Category Archives: News

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.

Changing Hands

You may have already noticed that we have a new Saturday work leader. Ed Herzog has stepped into this role and is now responsible for leading us during our Saturday work period. We offer many thanks to Bruce Coughran for filling this position for almost two years. His quiet steady presence on Saturday mornings helped us all pay attention as we worked together to care for our temple.

Dharma Group Opening

There are a few openings in Jake and Leslie’s dharma group. We meet in the zendo about once a month on a Saturday, 12:30-2:30pm. Our time together includes zazen, a short check-in, and reading and discussing a text. We are currently reading Not Always So. Our intention is to relate our Zen teachings to our everyday lives through our discussion of these texts. Please contact Jake or Leslie at if you are interested in joining this group.

CPR/AED Training

BZC is offering a class for training in adult and child Lifesaver CPR and use of our AED. The class will be held on Saturday April 18 from 12:30-2:30pm. Attendees will receive CPR certification. The cost is $40. It’s very important that we have sangha members trained and certified in these skills, so please consider joining this class. See Margret Wotkyns, health and safety manager,  with any questions. Sign-up deadline is April 1.

Opening of Practice Period Sesshin

Sojun Mel Weitsman will lead a one-day sesshin on Saturday, May 2, from 5:00am–9:00pm. This will include an entering ceremony for our shuso for the Spring Practice Period.  We encourage old and new sangha members to participate. This is a great opportunity to start off the practice period and to support the shuso. Please sign up on the patio bulletin board by Wednesday morning, April 29 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 “May sesshin” in the mail slot in the courtyard laundry room door 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 and make the notation “May sesshin fee.”

If you have questions, contact the sesshin director, Jake Van Akkeren at or (925) 933 – 3486 before 9:00pm.