Category Archives: Old News

New Year’s Eve Sitting and Celebration December 31, 2017, 8:00 pm - 1:30 am

Join us on Sunday evening, December 31, for the chance to ring in the New Year with the quiet and reflection of zazen, punctuated by 108 soundings of the bell to mark the last 108 minutes of 2017 and a bonfire after midnight. Everyone is welcome to attend any portion of the program, entering the zendo during kinhin or the beginning of a period of zazen.     The schedule is:

8:00 Zazen
8:35 Kinhin
8:45 Zazen
9:20 Kinhin
9:30 Zazen
10:05 Tea
10:14 108 Bells Begin
10:30 Kinhin
10:40 Zazen
11:20 Kinhin
11:35 Zazen
12:05 Slow Heart Sutra

A celebration will follow that included refreshments in the community room and a bonfire in the courtyard.

Please enter the zendo only during kinhin (periods of walking meditation). If you arrive during a period of zazen, you may sit in the community room or join in the preparations.

January Caregiving Meeting

Sangha Support is offering a gathering for helpers and caregivers on Sunday, January 28, at 4:00‒5:30 pm. in the Senauke home (1933 Russell St. at BZC). There will be the usual (unusual!) guided meditation by Laurie Senauke, time for checking in, and space to share ideas for how this caregiving practice can be met with kindness for all, including oneself.

Thank you for helping another person to do things that they used to do for them­selves; we recognize your courage in navigat­ing this challenging practice.

For more information, please contact Debbie at DebbieResearcher@gmail.com or (503) 505-4282.

Sojun Roshi’s February Koan Class

Sojun will continue with his series from The Book of Serenity on all four Monday evenings in February. The Book of Serenity is a collection of 100 koans, first published in the early 1200s, that is most identified with the Soto sect. Commentaries by contemporary Zen teacher Koun Yamada will accompany copies of the text. Along with each relatively short case is a verse by Hongzhi (1091‒1157), commentary by Wansong (1166‒1246), and voices of other prominent  Zen teachers of that era as they weigh in from their own perspectives. The result is a lively and earthy collective approach to each case. We’ll meet from 7:15‒8:45 pm. in the community room. Fee for the series is $40, with discounts available if needed. A sign-up sheet will be posted on the patio bulletin board in the first week of January. Those not at BZC on a weekly basis may register with class coordinator Ron Nestor: rnestor1@yahoo.com.

Beginners’ Sesshin Sunday, January 28, 2018, 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Sesshins are an essential part of our practice at BZC. This Beginner’s Sesshin, led by Vice Abbot Hozan Alan Senauke, is organized as an introduction to sesshin and Zen forms and will take place Sunday, January 28, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. We will offer instruction in the basics—zazen, kinhin, service—while main­tain­ing our ground in meditation throughout the day. Newer members are particularly encouraged to take part, but we also welcome older students to enjoy the sitting and model our practice. Bring a bag lunch, which we will eat informally in silence at midday.

  • Fee for the day is $20. Please pay in advance. Leave checks marked “sesshin fee” in the donation slot in the laundry room door.
  • Deadline for signup is Thursday, January 25. Sign up on the bulletin board or email Hozan.
  • Please do not wear perfumes, scents, or scented body-care products in the zendo.
  • If you’ve never been to a sesshin at BZC, or have further questions, contact Hozan at asenauke@gmail.com or 510-845-2215.
  • There will be no refund for last-minute cancellations or no-shows.

Rohatsu Sesshin

Our annual Rohatsu sesshin from Sunday, December 3, through Saturday, December 9, led by Sojun Mel Weitsman. The first six days of the schedule will be from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.; the final day will end around 5 p.m. following shosan with Sojun Roshi. Please sign up on the patio bulletin board for a minimum of three days, two of which should be consecutive. If you want to request an alternative schedule, please speak to the sesshin director. Sign-ups will close on Wednesday, November 29, after morning zazen.

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 speak with the sesshin director. The fee for sesshin is $35 per day and should be paid in advance. Leave checks marked with the name of the sesshin in the laundry room door donation slot. If you have questions, contact the sesshin director, Ken Powelson, at SesshinDirectorBZC@gmail.com.

Jizo Ceremony for Loved Ones Who Have Died Saturday, October 14, 1:00pm – 3:00pm

 To support one another through a process of grieving and honoring, we will gather for a ceremony in our Jizo garden. Jizo represents the compassionate presence of “Earth Store” Bodhisattva and is viewed as a guide and protector, particularly for children, who have died. For this ceremony we welcome anyone grieving loss of a loved one, including loss through miscarriage or abortion, sickness, suicide, accidents or violence. We also welcome those who have lost pets dear to them. Our time together will include making a personal token of remembrance, as well as sharing tea and refreshments after the ceremony. Feel free to bring a picture or photo or personal belonging of your loved one to include on the altar.

The ceremony will be led by two Berkeley Zen Center priests:

Gerry Oliva, MD, MPH, is a pediatrician and an associate  professior at UCSF

 

 

Judy Fleischman, BCC, MS, is a board-certified chaplain with HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN)

 

 

  • All BZC members, members of other Buddhist sanghas and neighborhood residents are invited to attend.
  • There is no fee. Donations (dana) are welcome.

For more information and to sign up by phone or email, please contact Gerry at gryoliva@gmail.com or (510) 652-7217 or www.berkeleyzencenter.org

CPR and AED Class Saturday, October 21, 12:00 - 2:00 pm

“Life is too important not to be prepared.” On Saturday, October 21, Chris Peters and Lifesaver CPR will be offering a CPR and AED class in the BZC community room from 12:00-2:00 p.m. This class is free for BZC members (though a contribution of any size to offset the cost of the class would be appreciated). Cost to nonmembers is $45, payable by check in advance to BZC. Please sign up on the BZC bulletin board with your email address and contact information, and also send an email to Nancy Suib at nancy.suib@gmail.com for further information and a registration form. Prior first responders, please register for this class if your certification was obtained more than two years ago.
Please consider becoming a part of our health team! Becoming a First Responder is a great way to ensure the well-being and safety of our sangha.

Dharma Hikes A New BZC Practice Experience

For all sangha members and friends who love being outdoors, these hikes will provide an opportunity to explore some aspects of the Dharma while enjoying leisurely paced hikes in some beautiful Bay Area parks. Two dharma hikes have been scheduled for this fall (see below) and will be led by Jake Van Akkeren, who is an experienced Sierra Club hike leader and also a senior student at BZC. The hikes will include opportunity for silent walking and a lunchtime dharma discussion, as well as allowing time for social interaction. In order to facilitate discussion, group size will be limited to no more than twelve people.
      Our first hike will in Redwood Regional Park, Sunday, September 24, carpooling from BZC at 9:00 am and arriving back around 3:00 pm. Our second hike will be in Briones Regional Park, Sunday, October 22, carpooling from BZC at 9:15 am and arriving back around 4:00 pm For more information, or to make reservations, please contact Jake at jvanakkeren@comcast.net.
      If enough interest is shown in this type of activity, more dharma hikes will be scheduled for 2018.

Heart Sutra Class Thursdays from August 24 to September 14, 7:15 pm - 8:45 pm

The Heart Sutra is chanted daily in Zen temples around the world. In this class we will read and chant the sutra and do a line-by-line, word-by-word exploration of the meaning that lies in the words and beyond the words.
What we chant at BZC is a highly condensed version of a larger Mahayana sutra rarely studied in the Zen school, although its teachings are found in many of the Zen koans characteristic of the lineage. Time permitting, we may read a few passages from the unabbreviated original sutra, widely associated with Nagarjuna and the second turning of the Dharma wheel. (The first turning or Dharma teaching consists of the original teachings of Buddha, such as the Four Noble Truths. The second turning consists of the Mahayana sutras emphasizing emptiness of own being and the practice of compassion.)
The class will be held every Thursday from August 24 to September 14, and will be taught by Denkei Raul Moncayo. Raul has been practicing at BZC since 1978 and received Dharma Transmission from Sojun Roshi in 2010. He has also had a long career as a psychologist.