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.
Our annual Mountains and Rivers Sesshin will take place Thursday through Sunday, July 27‒30, at Point Reyes.
Seiwa Leslie Bartholic will be joining us as the doshi. She will be leading our daily discussions of Dogen’s “Mountains and Rivers Sutra,” and will also be available for one-on-one practice discussion during our free-time periods on Friday and Saturday afternoons.
The sesshin will begin with an orientation meeting Wednesday evening, July 26, at 6 p.m. in the Community Room. Thursday morning we will carpool to Point Reyes, then hike from the Bear Valley Visitors’ Center to Coast Camp, moving at a moderate pace with frequent rest stops and lunch along the way. We will get back to Berkeley around 5 p.m. Sunday. All meals are provided and camping experience is not required. Everyone is encouraged to do the full four days, but provision will also be made for those who may have to arrive late.
The sign-up sheet will be posted on the BZC bulletin board as of July 7. Your spot will be reserved after you submit all the logistical information requested on the sign-up sheet. Sign-up deadline is Thursday, July 20. The fee is $75. If you have any questions, please contact Zosie Calame at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Denkei Raul Moncayo will be leading a one-day sesshin on Saturday, August 5, 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, August 2, 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 email@example.com or (510) 325-2342 .
Leslie Bartholic and Jake Van Akkeren will receive Lay Entrustment from Sojun Roshi on Monday morning, July 10. Sojun will present them with a green rakusu to acknowledge their position as lay teachers in our sangha. The ceremony will take place in the zendo at 5:40 a.m. All are invited to attend, with a reception to follow in the community room. There will be no Practice Committee meeting on this date.
Please join us for samu (sangha work day) on Sunday, May 7. Arrive at 8:30 a.m. for a warm cup and a casual bite in company; work circle at 8:45. Or join us at noon for a decidedly delicious outdoor lunch, with work circle at 12:45. Or join us whenever you can, to share this opportunity to support our cherished practice place.
If you have a pet project to promote, we are still taking suggestions! Please leave a note on the bulletin board or email John Lake at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Suzuki Roshi said: “When the whole cloth is woven completely in various colorful threads, what you see are not pieces of thread; what you see is one whole cloth.” The respected translator and editor Bhikkhu Bodhi recently published The Buddha’s Teachings on Social and Communal Harmony (Wisdom, 2016), a collection drawn entirely from the Pali suttas. Hozan Alan Senauke worked on this with Bhikkhu Bodhi, contributing a prologue and epilogue to the book.
In these difficult days, social and communal harmony have never been needed more. Hozan Sensei will lead a five-session class on selections from this book on Mondays from March 20 to April 17. The class will be held in the BZC community room, from 7:15 to 8:45 p.m. The class fee is $50. Materials will be available in advance and books will be available from the BZC book table.
Sojun Roshi will continue his koan class series from The Book of Serenity in January and February. The dates for his four classes are Monday evenings 7:15-8:45 on January 23, January 30, February 6, and February 13. Fee for the series is $40, payable at the first class, with discounts available as needed. A sign-up sheet will be posted on the patio bulletin board the first week of January and class material will be made available prior to the series as well as before each class.
We will be commemorating the MLK holiday this year by having a special program at BZC on Monday, January 16, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Instead of our usual early morning sitting we will have a sitting at 8:30 for 40 minutes, followed by a short dharma talk. Prior to this day we will do some outreach to our neighborhood and invite residents to participate in the morning discussion. We will then have a period of Dharma dialog which will involve small group discussion about the ways in which BZC can reach out to our neighborhood in constructive ways and more effectively promote diversity in the sangha. After this we will have tea and social time. Some of us will then set up a table in the front yard and invite people to create messages to hang on the tree to commemorate loved ones harmed by violence and hatred.
For further information and to get involved with this effort, contact Gerry Oliva at email@example.com.
There will be a two-day sesshin on February 11 – 12. The doshi and reading will be announced; please check the bulletin board for details. On Saturday, February 11, we will sit from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., with a lecture in the morning and a study period in the afternoon. On Sunday, February 12, we will sit from 5:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and have two study periods. We encourage old and new sangha members to participate. Please sign up on the patio bulletin board by Wednesday, February 8, after morning 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 per day and should be paid in advance (a discounted fee is possible for those in need; please speak to the director). Leave checks marked “Study Sesshin” in the mail slot in the courtyard laundry room door or mail them to the BZC Office Manager, 1931 Russell St., Berkeley, CA 94703. If you have any questions, contact the sesshin director, Ken Powelson, at SesshinDirectorBZC@gmail.com.
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 2017 will take place on Saturday, January 14, 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, Ken Powelson. Please check the patio bulletin board for the sesshin sign-up sheet, the sesshin information forms, and further information. The sesshin fee is $35 (a discounted fee is possible for those in need; please speak to the director). Place checks marked “January 14th Sesshin” in the slot in the courtyard laundry room door or mail them to the BZC Office Manager, 1931 Russell St., Berkeley, CA 94703.
The deadline for sign-up and payment is Wednesday, January 11, after morning zazen. If you have questions, contact the sesshin director at SesshinDirectorBZC@gmail.com.