Category Archives: News

Class: Parables of the Lotus Sutra – begins May 12

Abbot Hozan Alan Senauke will be teaching this year’s Practice Period Class on the Parables the Lotus Sutra. The Lotus Sutra is one of the most important Mahayana Sutras. Its influence runs throughout Soto Zen’s founder Dogen’s teachings. The parables reveal the inherent possibility of awakening in each of us.

The class will be held on Thursdays evenings May 12, 19, 26 and June 2 from 7:15 til 8:45 pm. This class will be held on zoom, and subsequently will be available on the website under “lectures.”
PDFs of excerpts will be available to class participants. Sign up for the class as part of the practice period sign up. If you are not participating in the practice period but will be attending the class, please notify the Class Coordinator, Ryushin Andrea Thach at andrea.thach@gmail.com.

If you’d like a hardcopy of the materials for the class, please let the Abbot assistant, Jonathon Koltz know. He can be contacted at jonkoltz@gmail.com. For a digital copy of the materials for the class, click here.

Suggested donation is $40 or whatever you can afford. This can be paid by using the “generosity” tab on the BZC website. Use the middle choice of “classes and sesshins” and please note that your payment is for the practice period class on Paypal or send the office manager a note at bzcofficemanager@gmail.com or pay by check by mail.
If you have questions, contact the Class coordinator.

Sangha Work Day June 5

Please save the date and join us for our all-sangha work day on Sunday, June 5! The day will open with coffee and pastries at 8:00 a.m., then zazen from 8:15 to 8:40, work circle at 8:45, with work starting at 9:00. Lunch will be provided by our tenzos from noon until work circle at 12:45 p.m., and we’ll wind up with informal zazen 3:45‒4:00.  Greg Denny will be the Work Leader for the day.

Come and join the festivities of caring for our temple property. Whether you are here for part or the entire work day, all who enter through our gates reap the benefits of our efforts!

Five-Day Sesshin June 8-12

Abbot Hozan will lead our five-day sesshin on Wednesday through Sunday, June 8‒12. It will be in a hybrid (Zoom and/or in-person) format; details are still being worked out, sign up link will be posted soon.

When paying for sesshin, please indicate on your check or in the PayPal note field that your donation is for the “June five-day sesshin.” The suggested donation is $15 per day, or whatever you can afford. Mail a check to BZC Office Manager, 1931 Russell St., Berkeley, CA 94703, or pay through the website using the “Sits/Classes” tab on the “Donate” page. Please consider a donation to Berkeley Zen Center above the suggested fee to help us maintain our practice.

If you have any questions, please contact the sesshin director, Blake Tolbert, at blake.tolbert@berkeleyzencenter.org

Tassajara BZC Sangha Week August 12-18, 2022

Every year the Tassajara Mountain Zen Center provides an opportunity for sanghas to practice together as part of the Guest Practice Program during the summer guest season. Teachers from sangha’s from the Suzuki Roshi lineage can bring a group of from 7 to 10 members including the teachers. Ikushin Gerry Oliva and Mary Duryee will be leading a Sangha Week this year from August 12 to 18.

The daily program includes 5:50 AM zazen, 6:50 service, 7:15 Soji (short work period, 7:30 breakfast with other guest students, 8:30 until noon work assignments, noon lunch with students. The rest of the day will be structured by each study group. We will join the guests for dinner and sit the final zazen period of the day.

The cost for this will be approximately $80 per day. We will plan to drive down together if possible. If we can’t drive all the way to Tassajara because of parking constraints, there is a stage from Carmel Valley to the Center for $65.00 round trip.

If you are interested in participating, please let us know by the end of March. If there are more than 8 people interested, we will do this by lottery.

Contact Gerry Oliva at gryoliva@gmail.com  or Mary Duryee at maduryee@icloud.com if you would like more information or are interested in participating.

Tassajara BZC Sangha Week July 1 – 7, 2022

This summer, Tassajara is planning on opening for Sangha Weeks, and Ryushin Andrea Thach and Susan Marvin will lead BZC’s practice and study there together July 1 through 7.

We will join the summer monastic schedule of sitting and working mornings, studying Suzuki Roshi and Sojun Roshi’s teachings afternoons, and exploring the beauty of the Ventana Wilderness. This is a special opportunity to spend intimate time with sangha members while being at our home training monastery.
Cost is $80 per day.
Up to 8 students are welcome to join. If you are interested, please be in touch with Susan and/or Ryushin (andrea.thach@gmail.com).
If there are more than 8 who want to come, priority will go to those who can stay for the entire week. Others are encouraged to book separately for the time they are able to attend and are welcome to join all activities.

BZC and Climate Change

In this issue and the next, our column will briefly summarize the IPCC Working Group III Sixth Assessment Report, which you may have heard about in the news.

That’s a mouthful! First, let’s demystify the terminology:

  • The IPCC is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a UN body responsible for providing governments with scientific information to make climate policy. The IPCC issues Assessment Reports every 5 to 7 years, and just released their Sixth Assessment Report.
  • Each Assessment Report has three working groups, which release their own sections of the overall report. Working Group III handles mitigation (what we can do to stop climate change), and released their report on April 4, 2022.

That report shows that our current mitigation policies will lead to a world that is over 3 degrees warmer than preindustrial average. This blows past a goal of 1.5 or 2 degrees of warming. We must reduce our emissions by 50% by 2030 to have a chance of staying well under 2 degrees, which is critical to human and ecosystem health. The good news is that we have the technology to do this! The time for action is now.

The report identifies a chief obstacle to action: a lack of political will made worse by corporations and lobbyists who act as impediments to real climate action. The biggest collective solutions we should be organizing toward are state and federal policies that:

  • rapidly deploy wind and solar technologies,
  • electrify transit,
  • electrify buildings, and
  • end fossil fuel subsidies and stop the extraction of fossil fuels.

The report highlights that the global richest 10% generate disproportionately more carbon emission than others, between 36 and 45% of all carbon emissions. (If you make over $35,000/year or have assets worth more than $12,000, you are a member of the richest 10%!) The report highlights actions the global rich should Avoid, Shift, and Improve:

  • Avoid taking long-haul flights or regularly using a car;
  • Shift to more public transit and fewer animal products; and
  • Improve by using electrified heating, appliances, and cars.

Avoiding, shifting, and improving your habits in these ways, and then sharing this with your friends and neighbors is a great way to tie individual and collective action together.

Many thanks for reading, and for your continued commitment to saving all beings.

—Brianna McGuire (BZC resident)

 

Nominations for the BZC Board

Every year the sangha elects three of six members-at-large to two-year terms to the BZC Board. Board members may serve a maximum of two consecutive terms. Elections take place in October and the new term starts in January 2023. The Board will present its three nominees at the All-Sangha Potluck on Sunday evening, September 18. Other nominations can be made by sangha members at that meeting.

Some of the various skills the board seeks in nominees (not all in one person) are: oral and written communication, organization, information technology, money management, fundraising, engineering, building mainte­nance, and nonprofit law. Nominees should be members of BZC. Board members attend about ten Sunday morning meetings a year plus one all-day retreat in the first part of the year, and serve on at least one working Board commit­tee: Finance; Buildings & Grounds; Develo­p­ment; Electronic Communication & Social Media; Archive; and Elections & Nominations.

If you are interested in serving on the Board, or know someone whom you would like to nominate, please contact the Board Recruitment and Elections Committee: Ed Herzog (edherzog@comcast.net), Carol Paul (carolpaul@yahoo.com), and Ellen Webb (elweb@sbcglobal.net). Please include any relevant information about why you think the person would be a good BZC Board member.

 

Sojun Roshi Video April 24

Please join us for an online gathering to view the first video of Sojun Roshi’s Public Dokusans, which were offered in the Online Zendo on Thursday evenings throughout the 2nd half of 2020.  The video lasts about one hour; Sojun makes a brief introduction and then invites questions; there are about 10 encounters in this recording.
Sunday, April 24 at 7 PM in the Online Zendo

One-Day Sesshin May 7

We will have a one-day sesshin on Saturday, May 7, 7:50 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The sesshin will be in a hybrid (Zoom and/or in-person) format; in person attendees bring a bag lunch. Sign up here:

https://forms.gle/Lpff3h7DZZYT4KrD8

When paying for sesshin, please indicate on your check or in the PayPal note field that your donation is for the “May sesshin.” The suggested donation is $15 per day, or whatever you can afford. Mail a check to BZC Office Manager, 1931 Russell St., Berkeley, CA 94703, or pay through the website using the “Sits/Classes” tab on the “Donate” page. Please consider a donation to Berkeley Zen Center above the suggested fee to help us maintain our practice.

If you have any questions, please contact the sesshin director, Blake Tolbert, at blake.tolbert@berkeleyzencenter.org