Taking the time to sit still after all the holiday and year-end activity is a great way to begin the New Year. The first sesshin of 2019, led by Hozan Alan Senauke, will take place on Saturday, January 12, from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. We encourage old and new sangha members to participate. 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. Please check the patio bulletin board for the sesshin sign-up sheet, the sesshin information forms, and further information. The sesshin fee is $35. Place checks marked “January 12 Sesshin” in the slot in the laundry room door or mail to BZC Office Manager, 1931 Russell St., Berkeley 94703. The deadline for signing up and payment is Wednesday morning, January 9, after zazen.
Sojun Roshi will be leading a one-day sesshin on Saturday, August 4, from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. We encourage old and new sangha members to participate. Please sign up on the patio bulletin board by Wednesday morning, August 1, 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 for those in need; please speak to the director). Leave checks marked “August sesshin” in the mail slot in the courtyard laundry room door or mail to the BZC Office Manager at 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 accommodation. Please request this by contacting the sesshin director, Peter Overton, at (510) 325-2342 or email@example.com.
This year’s Zaike Tokudo (Lay Ordination Ceremony) will take place on Saturday, June 9, at 3:00 p.m. in the zendo. Cheryl Gordon will receive lay ordination from Sojun Roshi. Rhiana Wiggins and Greg Smith will receive lay ordination from Hozan Sensei. Congratulations in advance to the ordinees, who have been studying and sewing diligently with our sewing teacher, Jean Selkirk. Everyone is encouraged to attend the ceremony and the reception afterwards. Check the zendo bulletin board for details and please sign up for assistance with preparation and cleanup.
he subject of our Practice Period class will be the Tenzo Kyokun, Master Dogen’s teaching for the head of the kitchen, as an example of complete engagement in the Way. The whole of Dogen Zenji’s Shobogenzo is expressed in this practical manual of day-to-day, moment-to-moment enlightened activity of continuous awakening—the special quality of nothing special. This is a great opportunity to find your way into Dogen’s teaching, which is at the heart of our practice.
Classes will be on four Thursday evenings AND one Friday evening in the zendo, 7:15‒8:45 pm. The dates are May 10, 17, and 24 and June 1 and 7. The fee for the five classes is $50, payable at our first meeting. Discounts are available if needed and can be arranged at the first class. This series is open to everyone, not just Practice Period participants.
In June, Sojun Roshi will lead the five-day sesshin to close the spring practice period, which will culminate with the Shuso Hossen ceremony. Please arrange your life commitments to participate fully a minimum of three days. The fee is $35 per day and should be paid in advance. The signup list will be posted two weeks ahead of time. If you have never participated in a sesshin or if you have any questions, please contact sesshin director Gary Artim (firstname.lastname@example.org or (510)676-9756).
The Platform Sutra of Huineng, the 6 th Ancestor of Zen is an accessible and foundational text of our Zen tradition. This spring, Hozan Alan Senauke will lead a 4-week Platform Sutra class
—7:15pm on Thursday evenings in the community room, March 29 to April 19.
The Sutra’s biographical section is compelling, painting a clear picture of Huineng’s impoverished and “uneducated” background, along with his deep and intuitive understanding of Buddhism. The text unfolds his teachings on the essence of mind, the relation between wisdom and concentration, the “formless” precepts, and much more.
Along with several other versions, our main text will be Wong Mou Lam’s translation, available in The Diamond Sutra and the Sutra of Hui-neng (Shambhala Classics). Copies of relevant selections will be available before the class by print and email.
Half-day sittings include five periods of zazen, kinhin (walking meditation) and an informal tea. We ask 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 director Alexandra Frappier at email@example.com.
Read more about half-day sittings in general here.
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:
10:14 108 Bells Begin
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.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.