image of Nancy McClellan
In Loving Memory
Nancy Jo McClellan
1942 – 2014

Public Memorial Ceremony: December 13, 2014 (read more)
Affirmation of Welcome
Walking the path of liberation, we express our intimate connection with all beings.
Welcoming diversity, here at Berkeley Zen Center the practice of zazen
is available to people of every race, nationality, class, gender, sexual orientation,
age, and physical ability. May all beings realize their true nature.


Aspects of Practice 2014 | Beginner’s Mind: Exploring Suzuki Roshi's
Unpublished Koan Talks (Open to All)
Saturday, 10/18 to Saturday, 11/15
One-Day Sesshin: Aspects of Practice Closes: Saturday, 11/15, 5:00 am – 9:00 pm
Half-Day Sitting: Sunday, 11/09, 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Shukke Tokudo: Deborah Good Zendò Shin-I (Virtuous/Good Path True Intention): Saturday, 11/22, 3:00 pm
Rohatsu Sesshin: Sunday, 11/30 – Saturday. 12/6

New to BZC? Take a look at our first-time visitor FAQ

Zazen (meditation)
Instruction and Orientation

is held in the Zendo on Saturdays
from 8:45 - 9:30 a.m.

Weekly Wednesday
Night Drop-In Group;
All are welcome.

7:20 p.m. Zazen
8:00 p.m. Service
8:10 - 9:00 p.m. Tea & Discussion

20s and 30s Dharma Group

BZC invites young adults in their 20’s and 30’s to join us in a monthly open discussion group about Zen, Buddhism, meditation and developing a personal practice. Our aim is to cultivate kalyana mitta, spiritual friendship, to provide members with an opportunity to meet others in their age group and to support each other in bringing practice more fully into our daily lives. We hope that leadership will emerge from group members and other formats and activities will develop. We meet in the zendo at 11:30 AM after Saturday lecture. Revised 2014 meeting dates: 10/25, 11/29, 12/13. For further information contact Gerry Oliva: olivag@fcm.ucsf.edu.

No photography in the Zendo, please
We ask that all visitors and members turn off their cell phones in the zendo. If you are interested in capturing the beauty of our zendo on camera, please make arrangements with the Zendo Manager, Ross Blum, at rossblum@icloud.com. Thank you.

BZC is a Scent Free Environment

Berkeley Zen Center Documentary
Old Plum Mountain: The Berkeley Zen Center, Life Inside the Gate tells the story of the Berkeley Zen Center, one of the oldest lay practice centers in the nation.
Click here to view the trailer and for information about purchasing the DVD


Aspects of Practice 2014 | Beginner’s Mind: Exploring Suzuki Roshi's Unpublished Koan Talks

Saturday, 10/18 to Saturday, 11/15

Aspects of Practice—led by BZC Senior Students Denkei Raul Moncayo, Laurie Senauke, Ron Nestor, Ryushin Andrea Thach, Greg Denny, and Gerry Oliva—will begin with the opening sesshinon Saturday, October 18, and continue through the closing sesshin on Saturday, November 15.

As always, this is an opportunity for new and old students to sit and study together, and also share work, practice discussion, and tea. The complete calendar of events is available here.

This year we will be delving into some of Suzuki Roshi’s unpublished talks on koans, exploring these in lectures and classes; we will also show a short movie of Suzuki Roshi. These materials are available online and in the BZC library for those who want to dive in on their own. Classes will be on Thursday evenings at 7:15 in the community room and are open to anyone who is interested—not just people participating in the practice period. Some study materials will be available in advance.

As fall begins, please join us for this opportunity to refresh our timeless practice. All the relevant info and sign-up sheets will be posted in early October. If you have questions (or would like to access the online library), e-mail Raul or Laurie (raul.moncayodebremont@gmail.com, lauries@kushiki.org), or catch us at BZC.

One Day Sesshin: Aspects of Practice Period Closes

Saturday, November 15, 5:00 am – 9:00 pm

Ryushin Andrea Thach will lead a one-day sesshin on Saturday, March 15, from 5:00 am – 9:00 pm to close our Aspects of Practice Period. We encourage old and new sangha members to participate. Please sign up on the patio bulletin board by Wednesday morning, November 12 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 “November 15 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 “October sesshin fee.”

If you have any questions, contact the sesshin director, Gerry Oliva at sesshindirectorbzc@gmail.com or (510)652-7217.

Half-Day Sitting

Sunday, November 19, 8:00 am – 12:00 noon

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 November half-day director Peter Overton at peterovrtn@gmail.com or (510) 848-5239.

Shukke Tokudo: Deborah Good

Saturday, November 22, 3:00 pm

On Saturday, November 22, Deborah Good—Zendò Shin-I, or Virtuous/Good Path True Intention—will receive priest ordination (Shukke Tokudo) from our abbot, Sojun Roshi. The ceremony will be at 3:00 pm in the zendo. A simple reception will follow. Please come and give Deborah your support as she takes her vows and we celebrate her ordination.

Rohatsu Sesshin

Sunday, November 30 – Saturday, December 6

This year’s Rohatsu sesshin, led by Sojun Mel Weitsman, begins November 30 and ends December 6. (The start of Rohatsu this year is at the end of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.) This sesshin commemorates the enlightenment of Shakyamuni Buddha, and all sangha members and friends are invited to attend Buddha’s enlightenment ceremony on Saturday, December 6, at 11:10 am, after lecture.

Rohatsu is also a time to be inspired by the memory of our founder, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. The Suzuki Roshi Annual Memorial Ceremony will be held on Monday, December 1 at 8:20 pm; everyone is invited to attend.

Each day of Rohatsu starts at 5:00 am and ends at 9:00 pm, with the exception of the final day, which ends around 5:00 pm. Everyone is encouraged to participate for as many days as possible, but participants are asked to sit for a minimum of three consecutive full days.

The sesshin fee is $35 daily, paid in advance. (Anyone unable to pay the full amount may request a reduced fee from the sesshin director). Payment must be received by the sign-up deadline or no seat will be reserved for you. Please leave checks marked “Rohatsu” in the courtyard laundry room door slot or mail it to BZC. The sign-up sheet and registration forms (with other important sesshin information) are posted on the patio bulletin board. Please put completed forms in the sesshin director’s mail slot. The sign-up deadline is Wednesday, November 26 at 7:00 am.

If you are unfamiliar with the oryoki style of eating in the zendo, please attend oryoki training beforehand. Training is offered every Saturday at 6:40 am if requested. An oryoki training session is also scheduled for Tuesday, November 11 at 6:30 pm after evening zazen. Please inform the oryoki instructor, Gary Artim, if you are planning to attend. You may also request a 1-on-1 training by e-mailing Gary at gartim@gmail.com.

If you wish to stay overnight at BZC during sesshin, please contact the shika, Katy, at bzcshika@gmail.com. If you have questions, please contact the sesshin director, Carol Paul, at (510) 206-5051 or caroljpaul@yahoo.com.

Everything is Broken

Everything Is Broken: Songs About Things As They Are is Hozan Alan Senauke’s brand new cd of "buddhistic music." Featuring songs by Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Bernice Reagon, and Alan, along with traditional songs rewritten to bring out their dharma direction, the album also includes Greg Fain’s Lotus Sutra hit "Our Hero," about the Bodhisattva Never Disparaging. The album is available for purchase at Alan’s website http://www.clearviewproject.org, and, as a whole album or individual songs, from Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Of course it is also available at the BZC Saturday book table. Don’t miss it if you can.

Sittings & Events


Founders’ Ceremony
Monday, 11/3, 6:20 pm
Tuesday, 11/4 6:40 am

Bodhisattva Ceremony
Saturday, 11/8, 9:40 am

Half-Day Sitting
Sunday, 11/9, 8:00 am – 12:00 noon

One-Day Sesshin: Close Aspects of Practice
Saturday, 11/15, 5:00 am – 9:00 pm

Thanksgiving: Zendo Holiday
Thursday, 11/27

Rohatsu Sesshin
Sunday. 11/30 – Saturday, 12/6


Suzuki Roshi Annual Memorial
Monday, 12/1, 8:20 pm

Bodhisattva Ceremony
Saturday, 12/6, 9:40 am

Buddha's Enlightenment Ceremony
Saturday, 12/6, 11:10 am

Winter Break
Sunday, 12/14 – Wednesday, 12/31

New Year's Eve Sitting and Party
Wednesday, 12/31