In the far north of Germany Juen Ryushin Friederike Boissevain and Nanzan Shunki Harald Schoklmann were ordained as Soto Zen priests by Hozan Sensei at Wind und Wolken Sangha on February 8. Juen and Nanzan began this group in 2002, and have long dedicated themselves to the dharma even as they each maintain active lives as physicians and creators of the region’s first hospice organization. As dharma names Juen Ryushin means Circle of Giving/Arising Heart-Mind; Nanzan Shunki translates as South Mountain/Bright Spirit.
Every Saturday BZC offers breakfast to people attending the morning program. If you’ve been looking for ways to help out at our temple, the Saturday program offers several practice opportunities that do not require any prior experience: assisting the head cook, serving the meal, and washing dishes.
Assisting the head cook in the kitchen begins at 6:00 am. This is a wonderful way to see what kitchen practice is all about. The head cook will provide training as you work together to prepare the meal. We also need servers to serve the breakfast in the zendo. If you haven’t done this before, the head server will train you during the second zazen period. During the serving of the meal, each server practices fully meeting each person being served. After breakfast, the dishwashers go to the kitchen to wash the dishes. You work as a team, led by the head dishwasher, to get the dishes washed and the kitchen cleaned. All three of these activities are fundamental elements of our sangha practice.
We encourage you to join us. There is a sign-up calendar on the porch bulletin board that includes all of these activities. If you have any questions about these practice opportunities, or how to sign up, please contact the coordinator, Leslie Bartholic at email@example.com.
Thanks to John Mogey, who is our former Shuso, for making a lovely pottery candle holder for our kitchen altar. It just arrived in the mail from his home in Oregon, and it is a very nice addition.
The Board held its annual day-long retreat on January 18. The retreat is a time for Board members to talk in a more free-ranging and relaxed way about issues facing BZC in the coming year. One outcome of this year’s retreat: the Board made a decision to again focus fundraising efforts on our Building Fund; typically we have been alternating between our Leadership Fund and Building Fund. It is our intention to provide as well as we can for long-term sustainability for BZC in all areas—practice and teaching, physical plant, financial resources, etc.
BZC is lucky in many ways: we have paid off our mortgages, we are able to support an abbot, a vice-abbot, and an office manager, and we have a decent amount in our Leadership Fund, due to Board efforts beginning fifteen years ago. We have also assembled a property management team with an excellent depth and breadth of skills. These folks have been evaluating our building maintenance and improvement needs, and it is becoming clear to the Board that right now, our greatest need is to take care of the buildings and grounds that have been given to us, in order to respond to both expected and unexpected impermanence. Last year’s successful fundraising efforts will enable us to rejuvenate and modernize the kitchen in 1929A. While in that process, it makes sense to investigate the plumbing in that entire building, which will no doubt require additional funds. BZC Board and officers are very grateful for the support of this generous sangha.
As always, Board members are available to receive your questions and suggestions. The list of Board members is available on our website and in our member directory.
Dharma brothers and sisters: we’re all just one big happy family, right? On Sunday, October 5, BZC will be offering its third annual ground-breaking Family Sesshin for all ages and stages of being. The day will begin at 9:00 am and go until 4:00 pm. It will include zazen, service, a mindful walk, work period, theater games, art projects, stories, and other fun activities for all ages. As usual, we need non-parents and non-children for ballast! You can attend all or part. Please sign up on the zendo bulletin board. Questions? E-mail Laurie Senauke (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Aspects of Practice opening sesshin, led by Laurie Senauke, will take place on Saturday, October 18. We encourage both long-term and new sangha members to participate. Please sign up on the patio bulletin board by Wednesday morning, October 15, after zazen. If this is your first sesshin at BZC, we recommend that you first participate in a full Saturday program and also speak with the sesshin director. The fee is $35 and should be paid in advance (a discounted fee is possible; please speak to the director). Put checks marked “October 18 sesshin” in the courtyard laundry room door mail slot or mail to the BZC office manager at 1931 Russell St., Berkeley 94703. You can also use the bill pay option on your banks’ website with the notation “October Sesshin fee.”
Aspects of Practice—led by BZC Senior Students Denkei Raul Moncayo, Laurie Senauke, Ron Nestor, Ryushin Andrea Thach, Greg Denny, and Gerry Oliva—will begin with the opening sesshin on Saturday, October 18, and continue through the closing sesshin on Saturday, November 15.
Please join us for a special work weekend September 20 and 21. Many of BZC’s unpainted wood surfaces, the zendo in particular, badly need cleaning, resurfacing, and refinishing.
We’ve hired Gustavo, our excellent contractor, to pressure-wash surfaces two weeks prior to our work. Our job will consist of light sanding and then applying a low- VOC sealer with brushes and rollers. No experience is necessary. We’ve cancelled the usual Sept. 20 Saturday program schedule so everyone will find it easier to show up and pitch in. A reliably great lunch will be served each day.