Category Archives: Old News

One-Day Sesshin | Opening of Spring Practice Period Saturday, April 30, 2016, 5:00 am – 9:00 pm

Our annual spring practice period will begin  with a one-day sesshin on Saturday, from April 30, 5:00 am until 9:00 pm. All are welcome to attend. If this is your first sesshin at BZC, it is strongly recommended that you first participate in a full Saturday program and that you speak with the sesshin director. The fee is $35 and is due by April 27th. All details are on the sesshin sign-up sheet.

Our practice period entering ceremony will take place that day at 4:00 pm. All practice period participants should make it a priority to attend the entering ceremony and support the shuso.

After you’ve signed up for the sesshin, please complete a sesshin information form and place it in the sesshin director’s box. (If you completed one for a prior sesshin, there is no need for another one unless information has changed.) If you have any questions, contact the sesshin director, Ken Powelson, sesshindirectorbzc@gmail.com.

20s / 30s Hills and Streams Backpacking Sesshin Friday, April 22 – Sunday, April 24

The Berkeley Zen Center 20s and 30s Dharma Group is happy to announce it will be hosting its second annual “Hills and Streams” backpacking sesshin, from Friday, April 22nd through Sunday, April 24th. There is also a mandatory meeting on Thursday, April 21st. The retreat will be held in the steep oak woodlands of Sunol Regional Wilderness, east of Fremont (http://www.ebparks.org/parks/sunol). Sign-up and cancellation deadline is Monday, April 11th. While readings for this sesshin will be announced at the April 19th meeting, last year we studied the Xin Xin Ming and contemplated some verses of Thich Nhat Hanh’s on walking meditation while we were hiking.

This is an intensive meditation retreat which will involve significant hiking and will maintain (to the extent possible) a sesshin atmosphere and practice. This includes long periods of silence, sitting zazen, and shared responsibilities (cooking, cleaning, etc.). If you are new to backpacking or sesshin, please speak with the director, Kelsey. This sesshin is a wonderful way to connect with other young sangha members and experience practice in wilderness. If you or someone you know is interested in attending, please fill out an application at the following link: http://bit.ly/1PBorgw or email Kelsey at kelseybrynne@gmail.com. We hope to see many old and new faces there!

One-Day Sesshin March 19, 2016, 5:00 am - 9:00 pm

Sojun Mel Weitsman will lead a one-day sesshin on Saturday, March 19,  from 5:00 am – 9:00 pm. We encourage old and new sangha members to participate. Please sign up on the patio bulletin board by Wednesday morning, March 16, 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, Gary Artim.

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 “March Sesshin” in the mail slot in the courtyard laundry room door or mail to the BZC Office Manager at 1931 Russell St., Berkeley 94703.

If you have any questions, contact the sesshin director, Gary Artim, gartim@gmail.com or (510) 676-9756.

Read more about sesshin in general here.

Annual Women’s Sitting March 6, 2016 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Women of all levels of experience with practice are welcome.  The sign-up sheet is now on the bulletin board at BZC for this sitting.  We will have a day of zazen, walking meditation, dharma and discussion:

How do we as women find and express our true selves, standing tall and solid within a tradition that has been male dominant while at the same time appreciate the gifts of the tradition? How do gender dynamics impact our relationships with our teachers?  This is a day devoted to exploring women’s experiences and understanding of the Dharma in the context of the increasing inclusion and impact of women, both lay and ordained, on the practice of Buddhism in American society.  The day will include a lecture and discussion period led by BZC priest Gerry Oliva.

If you cannot make it to BZC to sign in, of if you have not sat a day-long sitting before,  contact Mary Duryee at maryduryee@gmail.com.

A few details:

The fee is $25. (If you are unable to pay the full amount, contact the Mary to arrange a reduced fee.) Leave checks marked “Women’s Sesshin” in the courtyard laundry room mail slot. Checks mailed to BZC must be received by Saturday, March 5.

Lunch is not provided so please bring your own bag lunch.

As always,  please do not wear jewelry, scented body care products or clothes that have been laundered with scented products in the zendo.  Leave all electronic devices and watches behind and enter the silence.

 

For more information, please contact Mary Duryee, 510-872-0507 or e-mail her at maryduryee@gmail.com.

February Study Sesshin February 13, 2016, 5:00 am - 9:00 pm and February 14, 2016, 5:00 am - 3:00 pm

Hozan Alan Senauke will lead us to a deeper understanding of our practice through a two-day sesshin where the Dharma subject will be forthcoming (please check the bulletin board for details). On Saturday, February 13th we will sit from 5am to 9 pm with a lecture in the morning and a study period in the afternoon. On Sunday, February 14th we will sit from 5 am until 3 pm and have two study periods. We encourage old and new sangha members to participate. Please sign up on the patio bulletin board by Wednesday morning, February 10 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 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 to the BZC Office Manager at 1931 Russell St., Berkeley 94703. If you have any questions, contact the sesshin director, Ken Powelson at powelson@earthlink.net or (510) 326-3752.

Beginners’ Sesshin Sunday, January 31, 2016, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

GET THE FLYER

On Sunday, January 31st, BZC will offer our annual Beginners’ sitting from 8:30 am until 4:30 pm. BZC priests Gerry Oliva and Judy Fleischman will offer instruction in the basic forms of our practice—zazen, kinhin, service—while maintaining our ground in meditation throughout the day. There will be a lecture on zazen and plenty of time for discussion. This is a good opportunity to ask questions about our practice.

Participants should bring a bag lunch, which we will eat informally in silence at midday. Newer people are particularly encouraged to take part, but we welcome longtime students who can enjoy a day of sitting and model the richness of our practice. The cost will be $15 for the day. Please see the zendo bulletin board for a sign-up sheet and further information. Contact Gerry Oliva at sesshindirectorBZC@gmail.com or (510) 652-7217 with any questions.

First Sesshin of 2016 Saturday, January 16, 2016, 5:00 am - 9:00 pm

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 2016, led by Sojun Mel Weitsman, will take place on Saturday, January 16, from 5:00 am to 9:00 pm. 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 for the sesshin sign-up sheet, the sesshin information forms and further information.

The sesshin fee is $35 (a discounted fee is possible; please speak to the director). Place checks marked “January 16th sesshin” in the slot in the laundry room door or mail to BZC Office Manager at 1931 Russell St., Berkeley 94703.

The deadline for signing up and payment is Wednesday morning, January 13 after zazen. If you have questions, call the sesshin director, Gary Artim, at (510) 676-9756 or email at gartim@gmail.com.

Buddhist Perspectives on the Climate Emergency Thursday Evenings in February with Hozan Alan Senauke

The earliest story of Buddha’s awakening has him calling on the Earth itself to serve as his witness. Today, as temperatures rise, drought rages, and coastal areas flood, we need more than ever to be witness the planet we live upon. The emerging climate crisis touches everyone.

On Thursday evenings in February, Hozan Alan Senauki will lead a class and discussion about Buddhist perspectives on climate change, drawing from traditional Buddhist texts, analysis by Bhikkhu Bodhi, and the ground breaking reflections of Pope Francis’s recent encyclical Laudato Si.

Class session will be on February 4, 11, 18, and 25 from 7:15 pm to 8:45 pm in the community room.  The class charge is $40/series. No one is turned away for lack of funds. Materials will be available in advance of the class.

Sojun’s Winter Koan Class

Sojun will present a koan class series in January and March. Taking off from our recent Aspects practice period, he’ll select cases from our Chinese Ch’an ancestors and the three main koan collections: the Blue Cliff Record, Book of Serenity, and Mumonkan (Gateless Gate). Across these collections he’ll focus on multiple koans all relating to a particular teacher, and cover a limited number of teachers in this fashion as time permits. So not only do we get to take on the meaning of the case, but we’ll also get a feel for the character and style of the teacher its centered on.
The series will cover six Monday evening dates from over the two months. All classes begin at 7:15 pm and end at 8:45 pm.  These will be the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Mondays of the month. 1/11, 1/18, 1/25, 3/14, 3/21, 3/28. This is the first time he has taught a Monday evening class. The sign up will be posted on the patio board after Rohatsu or you send an email to Ron at rnestor1@yahoo.com. Cost is $60/series, but if you want to attend for just one month @ $30, that’s okay. This will not be a drop in class and as always discounts are available by talking to Ron.