Category Archives: News

Sewing Buddha’s Robe

If you are interested in preparing for Lay Ordination in 2018, sewing class starts on January 14. Classes are open to those who have asked their teacher if they may participate. Please speak with Sojun Mel Weitsman or Hozan Alan Senauke by the first week in January, and then promptly contact the sewing teacher, Jean Selkirk. Check the bulletin board for further announcements.

Position Changes

Greg Smith has woken up to his dream position as our Librarian by taking over the responsibilities from Gaila Allen.

Head Server Carol Paul’s attention to detail and service will now be held by Ben Clausen.

Jed Appelman will carry on the co‒zendo manager role from Leslie Bartholic.

Gary Artim will assume the role of co‒sesshin direction from Ken Powelson. This will be Gary’s second time fulfilling this role in his BZC noncareer. He will share the position with Peter Overton, who is in his second year of a two-year term.

Thanks to you all for your dedication! 🙏

Oryoki Training

Are you ready to deepen your formal meal practice in the zendo? Would you like to learn how to use oryoki bowls with cloths? Our next trainings will be January 27 (after Saturday program, from 11:30 to noon) and February 2 (Friday afternoon, 4:30 to 5:00 pm). Check the courtyard bulletin board for the signup sheet or just drop in. Call or email Sue Oehser at (510) 339-0243 or if you have questions or want to arrange another date.

Envisioning Beloved Community MLK Day of Dialogue and Service

Our program will begin with sitting followed by a short talk on the legacy and dharma of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his vision of “Beloved Community.” We then will have small group dialogue to reflect on these themes and explore ways BZC can engage in partnership with our neighbors on issues of diversity and inclusion. Our time together will include tea and treats as we continue our conversation. This will be followed by two community service projects.

One project will be setting up streetside with a table on Russell Street to invite passersby to create peace prayers and memorial messages honoring those who have died through violence. We then will invite and assist in placing these on our streetside Peace Tree. Our second project will be cleaning streets in the immediate neighborhood.

The MLK Day program will be led by Gerry Oliva and Judy Fleischman.

Gerry Oliva, MD, MPH, is a Zen priest and teacher, and retired pediatrician and associate professor at UCSF.




Judy Fleischman, BCC, MS, is a Zen priest, Board-Certified Chaplain, and founder of the Center for Open Chaplaincy.



For more information and to sign up by phone or email, please contact Gerry at or (510) 652-7217.

Click here to download a flyer.

One-Day Sesshin Saturday, January 13, 2018 5:00 am - 9:00 pm

Sojun Roshi will be leading a one-day sesshin on Saturday, January 13, from 5:00 am to 9:00 pm. We encourage old and new sangha members to participate. Please sign up on the patio bulletin board by Wednesday morning zazen, January 10. 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, Peter Overton. The fee is $35 and should be paid in advance (a discounted fee is possible for those in need; please speak to the director). Leave checks marked “January sesshin” in the mail slot in the courtyard laundry room door or mail to BZC Office Manager, 1931 Russell St., Berkeley, CA 94703. Those attending for the first time will need to fill out a Sesshin Information Sheet to let us know of food allergies or other health or physical concerns requiring accom-modation. Please request this sheet by contacting the sesshin director: (510) 325-2342 or

Great Turnout for CPR/AED Training

On October 21 from noon to 2:00, Mike Huggins from LifeSaver CPR led a lively and highly informative class in the most current instruction for CPR and the operation of the AED machine (Automated External Defibrillator, which is located in the back of our zendo). The following 20 sangha members are now certified to administer CPR and AED: Gaila Marie Allen, Jed Appelman, Raghav Bandla, Ross Blum, Sierra Boyd, Dean Bradley, Meghan Collins, Sue Dunlap, Judy Fleischman, Nancy Friedberg, Rob Lyons, Hannah Meara, Rondi Saslow, Laurie Senauke, Nancy Suib, Karen Sundheim, Penelope Thompson, Jake Van Akkeren, Ellen Webb, and Margret Wotkyns.
Deep bows to all for taking the time and effort to ensure the safety and well-being of our sangha. Be Well and Safe.
—Nancy Suib, Health and Safety Coordinator

Caregiving During the Holidays A Support Meeting

Sangha Support is offering a gathering for helpers and caregivers on Sunday, November 12, 4:00‒ 5:30 p.m. in the Senauke home (1933 Russell at BZC).
At this gathering there will be the usual (unusual!) guided meditation by Laurie Senauke, time for checking in, and space to share ideas for meeting the extra demands of the holiday season’s expectations and wishes with kindness, tolerance, and maybe even joy.
Also, a supportive but frank article for caregivers that addresses the end-of-the-year stress and strain, with suggestions for how to work with this challenge, is online at
Thank you for your courage in navigating caring for yourself as you care for another. For more information, please contact Debbie at or by phone at 503-505-4282.

New Walkway!

The dangerously irregular old walkway has been replaced by a much nicer and safer one. Thanks to Rob Lyons and his crew, which included Dean Bradley, Heiko John Lake, Livius Muff, Ron Nestor, Paul O’Leary, Ken Powelson, and Alan Senauke, with bricks donated by Greg Denny and Marie Hopper.

Rob and Heiko putting on the finishing touches.
New path to the Gateless Gate.


Priest Ordinations

On Saturday, September 23, a priest ordination (Shukke Tokudo) was held for three members of our sangha.
On that lovely autumn afternoon Carol Paul (Shiken Seigetsu, Intention Clear Serene Moon), Joel Feigin (Kyoshin Jôku, Melodious Heart Continuous Offering ), and Bruce Coughran (Genzan Seitoku, Dark Mountain Quiet Virtue) received the Bodhisattva Precepts from Sojun Mel Weitzman and Hozan Alan Senauke.
We are grateful for the ordinees’ sincere and diligent efforts, as well as for the support of so many others, whose contributions, large and small, equally made this wonderful event possible. We look forward to years of practice with Carol, Joel, and Bruce as they make their way with us on this unknowable path.