Category Archives: News

Changing Hands

Maria Winston and Tamar Enoch have been our co-head jikidos for the past two years. They have done a wonderful job of organizing the morning cleaning of the zendo. They also purchased cushions for the zendo chairs which has been much appreciated by the people who use them. We offer our heartfelt thanks to Tamar and Maria and welcome Ben Clausen to this position.

Twelve O’Clock Zen

High noon…that watershed moment when morning turns to afternoon. No better way to celebrate the turning than by sitting zazen at BZC, Monday through Friday. We sit from 12:00 pm to 12:30 pm, informal zazen, just sitting. Please join us.

Rabbits on Cushions

Half-Day Sitting

Half-day sittings include five periods of zazen,  kinhin (walking meditation) and an informal tea. Sojun Roshi asks participants to commit to the entire four-hour schedule. A $10 donation is  requested. If you have questions or if you cannot  sign up on the bulletin board, contact the May half-day director Peter Overton  ( or (510) 848-5239).

Five-Day Sesshin Concludes 2015 Spring Practice Period

Our spring practice period will conclude with a five-day sesshin from Wednesday, June 10 to Sunday, June 14. The first four days’ schedule is from 5:00am until 9:00pm, while the final day’s schedule is from 5:00am until 3:10pm, followed at 3:30 by the Shuso Hossen, dharma dialogue with the shuso. Please sign up on the patio bulletin board for a minimum of three days; we encourage you to make two of those days consecutive. If you want to request an alternative schedule, please speak to the sesshin director. Sign-ups close on Saturday, June 6, at 12:00 noon.

The Shuso Hossen ceremony will begin promptly at 3:30pm, and will be followed by a reception. All practice period and sesshin participants will be supporting the shuso and our practice by coming with a question.

If this is your first sesshin at BZC, it is strongly  recommended that you first participate in a full Saturday program, have oryoki instruction, and that you speak with the sesshin director. The fee is $35 per day, advance payment requested. Leave checks marked “June sesshin” in the laundry room door donation slot. If you have questions, contact the sesshin director Gary Artim ( or (510) 676-9756.

BZC Campout

All are warmly  invited to the  annual Berkeley Zen Center Campout, scheduled for July 11-12. We’ve reserved a group campsite in nearby Tilden Park, and will meet for a potluck dinner and possibly a short hike, as well as s’mores and songs around the campfire, sleeping under the stars, and waking up to oatmeal and coffee/tea/cocoa in the morning. Join us to pass on the campfire rounds we grew up with, tell stories, and learn the latest songs from our own kids.

All ages are welcome! If you prefer not to stay for the night, come for the dinner and company. If you would like to stay but are missing a tent or sleeping bag, let us know, and we can almost definitely find one for you. Contact if you have questions, and look for a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board in mid-June.

Practice Period Events

  • Opening sitting: May 2, 5:00am-9:00pm
  • Opening/Shuso Entering Ceremony: May 2, 4:00pm
  • Shuso talks/lectures: May 4, 16, 22, and 30
  • Classes: Thursdays, May 7-June 4, 7:15-8:45 pm
  • Bansan (tea and dharma discussion with the abbot): Friday, May 15, 5:40pm (please note date change)
  • Dinner and Skit Night: Saturday, May 23, 5:30pm
  • Shosan (dharma dialogue with the abbot): June 5, 5:40 pm, and June 8, 5:40am
  • Lay Ordination: Saturday, June 6, 3:00pm
  • Five-Day Sesshin: June 10-14
  • Shuso Hossen (dharma dialogue with the shuso): Sunday, June 14, 3:30pm

Practice Period at BZC

Practice period at BZC this spring begins with the Opening Ceremony on the afternoon of Saturday, May 2 and ends with the Shuso Ceremony on Sunday, June 14. Sojun Roshi has invited Susan Marvin — Sentei Kunka — Spring  Garden/Virtuous Influence to be shuso and serve as exemplar of devoted practice for us. We invite BZC members to participate in this time of intensified practice. The full schedule of events is on the BZC website and the bulletin board.

To participate, please complete a registration form on the bulletin board shelf. You must also sign up separately for sesshin and a number of events, even though you may have noted them in your registration form. Those sign-up sheets will be posted.

There are some requirements for participation in the practice period. These are detailed on the registration form. The spirit of this practice is expressed by Sojun Roshi in his words here.

New BZC Website Launches May 1st

The start of this year’s spring practice period will coincide with a major milestone in BZC’s presence on the World Wide Web. Our completely new WordPress-built website will go live on May 1.

The new site will introduce several new features, including:

  • Podcasting for our dharma talks and classes (subscribe through iTunes or RSS)
  • Live calendars of upcoming events, family practice events, and 20s and 30s group events
  • Faster downloads of files, including the newsletter PDFs
  • Better image gallery views

…and more.

The best part is that you won’t need to do anything to enjoy the new site. Simply continue to visit as you always have. If you miss any features from the old site, catch any errors, or have any other feedback, please drop our webmaster, Troy DuFrene, a line at

Two Vases

Barbara Stevens Strauss created a beautiful white vase and donated it to BZC in memory of Nancy McClellan, and Andrea Thach donated a special black Japanese vase. These vessels will be used and loved.