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BZC Tassajara Sangha Week 2 – September 2023

Every year the Tassajara Mountain Zen Center provides an opportunity for sanghas to practice together as part of the Guest Practice Program during the summer guest season. Teachers from Suzuki Roshi lineage can bring a group from 7 to 10 members including the teachers. Ikushin Gerry Oliva and Mary Duryee will be leading a study period this year from September 5 to 10.

The daily program includes 5:50 AM zazen, 6:50 service, 7:15 Soji (short work period, 7:30 breakfast with other guest students, 8:30 until noon work assignments, noon lunch with students. The rest of the day will be structured by each study group. We will join the guests for dinner and sit the final zazen period of the day.

The cost for this will be approximately $600 per week. We will plan to drive down together if possible. If we can’t drive all the way to Tassajara because of parking constraints, there is a stage from Carmel Valley to the Center for $65.00 round trip.

If you are interested in participating, please let us know by the end of April or earlier if you can commit to the week of Sept 5-10. If there are more than 8 people interested, we will do this by lottery. There will not be scholarships available for this event.

Contact Gerry Oliva at or Mary Duryee at if you would like more information or are interested in discussing your participation.


Dear Sangha,

Thank you for your patience and your practice. With significantly declining Covid infection rates in Alameda County, BZC plans to open for in-person and Zoom weekday zazen at 6:00 a.m., beginning on Monday, March 14 to those who have submitted their vaccination information to the BZC Office Manager. As part of a staged reopening of zendo practice, Tuesday through Friday we will offer an hour of zazen followed by service. The 6:00 a.m. program on Monday morning will be 40 minutes of zazen followed by service. (Monday morning talks will continue to be on Zoom at 8:00 a.m., following Zoom-only zazen at 7:30.)

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 and follow any City of Berkeley health protocols during zazen and chanting service. 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 and helping you find seating. Please note that should we experience another wave of Covid, any or all of these protocols will be revised.

Many of you responded in the fall that you would like to come to the zendo, and have sent us your vaccination info. We are reaching out again and ask you to send a photograph of your vaccination and booster card to Helen Cheng, BZC Office Manager, at

The Zoom-only program will continue on the schedule we have been following, including weekdays and the Saturday and Monday morning programs. (There will be a sufficient time after Monday morning zazen to return home to participate in the program on Zoom.) As we iron out the process of morning practice in person, we will include noon and afternoon periods in the zendo as in the past. Please see the BZC website for further details and the latest protocols.

See you in the zendo at last!

Bowing deeply,