All posts by Laurie Senauke

Our Saturday Program Now Begins at 8:40

Note:  We have made some changes to our regular Saturday schedule.  Here is the new schedule:

Zendo opens:      8:30 am
Zazen:                     8:40-9:20
Service:                  9:20-9:30
Kinhin/break:     9:30-9:40
Zazen:                     9:40-10:10
Lecture:                  10:15-11:15

Zazen Instruction (not in online zendo):      8:40-9:20 

Revised Schedule Dec 24 Through January 8

Our regular Zendo schedule will be offered both in the morning and evening of December 24th and December 25th, then morning only on December 31st. The regular zazen schedule will resume from the 28th to the 30th.  Saturday, December 26th will also be a regular Saturday program.

We have postponed our Mountain Seat Ceremony (formerly December 28th). We will update the schedule once a new date is decided.

Our annual New Year’s Eve sitting on December 31st will be open to all from 8pm to midnight on Zoom.

BZC will have an Interim Break from January 1st through the 8th. Informal zazen (ie, no speakers or services) will be available at 7:30am and 5:40 pm during that time.

Tuesday Evening Tea with Hozan

Selected Tuesdays from 7:00 to 8:15 pm

Beginning Tuesday, October 20

then November 17, December 1, December 15

Contact Hannah Meara for a place in the room:

In the midst of a pandemic that keeps many of us in our homes, interrupting our face-to-face practice for eight months now, experiencing the disturbing realities of climate change and racial injustice, and facing a presidential election that may well bring unprecedented challenges to our nation, BZC moves towards its first formal leadership transition at the end of December.

I would like to create a safe and informal setting where we can meet over the next few months—where you can express your interests, questions, and concerns to me, and where we can talk among ourselves about things that concern us all: the continuity and shape of Suzuki Roshi and Sojun’s practice, our sense of and needs from the BZC community, and the state of our ever-changing world.

Rather than dokusan form, this would be more like sitting around in the living room or around the kitchen table, except for now, it will be on Zoom (see link below).  It will not be open to the wider public and won’t be recorded.

For the sake of intimacy, we will have up to eight available slots each evening, for roughly an hour of discussion among those present. All your words and views are welcome.



BZC Dharma Groups
Passcode: bzc

Meeting ID: 939 998 180

Circular Sangha

Dear Sangha,

If someone were to ask me what would make me happy, I would say sitting together with a diverse group of people from all corners of the world, even though, because the world is more or less round, there are no real corners. We all belong to this great circular form whirling in space. Ever since I can remember I have been either thrilled or brought to tears experiencing people from diverse cultures or orientations working together in loving harmony.
When we opened the zendo in 1967, I thought of it as a grassroots endeavor where people from around here could find a zazen practice that they could devote themselves to for however long or short a time worked for them. Over time this vision has developed, and little by little a diverse group of members from all over the world have found their way here. We have folks from the deep midwest USA to Afghanistan and Japan.
I went through the BZC directory to verify all of this, and this is what I found. Our sangha includes members from both emigration and heritage, and here it is: Iranian, many Jews, French, Native American, African, English, Japanese, German, Korean, Norwegian, Irish, Chinese, Scottish, Finnish, Afghani, Italian, Mexican, Latino, East Indian, Spanish, Swedish, Danish, Dutch, Turkish, Filipino, diverse Europeans that are hard to classify, diverse Asians, multiple mixes, and many unknowns. ALL EQUAL AND EACH ONE UNIQUE.
A teacher’s meeting space is called the Hojo. It is Vimalakirti’s 6 x 6 room where multitudes of beings fit comfortably and there is always space for more. My teacher Suzuki Roshi’s Hojo was his vast compassionate mind, which could expand to encompass the entire universe with all its beings. This is what I wish for all of you. It’s not as hard as one might think.
I feel honored to have been able to practice with you all these years and to continue to practice with you in this wonderful inconvenient time, figuring it all out together and expressing our mutual support.
From this small corner of the circular world let us set an example for those around us. Please remember to make the best of this present situation and don’t get caught wondering when it will be over. The characteristic of our practice is to find our uprightness in our present topsy-turvy situation, moment by moment. If you find your balance in this moment, you can find it in the next. As Adam said to Buddha, “Here am I.”

—Sojun Roshi

Berkeley Action to Feed the Hungry

Bay Area Buddhist communities come together each year to support Buddhist Global Relief, an organization that directly addresses hunger and poverty around the world. BZC is once again co-sponsoring this year’s BGF fundraising Walk for Hunger. The Berkeley Action to Feed the Hungry, which has moved online, will take place Saturday, October 3, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. For more information on this event, please go to:

In addition to making an online donation, there are two ways to participate in the Walk:

  1. Make a Mindful Movement Pledge. Pledge to do an activity in support of the Action to Feed the Hungry. This might be walking or cycling, for example. Share your Mindful Movement Pledge via the above link, and encourage others to donate in support of your efforts.
  2. Join our Buddhist Action to Feed the Hungry online gathering. On Saturday, October 3, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time, we will gather online to hear from our host temples: Berkeley Buddhist Monastery, Berkeley Buddhist Temple, and Berkeley Zen Center. We’ll share a video of Mindful Movement activities and hear from BGR Executive Director Kim Behan and from Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi, Founder and Chair of BGR.

Please join us in support of this important and compassionate work!


After zazen on Wednesday mornings (at 8:10 am) we will hold an ongoing well-being service.  Due to the limitations of Zoom, congregants will be muted while we each chant along with the doshi/kokyo.  If you would like to have a name added to the ongoing well-being list, send your request by email to Co-Zendo Manager Hannah Meara:

In addition, all are welcome to request a personal service for an individual when there is need for prayers for well-being or when someone has died. Hannah is also the contact person for these requests.