Many helping hands keep a Sangha vibrant and running, and this is how BZC continues to manage the many tasks and functions at our temple.
In deep appreciation we express our gratitude to those who have filled the positions below over the past one or two years. And we welcome those who will now fill these positions.
Note: A complete list of all positions is posted on the patio bulletin board.
|Outgoing Position Holder
|Incoming Position Holder
|Board Recording Secretary
|Hannah Meara & Genpo Senauke
|Preston Evers & Gerry Oliva
|Half-Day Sitting Leader
|Pauline Kerschen & Joe Buckner
|Margaux Winter & Joe Buckner
|Colleen Busch/Mark Copithorne
|Shika (helps overnight guests)
|Sunday Sesshin Manager
|Helen Cheng (new position)
|Work Leader (Saturdays)
|Work Leader (Sesshins)
The scroll hanging in the BZC zendo during Rohatsu was created by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. It is carefully stored in the Founders’ Altar and is used in the Founders’ Ceremony each month.
Suzuki Roshi calligraphed the names of the three Zen founders: Shakyamuni Buddha (in the middle), Bodhidharma (on the right), and Dogen Zenji (on the left). It is believed that he created these scrolls for the Zen satellite sitting groups associated with San Francisco Zen Center in the late 1960s—Kannon Do Zen Center in Mountain View, Genjo-ji Zen Center in Sonoma, and Berkeley Zen Center. Ross Blum adds his memory of the scroll: “When I arrived here in 1987, the scroll was in a paper box loosely rolling around inside. On my request, Belinda Sweet, who gifted many other scrolls to BZC, special-ordered a fitted box from Japan for this scroll. When this beautiful box arrived, she demonstrated the traditional way of wrapping the ribbon around the scroll, making a butterfly knot to securely place it inside the box.”
Here are two quotes from Zen Mind. Beginner’s Mind that express the spirit of Zen calligraphy:
“Not trying to make something skillful or beautiful, but simply writing with full attention, as if you were discovering what you were writing for the first time; then your full nature will be in your writing. This is the way of practice, moment after moment.”
“When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.”
On Monday, January 15, BZC will commemorate the Martin Luther King, Jr holiday with an 8:30‒11:30 morning of zazen, reflection, and neighborhood service. The day’s program is still under development, but our tentative schedule is:
•8:30‒ 9:00 am — Zazen
• 9:00‒10:00 — Reading the words of Dr. King and discussion based on his teachings and those of other teachers of equity and liberation. ]
• 10:00 — National Karma Repentance Ceremony, based on the Bodhisattva Ceremony. There will be an option to include personal repentance.
• 10:30 — Participants gather for neighborhood work: cleaning up the traffic barrier area on Milvia, and making bag lunches for our unhoused neighbors.
• 11:15 — Reconvene at BZC for a closing circle.
Sewing your rakusu in preparation for LayOrdination and receiving the precepts is an opportunity to deepen your practice and your relationship with the sangha. Each year, sewing-class students engage in the practice of sewing and studying the precepts together in order to prepare themselves to receive a rakusu/robe and a dharma name from their teacher. The sangha celebrates and supports these new bodhisattvas, affirming their aspiration for continuous practice.
Sewing classes start in the new year.Classes are open to those who have asked their teacher for permission to participate. If you are interested in participating this year, as soon as possible please speak with Abbot Hozan (in dokusan, by phone, or via Zoom) or one of BZC’s brown-robe teachers or green-rakusu teachers. After you have spoken withy our teacher, contact the sewing teacher, Jean Selkirk (firstname.lastname@example.org).
On Saturday, November 18, five members of the BZC sangha received Lay Ordination(Zaike Tokudo) from Abbot Hozan and Ryushin Andrea Thach. This ceremony takes place once a year at BZC. For those participating, itis a joyous culmination of many months of sewing and precept study. For those attending, it is an opportunity to reaffirm our vows. We welcome these friends into the lineage ofS hakyamuni Buddha and Suzuki Roshi’sf amily. Great thanks to Sewing Teacher JeanSelkirk, along with Kabir Nabi; to Laurie Senauke for directing the ceremony; to YoniAckerman for baking cookies; and to many other sangha members who helped to make this ceremony happen.
Jamie Kimmel—Shinkai Monsei (Deep Ocean, Hear the Essence)
Jim Erb—Hoshin Jogen (Dharma Heart, Manifest Source)
Pauline Kerschen—Fuba Jien (Wind Horse,Self Circle)
Greg Hertz—Waki Ekan (Harmonizing Vessel,Ceremony Mirror)
Evan Vreeland—Chikuin Ryumon (BambooSeal, Dragon Gate)
According to the Mahaparinibbana Sutta of thePali canon, at the age of 80 the Buddha announced that he would soon reachPage 3 January‒February 2024 BZC Newsletter Parinirvana, or the final deathless state, and abandon his earthly body. After this, he ate his last meal, fell ill, and died.
Each year we celebrate Buddha’s transition with a ceremony where we all can make offerings and chant in honor of this occasion.This year the ceremony will take placeSaturday, February 17, at 5:00 p.m., as the closing of our sesshin on that day.
This ceremony will be held Saturday, January
6, at the time of our usual lecture at 10:15 a.m.
Hozan Roshi will offer a short talk about Sojun.
Then we will all have the opportunity to make a
flower offering and to express our appreciation
Our late teacher Sojun was a deep and warm presence for many of us over the years, until his death in early 2021 at the age of 91. Over
the last year of his life, Sojun Roshi worked with several of his students to put together a long-promised book for Counterpoint Press. This book—Seeing One Thing Through: The Zen Life and Teachings of Sojun Mel Weitsman, with a foreword by Norman Fischerand an introduction by me—is now available. It has a unique structure. The first third of the book is a series of vivid memories and sketches of Sojun’s life, from his childhood to his life as an artist in the 1950s San Francisco scene; from his early years with Suzuki Roshi at SFZC to finding his way at Berkeley Zen
Center. The remainder of the book, two hundred more pages, contains a well-edited selection from a lifetime of practice and
dharma talks, touching on many aspects of our
everyday Zen practice. Seeing One Thing Through is available
from Counterpoint, from your local bookstore, and from all the usual online vendors. To quote Publishers Weekly: “This treasure trove of
wisdom is a welcome addition to the American Zen canon.”
We invite you to join us for a Seven-Day Rohatsu Sesshin at Berkeley Zen Center, Monday December 4 through Sunday December 10, from 6:00 AM to 5:30 PM. This sesshin will be led by Abbot Hozan Alan Senauke, and will commemorate the Buddha’s enlightenment.
Deadline to sign up is Monday, Monday, November 27. Participants are expected to attend for a minimum of 3 days, of which at least 2 are consecutive. 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.
SIGN UP BY CLICKING HERE:
The sesshin will also be offered online; sign up using the same link.
We have switched back to masking optional. We also ask you to test 48 hours before you come and again on your first day.
If you need overnight lodging, there will be spots available at the Zen Center. Please contact Cecelia Fitzgerald at email@example.com
to arrange this.
We will be offering oryoki breakfast and lunch in the zendo. It is important that all participants be trained in the oryoki forms. There will be an oryoki training prior to sesshin, details will be posted on the website. For further information please contact Ellen Webb at firstname.lastname@example.org
There will be two special ceremonies during Rohatsu this year:
Founders’ Ceremony (including Suzuki Roshi Memorial), Monday, December 4; and
Buddha’s Enlightenment Ceremony, Saturday December 9
Check the website for times for each.
We will have a short work period each day, so please bring work clothes you can change into.
Dokusan will be offered daily by Hozan Alan Senauke, and practice discussion by a senior student, both in-person and online.
The sesshin fee is $35 for in-person attendees, or $15 for online participants (or whatever you can afford). You may pay online, leave a check in the donation slot, or mail a check to BZC at:
Berkeley Zen Center
1931 Russell Street
Berkeley, CA 94703
Attention: Office Manager, Helen Cheng