Category Archives: News

Coming-of-Age Program

We are excited to have your child join us for the 2022-2023 Coming of Age program this year. I have included the schedule below to remind you of our meeting dates. Please reserve the final retreat date during which we hope you and your child will be able to participate.

  • Initial Orientation – Sunday September 11th 10-12pm
  • Session 2 – Sunday October 16th 10-12pm
  • Session 3 – Sunday November 20th 10-12pm
  • Session 4 – Sunday December 18th 10-12pm
  • Session 5 – Sunday January 8, 2023 10-12pm
  • Session 6 – Sunday February 12th 10-12pm
  • Session 7 – Sunday March 12th 10-12pm
  • Session 8 – Sunday April 16th 10-12pm
  • Session 9 – Sunday May 7th, 10-12pm
  • Closing Half Day Retreat – Sunday June 4th, 10-3pm

Our first meeting will be on September 11th at 10am. At this first meeting we ask that one or both parents attend. It will give you a chance to meet the program leaders and the other parents of the other participants. During the second half of the meeting we will invite the parents to have tea and meet with one of the senior teachers at Berkeley Zen Center who will be able to answer any questions you have about the program.

Please bring a copy of your vaccination card if you have one. If you or your child have any covid symptoms, please stay home even if you test negative the day of our meeting.

For more information, please contact Marie Hopper at

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

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:

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

Sojun Roshi Memorial at Green Gulch Farm June 19

Sojun Roshi’s funeral will be held at the Green Gulch Farm zendo at 3pm.
Because Covid conditions and protocols still apply, in-person attendance for both of these events have been limited and we are now fully subscribedYou are encouraged to join either or both of these events online. 
Sunday’s event is being handled through the San Francisco Zen Center.
Zoom Meeting I.D.: 264-616-8381; passcode: 805991
Meeting URL

Or use direct link:

Half-day Sitting – Sunday, April 17

Dear Dharma Friends,

There will be a half-day sitting at BZC’s zendo on Sunday, April 17, from 8:00 a.m. to noon. We will have five periods of sitting and kinhin, with a break in the middle. This is a nice, quiet way to begin the day, and all are welcome.

Zazen will be physically distanced, with a capacity of 24 people sitting in the zendo. For the present, wear an N-95 or KN-95 mask.

Please bring your vaccination card unless you already have one on file with the BZC Office Manager  (

Windows will be open, so dress warmly, according to the weather. A monitor will be at the zendo door, checking the list of vaccination-registered members. Please note that should we experience another wave of Covid, any or all of these protocols will be revised.

Suggested donation is $10. You can sign up by emailing the Director Mark Copithorne at Mark will also be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Recent Dharma Transmission

Buddhas Rejoice

On Thursday, September 30 Kosei Nyokai Laurie Senauke completed Dharma Transmission with her teacher Steve Weintraub. The closing week of ceremonies for Laurie and Ken Sawyer took place at Back Porch Zendo in Sebastopol, where Steve was assisted by David Weinberg. Great congratulations to all.