All practice period and sesshin participants will be supporting the shuso and our practice by coming with a question.
If this is your first sesshin at BZC, it is strongly recommended that you first participate in a full Saturday program, have oryoki instruction, and that you speak with the sesshin director. The fee is $35 per day, advance payment requested. Leave checks marked “June sesshin” in the laundry room door donation slot. If you have questions, contact the sesshin director Gary Artim ( firstname.lastname@example.org or (510) 676-9756.
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 email@example.com if you have questions, and look for a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board in mid-June.
Practice period at BZC this spring begins with the Opening Ceremony on the afternoon of Saturday, May 2 and ends with the Shuso Ceremony on Sunday, June 14. Sojun Roshi has invited Susan Marvin — Sentei Kunka — Spring Garden/Virtuous Influence to be shuso and serve as exemplar of devoted practice for us. We invite BZC members to participate in this time of intensified practice. The full schedule of events is on the BZC website and the bulletin board.
To participate, please complete a registration form on the bulletin board shelf. You must also sign up separately for sesshin and a number of events, even though you may have noted them in your registration form. Those sign-up sheets will be posted.
There are some requirements for participation in the practice period. These are detailed on the registration form. The spirit of this practice is expressed by Sojun Roshi in his words here.
The start of this year’s spring practice period will coincide with a major milestone in BZC’s presence on the World Wide Web. Our completely new WordPress-built website will go live on May 1.
The new site will introduce several new features, including:
- Podcasting for our dharma talks and classes (subscribe through iTunes or RSS)
- Live calendars of upcoming events, family practice events, and 20s and 30s group events
- Faster downloads of files, including the newsletter PDFs
- Better image gallery views
The best part is that you won’t need to do anything to enjoy the new site. Simply continue to visit www.berkeleyzencenter.org as you always have. If you miss any features from the old site, catch any errors, or have any other feedback, please drop our webmaster, Troy DuFrene, a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.