Category Archives: Old News

One-Day Sesshin Saturday, August 3, 2019 - 5:00 am - 9:00 pm

Sojun Roshi will lead a one-day sesshin on Saturday, August 3, from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. We encourage old and new sangha members to participate. Please sign up on the patio bulletin board by Wednesday morning, July 31, 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 per day and should be paid in advance (a discounted fee is possible for those in need; please speak to the director). Leave checks marked “August 2019 sesshin” in the mail slot in the courtyard laundry room door or mail to the BZC Office Manager at 1931 Russell St., Berkeley, CA 94703.

Those attending for the first time will need to fill out a Sesshin Information Form to let us know of health problems, food allergies, or physical issues requiring accommodation. Please request this form by contacting the sesshin director, Gary Artim, at

Half-Day Sitting Sunday, May 19, 2019, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Please consider joining us for a half-day sitting on May 19. Half-day sittings are now happen­ing every other month. The schedule includes five periods of zazen, separated by kinhin. There is an informal tea break at about 10:00 a.m., and a short service at noon. These sittings are very quiet and an opportunity to have concentrated sitting practice.

Sangha Work Day June 9, 2019, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Save the date and join us for our all-sangha workday on June 9, 8:00‒4:00. The day will open with coffee and pastries, then zazen from 8:15 to 8:40, work circle at 8:45, with work starting at 9:00. Then lunch provided by our tenzos from noon until work circle at 12:45, winding up with informal zazen 3:45‒4:00.

Come and join the fun festivities and seeds that always accompany our sangha work!

Holocaust Remembrance Saturday, May 4, 2019, 1:00 pm

Annette Herskovits, a BZC member and Holocaust survivor, recently lost her older brother, who, after their parents’ deportation to Auschwitz, helped Annette and her sister elude capture by the Nazis. She will offer a remembrance of him at BZC on Saturday, May 4 at 1:00 p.m. in the zendo, including some of his own words in letters about his experience.  We are at the end of an era, as witnesses of the Holocaust pass away. This presentation will serve both as a memorial to a warm and happy family destroyed by genocidal madness and a chance for Annette to appreciate her brother’s life and their relationship.

Lay Entrustment

On Monday morning, May 6, Sojun Roshi will confer Lay Entrustment and offer green rakusus to Seishi Tetsudo Ross Blum and Sentei Kokyo Susan Marvin. The ceremony and informal dharma inquiry with Ross and Susan will take place at the time of morning zazen. A celebratory reception in the community room will follow.

Satipattanasutta/Foundations of Mindfulness, Class Thursdays, March 28 - April 25, 2019, 7:15 pm - 8:45 pm

Mindfulness is all the rage. Beyond the world of Buddhist centers and retreats, mindfulness is being taught today in schools, corporations, prisons, and even the military—often emphasizing relaxation and “being in the present.” But the Buddha’s presentation of the SatipattanaSutta/ The Foundations of Mindfulness, points to deeper dimensions of practice and liberation.

This Spring Hozan Sensei with lead a class on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, drawing from the SatipattanaSutta, on ThichNhat Hanh’s Transformation and Healing, and other Buddhist-centered commentary. The class will be held on five consecutive Thursday evenings – March 28 to April 25th – at 7:15 pm, probably in the Community Room. The fee is $50 with discounts available as needed. A sign-up will be posted soon on the patio bulletin board.

Buddha’s Birthday April 6, 2019

Join us to celebrate and appreciate the auspi­cious day of Buddha’s birthday on Saturday, April 6. Family, friends, and especially children are encouraged to participate. The cele­bration will include bathing the baby Buddha and a wonderful birthday cake prepared by our tenzos.

We will not have our usual early program. Decorating the bower with flowers will begin at 7:30 a.m. Work period to prepare the grounds begins at 8:30. The first period of zazen will be at 9:30, followed by a short lecture and the ceremony.

On Friday, the day before the celebration, donations of flowers from your garden, such as iris, daisy, ranunculus, sweet William, and camellia, are appreciated. There will be a sign-up on the bulletin board to help trim flowers on Friday afternoon.

If you can help with setup and cleanup, please sign up on the bulletin board and arrive by 8:30 a.m. Please also sign up if you will help trim flowers on Friday afternoon, so they will be ready for bower decorators on Saturday.

If you have questions about the flower bower, please contact head chiden Mark Copithorne at For any other questions about the birthday cele­bration, contact zendo co-managers Hannah Meara  ( or Carol Paul (

One-Day Sesshin Saturday, March 23, 2019, 5:00 am - 9:00 pm

Gerry Oliva will lead a one-day sesshin from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 23. The sesshin fee is $35. Place checks marked “2019 March Sesshin” in the slot in the laundry room door or mail to BZC Office Manager, 1931 Russell St., Berkeley, CA 94703. A sign-up sheet will be posted on the bulletin board. For further information, please contact the Sesshin Director, Gary Artim: 510-676-9756 or

Women’s Sesshin Sunday, March 3, 2019, 8:30 am - 1:30 pm

There will be a women’s sesshin on Sunday, March 3, led by Reverend Daijaku Kinst.

Daijaku was ordained as a priest in 1988 and received Dharma Transmission from Sojun Roshi in 2005. She is Co-Teacher of the Ocean Gate Zen Center in Santa Cruz, California, and has also taught in many other locations, including Gampo Abbey with the Venerable Pema Chodron. She has a PhD in Buddhism and Psychology and is a core faculty member and director of the Buddhist Chaplaincy Program at the Institute of Buddhist Studies, an affiliated graduate school of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.   

The sesshin will go from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and will include periods of zazen, kinhin, lecture, discussion, and a short service. Lunch will be provided. The fee is $20.00. For more information, contact Karen Sundheim: or 510-409-1187.

Sojun Roshi’s Koan Class Mondays in February

Sojun Roshi will be teaching a four class series on two koans from The Book of Serenity beginning Monday 2/4. We’ll meet from 7:15-8:45 p.m. each Monday in February. Class material and sign-up is now on the patio shelf for our first two classes .
We’ll be studying # 32 first, Yangshan’s (Kyozan’s) Mind and Environment. The third and fourth weeks will be #62, Mi Hu’s ( Beiko’s) Enlightenment or Not?  Both Yangshan and Mi Hu were students of Guishan (Isan) in the 9th century. All three were part of the Igyo school of Zen which developed from Yangshan’s style and died out after five generations.
The Book of Serenity format is in three sections. The first is the koan or case which is usually a brief recorded verbal exchange between teacher and student. One hundred of these cases were chosen by Hongzhi (Tiantong) in the 12th century, who then composed a verse to accompany each one. In the 13th century Wansong comes along and adds commentary to both the case and verse which now becomes the Book of Serenity (Wansong’s temple name). In this way we get the insight of three outstanding teachers on one subject over the course of 500 years. Imagine back to Columbus for that time span. Do you have a month available?