Family Practice BZC Events for Families of All Ages


August 2017
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

No Family Practice

No Family Practice
Click to See Family Practice Calendar
BZC Family Practice on Saturdays

BZC Family Practice is offered on almost all Saturdays (still check the calendar for details, and always RSVP so we can share late-breaking news), at the usual time, from 9:30 to 11:15.  BZC member and Music Together teacher Ryk Groetchen will be taking the lead.  Note that we’re experiencing a paradigm shift; here’s one way to describe it:

The new approach is that we’re NOT offering a program or class for children, but rather, we’re going to discover together how our family life is a buddha field, a field of practice, of many practices.  And learn ways that all ages can enjoy being together and wake up to our experience in each moment, including our senses, our feelings, and our thoughts. There will be lots of music and movement, and we’ll be exploring The Toolbox – a social/emotional curriculum for families that is being used now in many school districts, including Berkeley.

As we know, kids learn mainly through our modeling, and they like to see, hear, and do what WE do.  So we expect parents to participate and do the activities, and kids of all ages will join as they are drawn to and as age-appropriate. It will no doubt take some time for this to come together.

This is not only a paradigm shift for the BZC program, but it’s different from almost every other framework in the lives of children.  We look forward to sharing with you this new adventure.

Here are a few more thoughts from Ryk:

I first came to BZC in 1995, seeking to learn about how meditation manifests itself in a community setting. I have practiced here on and off, and have recently settled into a regular weekly schedule. I have taught music to families with young children since 2002, and am the director of the non-profit East Bay Community Music Project. In my role as a facilitator of the Family Program at BZC, I will bring curiosity, a love of play, years of experience making music with families, and a respect for the ways children and adults naturally learn and grow together. With simple activities, some repetition, a bit of silliness, and a joy for working together, I hope to help discover a family practice that allows us all to be who we are, making mistake after mistake and enjoying the wonder of the ordinary.

Parent Dharma Study Group

This is dormant for the time being.  A clamoring on the part of of a few parents could result in its reanimation.  Contact Laurie ( ) with your suggestions.

Ad Hoc Supervised Play and Support

Coverage for Zazen Instruction and Beginner’s Orientation (8:45 Saturdays), the Saturday program during the summer months, and Practice Discussion is available by prior arrangement. Along with our interest in discovering and developing new forms of practice within our day-to-day family life, we want to help you keep the flame of formal practice alive. Contact Laurie ( ) to make arrangements.

Family Practice Email Group

To make it easier to publicize, announce and remind ourselves about family practice activities at BZC, we have a Yahoo group. We’d love to have you join this list if you have children in your life, even if you don’t typically attend family practice events. We promise to only send, at most, ONE email per week, just a short reminder of upcoming events. To join, just email Laurie ( or Marie (

Special Ceremonies: Sejiki and Buddha’s Birthday

Twice a year, families join the larger BZC sangha.

In late October, we hold our Sejiki ceremony, based on the Japanese Obon Festival and held near the time of Halloween. We call forth and nourish “hungry ghosts” and call out the names of family and friends who have passed away in the last year.

In early April, we offer our Buddha’s Birthday celebration. Usually we put on a little show and then everyone has a chance to bathe the baby Buddha.

Being together we bring forth the meaning of these traditional ceremonies. Watch the calendar for the exact dates.

Family Sesshin

Now scheduled for March 12 (but watch this space for late-breaking news) a special half-day sitting to give children and families the chance to practice together in a retreat setting.

All sangha members are invited to join this sitting in support of family practice. Sitting and working together, our grandparent generation and the “aunts and uncles” of the sangha connect with parents we’ve missed and get acquainted with the next generation.

This offering is about as cutting edge as it gets – don’t miss it!

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