On August 14 we will have an in-person half-day sitting from 8:00 a.m. to noon. For further information, or to sign up, please contact Mark Copithorne (510-703-5465 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
For Hakuryu Sojun’s Funeral In the fall of 1964, You entered the dawn zendo With your artist’s fire And the Kabbalistic eye of a seeker Behind you Suzuki Roshi Gently adjusted your posture Leaning down to demonstrate the cosmic mudra And you were home Fifty-six years later, now You have left one home for another Sojun who had been and still is Mel Became a handful of fire A dharma wind And today I stand here In the Green Dragon’s nest A barefoot host to your teaching You taught me To read the other side of the page And to see Buddha in each being To rely on no particular thing Not even you As you did, I rely on everything You asked Suzuki Roshi, “What is Nirvana?” He said, “Seeing one thing through to the end” —Hozan Alan Senauke Green Dragon Zen Temple 19 June 2022
BZC will be offering a Coming-of-Age program for youth between the ages of 12 and 14. Participants will study basic Buddhist teachings, mindfulness, precepts, and communication skills, and explore ways to celebrate their journey toward adulthood.
The program will meet monthly for two hours on Sundays from September 2022 through June 2023. For more information, please contact Marie Hopper at email@example.com.
BZC will offer an 11-month program to learn ways to make the Dharma available and free from hindrance to all who walk through the gate. The program will focus on increasing our capacity as a sangha to deal with the intensity of emotion and pain that arises when we are intimate together. “Community of practice” is a process of learning by doing, together over time, in community, based on shared values and concerns.
Envisioned is a two-part process: a video/
discussion curriculum to give us the opportunity to explore our vision, goals, and concerns, together with experiential learning, offering practical, hands-on skill development. We will meet once a month, alternating between these two modalities.
“Many Communities, One Sangha” is a community-of-practice program developed by the East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC) in collaboration with the Soto Zen Buddhist Association (SZBA). It includes videos, readings, and discussion, with meetings of around 2.5 hours each, exploring questions like:
- What do we actually mean by equity?
- What are the values, intentions, and commitments that drive our pursuit of equity?
- What does it mean to create sanghas that offer trust, dignity, and belonging to a diverse community?
- What does it mean to practice being in “right relationship” to hierarchy and authority in our communities?
The experiential sessions will be facilitated by Rhonda Magee, a student of Norman Fischer and Joan Halifax. Rhonda received lay entrustment from Joan Halifax and is the author of The Inner Work of Racial Justice: Healing Ourselves and Transforming Our Communities Through Mindfulness.
The program will be provided to as many people at BZC who wish to participate. We aim to be able to provide the program to (at least) 50 BZC members and friends. The program will be offered again a second year. There will be some cost to individuals, and we are seeking funding through donations and grants.
If you would like an opportunity to serve both the sangha and the zendo (who never complains) consider taking a turn at chiden service. The commitment is once a week for three months, with the option to continue.
For more information, please contact Nancy Friedberg (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Are you interested in serving on the BZC Board or do you know someone who you would like to nominate? If so, please contact the Board Recruitment and Elections Committee: Ed Herzog (email@example.com) or Ellen Webb (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please include any relevant information about why you or your nominee would make a good BZC Board member.
Every year the Berkeley Zen Center sangha selects up to three at-large members to two-year terms on the BZC Board. This year we have three vacancies. Board members may serve a maximum of two consecutive, two-year 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. Nominations can also be made by sangha members at the All-Sangha Potluck.
Some of the various skills the Board seeks in nominees are oral and written communication, organizational experience, information technology, money management, fundraising, engineering, building maintenance, and non-profit law. Nominees should be members of BZC. Board members attend about ten Sunday morning meetings a year plus an 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.
Bookshop.org is a prosocial company that sells books online and gives a cut of all earnings to independent bookstores and affiliate organizations. They launched recently and are offering themselves as an alternative to Amazon. They work with independent bookstores and publishers as a more equitable and less exploitative partner.
Bookshop.org enables affiliate organizations like ours to create an online storefront on their website, and receive a percentage of all sales. BZC’s Bookshop has been set up by us to include books Zen students will be interested in, including books by BZC’s own authors. We’re open to suggestions and will continue to add books over time. Here’s the link to our Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/shop/berkeleyzencenter
You can also find the Bookshop link on the Recommended Reading page, under the main menu item Practice.
Thanks to Ben Clausen and Hozan Alan for the legwork on this!
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)