Category Archives: News

BZC Sangha Practice at Green Gulch

As you may know the two groups scheduled to attend Sangha Week’s at Tassajara were canceled by Tassajara. We have been offered an opportunity to do a Sangha practice session at Green Gulch Zen Center from Sept 18 to 23.  Click below for he daily schedule and the other program details:
This is a wonderful time of the year to visit Green Gulch, enjoying the zendo practice , hiking the hills, walking on the beach and studying together.
Please contact Gerry Oliva ( or Mary Duryee ( if you are interested in participating.
             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

Coming-of-Age Program

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

Many Communities, One Sangha: Community-of-Practice Program

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.

Opportunity to Reciprocate

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 (

Nominations for the BZC Board

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 ( or Ellen Webb ( 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.

Use BZC’s Storefront on 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. 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:

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!


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)


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