Welcome to BZC may all beings realize their true nature

Berkeley Zen Center’s New Online Zendo!

To enter the zendo, click on this link on your computer or mobile device:

NEW: Password is bzc

Click here for Online Zendo details

Respecting the wise direction to “shelter in place” while the COVID-19 epidemic continues to unfold, we are making use of available technology to continue our core practice of zazen together.

Please join daily zazen, offered mornings and evenings at 7:25 am and 5:35 pm (beginning Monday, March 23rd).

You can enter the online zendo using Zoom (video conferencing platform) on a desktop computer, pad, tablet or cellphone. Here’s how to enter:

To enter the zendo, click on this link on your computer or mobile device:

Zoom has instituted required passwords for security reasons.

Our password for all events is: bzc

If you are accessing this via the Zoom App directly, please enter this meeting ID: 657 798 2914

If you are dialing in with no video or App, dial:
(408) 638-0968 or (669) 900-6833, and enter meeting ID: 657 798 2914

  • Monday to Saturday mornings, we will sit together for 40 minutes, from 7:30 to 8:10 am.
  • Monday to Friday afternoons, we will sit together for 40 minutes, from 5:40 to 6:20 pm.
  • For those of you new to Zoom we are offering Zoom practice from 7:15-7:25 am and 5:25-5:35 pm before zazen.

We’ll be adding more practice opportunities in coming days — community meetings, lectures, and dharma groups — as we work out the logistics and technology. Meanwhile, we hope your schedule will allow you to join us, and we thank you for your patience.

If you have questions or technical issues about using Zoom, please contact Judy Fleischman — bzcnetizen@gmail.com or Hosei Kelsey Chirlinn — kelseybrynne@gmail.com.

For general questions or concerns about BZC at this time, contact Coordinator Geraldine Oliva — gryoliva@gmail.com or Vice-Abbot Hozan Alan Senauke — asenauke@gmail.com.

Online zendo forms and etiquette:

  • Please join sittings a few minutes before the scheduled time, so as to be seated and settled in place before the period of zazen begins.
  • The Doan will ring three bells to begin zazen.
  • The Doan will ring one bell to signal the end of zazen

Guidelines and online zendo forms

Traditionally, to help facilitate a calm and settled space so that practitioners can attend to the moment-to-moment unfolding of experience in meditation, there are zendo practices, or forms, agreed upon and practiced with harmony in mind:

Minimize visual distractions

  • If using a desktop computer, create a practice space by clearing or covering work papers. Please be sure to not have pictures or light sources directly in front of the camera.
  • A recommended way to sit is in profile, facing away from the computer screen. This allows participants not to be distracted by the movement of other sangha members, mirroring our formal practice of facing the wall during zazen. Some choose to sit off-camera; that’s also fine.

Before zazen let the body and mind know:

  • Bow towards and away from cushion/chair. This is traditionally done with palms together.
  • Bow out, while seated, at the closing bell. Getting up from sitting, bow to and away from your cushion or seat. End the session.
Message from Sojun Roshi

The persecutions of Buddhism in the Tang Dynasty in China forced
Zen monks to flee to the mountains where they thrived. Today we are
forced to find our monks’ life in semi-isolation. What a great
opportunity to practice zazen and various forms of contemplation. This
wonderful opportunity is bringing forth our creativity as a sangha,
setting up the guideposts for the future. This present situation,
dangerous and uncertain as it is, must be an inescapable field of
innovative practice for all of us. Let’s continue to make good use of
this opportunity.