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 85th Birthday Picnic: Sunday, July, 13 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Zazenkai: A Day of Just Sitting: Sunday, July 20, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
BZC Campout: Saturday and Sunday, July 26 – 27
Four-Day Mountains and Rivers Sesshin: July 31 – August 3
Half-Day Sitting: Sunday, August 3, 8:00 am – 12:00 noon
Sojun Roshi’s Koan Study Group: Five Fridays starting August 1, 7:15 pm to 8:45 pm
SAVE THE DATE: BZC Annual FUNdraising Bazaar: after the regular
Saturday program on September 27, 2014

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

The 20‘s and 30‘s dharma group that met regularly for a number of years has been re-activated. Sojun Mel Weitsman and Gerry Oliva co-lead the group, cultivating a supportive environment that promotes kalyana mitta, spiritual friendship, for young adults. It provides an opportunity for members to get to know others in their age group and to support each other in bringing practice more fully into their daily lives. The format is a short period of sitting, an opportunity to check in about personal dharma practice and open discussion about Saturday‘s lecture, an agreed-upon reading or other topics selected by the group. We hope that leadership will emerge from group members and other formats and activities will develop. Remaining meeting dates for 2014 are: 7/19, 8/30, 9/27, 10/25, 11/22, 12/13. For information contact Gerry Oliva at 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


Sojun Roshi's 85th Birthday Picnic

Sunday, July 13, 11:00 am – 4:00pm

Come to Laurel picnic area in Tilden Park, and enjoy a potluck, music, games, and time with friends. From BZC turn right on MLK. Head north to Rose, about eight blocks beyond University. Turn right on Rose, go about eight blocks to Spruce and turn left. At the top of Spruce, continue straight across the Grizzly Peak Blvd. intersection; Spruce becomes Wildcat Canyon Road. Continue for 2.2 miles on Wildcat Canyon; turn right on S. Park Drive. Continue 0.8 miles; the Laurel parking lot will be on your right. This is a short walk-in site. A shuttle will be available for schlepping.

Zazenkai: A Day of Just Sitting

Sunday, July 20 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Join us on Sunday July 20 between 8 am and 5 pm for our annual Zazenkai sitting. This is an opportunity to spend a day in sitting and walking meditation and bowing without the interruption of lectures, zendo meals or work period. We will maintain silence throughout, with the exception of bells to mark meditation periods, and chanting the refuges aloud at 4:50 pm. We will go at a relaxing pace with a mixture of 30- and 40-minute sitting periods, a short AM break, silent bag lunch, and an afternoon tea. The fee will be $25. A sign-up sheet will be posted on the courtyard bulletin board.

Please feel free to contact Gerry Oliva at 510.652.7217 or e-mail at sesshindirectorbzc@gmail.com if you have any questions.

BZC Campout

Saturday and Sunday, July 26 – 27

You are warmly invited to the annual Berkeley Zen Center Campout, scheduled for July 26-27. We‘ve reserved a group campsite in nearby Tilden Park, and will meet for a potluck dinner and possibly a short hike, as well as s‘mores and songs around the campfire, followed by oatmeal and coffee/tea/cocoa in the morning. Join us to pass on the campfire rounds we grew up with, tell stories, and learn the latest songs from our own kids.

Families and those without children are all welcome. If you prefer not to stay for the night, come for the dinner and company. If you would like to stay but are missing a tent or sleeping bag, let us know, and we can almost definitely find one for you. Contact Katherine O. at klo999@yahoo.com if you have questions, and look for a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board in early July.

Four-Day Mountains and Rivers Sesshin

July 31 – August 3

Our next Mountains and Rivers Sesshin will take place Thursday through Sunday, July 31-August 3, at Point Reyes.

Gerry Oliva will be joining us as Doshi (officiating priest). Gerry will be leading our daily discussions of Dogen’s “Mountains and Rivers Sutra” and/or other topics of her choice, and she will also be available for one-on-one practice discussions during our free time periods on Friday and Saturday afternoons.

The sesshin will begin with an orientation meeting Wednesday evening, July 30, in the Community Room. Thursday morning we will carpool to Point Reyes, then hike from the Palomarin trailhead to Wildcat Camp (5.5 miles), moving at a moderate pace with frequent rest stops and lunch along the way. We will get back to Berkeley around 5:00 pm Sunday. All meals are provided and camping experience is not required. Everyone is encouraged to do the full four days, but provision will also be made for those who may have to arrive late.

The signup sheet will be posted on the BZC bulletin board. Signup deadline is Saturday,July 26. The fee is $75. If you have any questions, please call Ken Knabb at (510)527-0959 or e-mail him at knabb@bopsecrets.org.

Half-Day Sitting

Sunday, August 3, 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 August half-day director Peter Overton at peterovrtn@gmail.com or (510) 848-5239.

Sojun Roshi’s Koan Study Group

Five Fridays from August 1 through October 10

Sojun Roshi’s study group will begin a new series in August. First timers as well as those who've been coming to each series are welcome. We'll continue to work with The Book of Serenity (Equanimity) collection.

The dates are all on Friday evenings from 7:15-8:45. The cost for the series is $50 with discounts available if necessary. A sign up will be posted in mid July or you may email class coordinator Ron Nestor to register at rnestor1@yahoo.com.The five part sequence is:

  • Friday August 1, 7:15 pm
  • Friday August 15, 7:15 pm
  • Friday September 5, 7:15 pm
  • Friday September 26, 7:15 pm
  • Friday October 10, 7:15 pm

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
Wednesday, 7/2, 6:20 pm
Thursday, 7/3 6:40 am

Bodhisattva Ceremony
Saturday, 7/12, 9:40 am

Sojun Roshi’s 85th Birthday Party
Sunday, 7/13, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Zazenkai (Just Sitting Day)
Sunday, 7/20

BZC Campout
Saturday and Sunday, 7/26 – 27

Mountains and Rivers Sesshing
Thursday, 7/31 – Sunday, 8/3


Half-Day Sitting
Sunday, 8/3, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Founders’ Ceremony
Monday, 8/4, 6:20 pm
Tuesday, 8/5 6:40 am

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

One-Day Study Retreat
Sunday, 8/31, 5:00 am – 5:00 pm