We are printing the 2015 directory soon. If you are a member or friend and would like to change your 2014 directory entry, please e-mail the office manager, or leave a note in the laundry room mail slot.
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.


Sojun Roshi's Koan Study Group: Fridays 2/6, 20, 7:15pm – 8:30pm
Sojun Roshi's Study Sesshin: Saturday and Sunday, 2/14–15
Self-Defense Primer Workshop: Saturday, 2/28, 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm

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 montly 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 the opportunity to meet others in their age group to support each other in bringing Zen practice more fully into our daily lives. We meet monthly and alternate venues between BZC and a local café. Follow this link for 2015 meeting dates and instructions about the time and place for each meeting. For further instruction contact Gerry Oliva : gryoliva@gmail.com.

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, Bruce Coughran, at BruceBZCZM@gmail.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


Sojun Roshi's Koan Study Group

Fridays, 2/6, 20, 7:15pm – 8:30pm

Sojun Roshi will continue his koan study group during the first part of the year for two Friday evenings, February 6 and 20. We meet from 7:15 to 8:45 pm in the community room.

We’ll continue with The Book of Serenity, a collection of 100 koans and accompanying verses, compiled by the Chinese Zen master, Hongzhi or Tiantong, in the 12th century. Further commentary on the koans and verses is then provided by the brilliant Zen teacher Wansong. The Book of Serenity is the collection of koans most associated with our Soto Zen school.

For most of us, these koans are not easy to understand. Fortunately we have the able guidance of Sojun to help us find our way through the various twists and turns. Losing our way may not be so bad either.

Newcomers to the class are most welcome. Class materials for each koan will be provided or the book may be purchased at your favorite bookseller. A sign-up sheet will be posted early this month. The cost is $50 for the series, with discounts available as always. For questions or to sign up by e-mail, contact class coordinator Ron Nestor at rnestor1@yahoo.com.

Sojun Roshi's Study Sesshin

Saturday, 2/14, 5:00am – 9:00 pm and Sunday. 2-15, 5:00am – 3:00pm

Sojun Roshi will lead us to a deeper understanding of our practice through a two-day sesshin where we will focus on the study of Dogen’s Tenzo Kyokun. On Saturday, February 14 we will sit from 5am to 9pm with a lecture in the morning and a study period in the afternoon. On Sunday, February 15 we will sit from 5am until 3pm and have two study periods. Copies of the reading materials will be available on the bulletin board shelf prior to sesshin.

We encourage old and new sangha members to participate. Please sign up on the patio bulletin board by Wednesday morning, February 11 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 “study sesshin” in the mail slot in the courtyard laundry room door or mail to the BZC Office Manager at 1931 Russell St., Berkeley 94703.

If you have any questions, contact the sesshin director, Gary Artim by e-mailing sesshindirectorbzc@gmail.com or calling (510) 525-2135.

Self-Defense Primer Workshop

Saturday, February 28, 12:30pm – 3:00pm

We are hosting a self-defense primer workshop, February 28, from 12:30pm – 3:00pm, in the community room at BZC.

The workshop will be taught by Hand-to-Hand. Hand-to Hand…

“…provides traditional martial arts training and self-defense classes. (They) teach adults of all genders and are affiliated with the Kajukenbo Association of America… In a highly supportive environment, Hand to Hand classes explore the links between personal safety and community wellness because seeing this connection provides an opportunity for healing and encourages every individual to walk fearlessly in their lives.

Participants learn to assess potentially unsafe situations so that they can interrupt harassment, intimidation and violence. They learn to recognize signs of escalation and take action when necessary. The workshop offers a wide range of empowering verbal strategies and includes physical training as well as boundary-setting exercises.”

This workshop is offered free by BZC. If you are moved to provide a dana gift, that would be gratefully received and would help offset the cost.

Sign-up will be limited by our space: we estimate we can accommodate 20 people. With sufficient interest we may offer this workshop a second time. For more information, contact Mary Duryee at maduryee@earthlink.net.

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

December & January

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

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

Bodhisattva Ceremony
Saturday, 1/3, 9:40 am

Founders' Ceremonies
Monday, 1/5, 6:20 pm
Tuesday, 1/6, 6:40 am

One-Day Sesshin
Saturday, 1/17

Beginners' Sesshin
Sunday, 1/25


Half-Day Sitting
Sunday, 2/1

Founders' Ceremonies
Tuesday, 2/3, 6:20 pm
Wednesday, 2/4, 6:40 am

Bodhisattva Ceremony
Saturday, 2/7, 9:40 am

Two-Day Sesshin
Saturday, 2/14 – Sunday, 2/15

Buddha's Parinirvana
Saturday, 2/14

Zendo Holiday (President's Day)
Monday, 2/16

Beginners' Sesshin
Sunday, 1/25