2023 BZC Calendar of Events
(revised, 4/26/23; subject to change; see monthly calendar below to confirm. Also note details about whether an event is hybrid, in person only, or online only.)

NEW! 2024 BZC Calendar of Events

Weekly Schedule

Week of Sep 18th

  • Way Seeking Mind Talk: Charley Ware

    Way Seeking Mind Talk: Charley Ware

    Mon, Sep 18, 2023

    There will be a student talk in the online zendo right after a shorter period of zazen:

    7:30 am: zazen
    8:00 am: way-seeking mind talk

    What is a "way-seeking mind" talk?  See below.

    Way-Seeking Mind at Berkeley Zen Center

    “Way-Seeking Mind” talks by practitioners at Berkeley Zen Center have been a regular event on Monday mornings for more than thirty years. Each of us came to Zen practice as a seeker, with a spirit of inquiry. Each of us arrives at BZC from our own diverse backgrounds—social, familial, educational, religious, and so on. The idea of our way-seeking mind talks is for students to share how it is that they came to practice. Each person tells his or her own story in a unique way that often blends autobiography, spiritual biography, and the practice questions that each of us is engaged with.

    The talks are by invitation, and last about twenty-five minutes, including time for presentation and short question & answer period. For newer students, this is a chance to meet and hear those we are sitting with. Those invited to talk have been sitting steadily at BZC; for them it is an opportunity to tell their story and be seen and heard. One of the teachers or senior students is available for advice in shaping one's talk, should that be useful.

  • Wednesday Night Drop-in Sitting and Study

    Wednesday Night Drop-in Sitting and Study

    Wed, Sep 20, 2023

    The Wednesday Drop-in group is a weekly event, now in person, that goes from 7:10 to 9:00 PM. It includes a 30-minute period of Zazen meditation and a brief service in the zendo, followed by tea and refreshments and an hour of reading and discussion in the Community Room. The group particularly welcomes newcomers to Zen Buddhist practice and/or new to Berkeley Zen Center. It also provides an opportunity for practitioners to sit and study together on an ongoing basis. We meet every Wednesday except for the five-day Spring Practice Period sesshin(retreat) in June, the annual seven-day Buddha’s Enlightenment sesshin in December and during the two-week interim period during the December holidays. We also maintain a google group to share reading materials we are studying, announce other BZC events and issues related to logistics. The groups is facilitated by a BZC Priest, Ikushin Gerry Oliva. Gerry can be contacted at for further information.

  • Class: What is a Good Life

    Class: What is a Good Life

    Thu, Sep 21, 2023

    Berkeley Zen Center is pleased to host Shaykh Yassir Chadly for a 3-session dialogue with Abbot Hozan about “a good life” in our respective Sufi and Zen traditions.

    Please register at


  • Special Speaker - Rev Ikeda from Japan

    Special Speaker - Rev Ikeda from Japan

    Fri, Sep 22, 2023

    Join us as we welcome a special guest from Soto headquarters in Japan:  Rev. Kosai Ikeda.

    In person in the zendo and at the BZC zendo Zoom link

    BZC welcomes Rev. Kosai Ikeda offering a dharma talk on “Practicing the Buddha Way Wherever and Whenever.” Rev. Ikeda comes to us as a “special dispensation teacher” from Soto Zen headquarters in Japan. He graduated from College of San Mateo, trained at Eiheiji, and is currently abbot of Kenryu-ji temple in Yamagata prefecture.

    For the last fifteen years he has been serving as a Buddhist chaplain of the local correctional facility, helping inmates with their rehabilitation and re-entry programs. Rev. Ikeda has also been teaching kendo, the way of the sword, to high school students in his region. He writes:

    It is a great honor for me to visit temples overseas for the first time on behalf of the head priest of Soto Zen school in Japan. I hope you will kindly accept me as a sangha friend who shares the same aspiration. I will certainly do my very best to share my talk in English but, admittedly, it would take our mutual effort, patience, imagination, open mind, and kindness to share the deep meaning of the talk. I hope we can make the most of this opportunity as a practice opportunity for each other and learn from each other.

    This talk will be in a hybrid format—in-person in the zendo and available on Zoom. Please join us on this special occasion.

  • One-Day Study Sesshin - Instructions for the Zen Cook

    One-Day Study Sesshin - Instructions for the Zen Cook

    Sat, Sep 23, 2023

    We invite you to join us for a One-Day Study Sesshin at Berkeley Zen Center, Saturday, September 23, from 7:50 AM to 5:30 PM. This study sesshin will be led by Hozan Alan Senauke, and will focus on Dogen’s Tenzo Kyokun/ Instructions to the Cook.
    1.  Deadline to sign up is Noon on Thursday, September 21.  In-person attendance will be limited to 33 people.  Those who sign up after we reach the 33-person limit will be placed on a waiting list.
    For all sesshin attendees, proof of vaccination and booster shots are required to participate.  Indoor masking is now optional, but social distancing protocols will still be observed.
    Lunch will be served outdoors at tables in the courtyard, using a modified oryoki form.  There will be an instruction in eating oryoki during the 2nd period of zazen that day; a set of oryoki bowls to purchase will be available at that time.
    We will have a short work period, so please bring work clothes you can change into.
    Neither dokusan nor practice discussion will be offered during this study sesshin.
    The sesshin fee is $25 for in-person attendees (or whatever you can afford).  You may pay online, or you can send a check to BZC at:


    Berkeley Zen Center
    1931 Russell Street
    Berkeley, CA 94703
    Attention:  Office Manager, Helen Cheng
    Additional donations may be made at
    If you have questions, please contact the Sesshin Director, Rob Lyons at
    Lecture: Abbot Hozan

    Lecture: Abbot Hozan

    Sat, Sep 23, 2023

    Sesshin in session at this time.

    Only the lecture available via Zoom at: 10:15 AM