Category Archives: News

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.

Honoring the Buddha’s Robe

In Kesa Kudoku /The Virtue of the Robe, Dogen Zenji writes of first hearing the robe chant in China.

At that time, there arose in me a feeling I have never before experienced. My body was overwhelmed with joy. Tears of gratitude secretly fell and soaked my lapels… Seeing this done here, before my very eyes, I was overjoyed.

During Aspects of Practice we will begin again to chant and open our robes at the start of each day. Since we are beginning anew after many months of pandemic, it is a good moment to revise the English verse, offering a more accurate translation, in line with the verses used at most Soto Zen centers in the West, including SFZC.

The is how we offer the chant daily. The doan will sound a “clunk” on the bell 5 minutes after the start of 6:00am and 7:35am weekday zazen. Roughly 2 minutes after that ring the usual 3 bells.

Saturdays, while we are still in the digital world, the doan will sound the clunk at 8:45, the start of zazen. Hearing this sound, place your rakusu securely on your head (for okesa, remove from envelope and place on head). Put your hands in gassho and complete the chant. Then unfold the robe and put it on. Even if you do not have a physical robe, go into gassho during the chant, honoring the invisible robe each of us wears.

If you first put on your robe later in the day, chant the verses on your own before sitting zazen.

Great robe of liberation
Field far beyond form & emptiness
Wearing the Tathagata’s teaching

Saving all beings

Dai sai ge da pu ku
ō fuku den e
hi bu nyo rai kyo
kō do shoshu jo

Great robe of liberation
Field far beyond form & emptiness
Wearing the Tathagata’s teaching

Saving all beings

Wednesday Night Drop-in Sitting and Study Group 2021

The Wednesday Drop-in group is a weekly event now on Zoom that goes from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. It includes a 30 minute period of zazen meditation,  and an hour of reading and discussion. The group particularly welcomes newcomers to Zen Buddhist practice and/or new to Berkeley Zen Center. It also provides an opportunity for practitioners to sit and study together on an ongoing basis. We meet every Wednesday except for the five-day Spring Practice Period sesshin(retreat) in June, the annual seven-day Buddha’s Enlightenment sesshin in December and during the two-week interim period during the December holidays. We also maintain a google group to share reading materials we are studying, announce other BZC events and issues related to logistics. The groups is facilitated by a BZC Priest, Ikushin Gerry Oliva. Gerry can be contacted at for further information.

Coming-of-Age Group Forming

BZC will be offering a Coming-of-Age pro­gram for 7th and 8th grade youth. Participants will study basic Buddhist teachings, mindful­ness, precepts, and communication skills, and explore ways to celebrate their journey toward adulthood.
The program will meet monthly for two hours on Sundays from September through June. For more information, please contact Marie Hopper (

BZC Welcomes New Residents

Between mid-May and mid-June, BZC welcomed five new residents: Heiko Lake and Joe Buckner moved into 1933½ Russell, Yoni Ackerman and Bri McGuire moved into 1933A Russell, and Preston Evers moved into 1929A Russell (shared with Helen Cheng). We are excited to begin again together, and to work together to assist BZC leadership in reopening plans. All are fully vaccinated and the first in-person resident meeting was held on June 8.