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

Public Memorial Ceremony: October 19, 2014 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm (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Aspects of Practice 2014 | Beginner’s Mind: Exploring Suzuki Roshi's Unpublished Koan Talks (Open to All):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 Opens: Sunday, 10/18, 5:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sejiki: Saturday, 10/25, 10:15 am
Half-Day Sitting: Sunday, 11/19, 8:00 am – 12:00 noon

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Aspects of Practice 2014 | Beginner’s Mind: Exploring Suzuki Roshi's Unpublished Koan Talks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

Saturday, October 18, 5:00 am – 9:00 pm

The Aspects of Practice opening sesshin, led by Laurie Senauke, will take place on Saturday, October 18. We encourage both long-term and new sangha members to participate. Please sign up on the patio bulletin board by Wednesday morning, October 15, 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 “October 18 sesshin” in the courtyard laundry room door mail slot 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 with the notation “October Sesshin fee.”

Please feel free to contact the sesshin director, Gerry Oliva at (510)652-7217 or sesshin directorbzc@gmail.com if you have any questions.

It's Time for Sejiki!

Saturday, October 25, 10:15 am

Sejiki is a popular buddhist festival that highlights the connection between our world and the worlds of spirits. At BZC, we offer it as a sort of Buddhist Halloween. The ceremony is a mixture of spooky and solemn—there will be costumes and noisemakers, but we will also recite the names of departed friends and family and make offerings to appease our own hungry ghosts.

This year’s Sejiki ceremony will be held on Saturday, October 25. To allow preparation time for the ceremony, we will not be having early morning zazen or breakfast. Instead, we will begin with a work period at 8:30 am to prepare our temple for the ceremony. The formal program will start with zazen at 9:35, followed by a short lecture and the ceremony at 10:15. We will also be offering a special children’s program beginning with a kids’ activity at 9:35 am at 1933 Russell. The kids will then join the sangha for a short lecture and spooky ceremony. Everyone is encouraged to come in costume and bring noisemakers for the ceremony.

For more information about the program, please contact Christy at ccalame@earthlink.net. You can also give Christy names of departed ones to be recited during the ceremony if you will not be able to attend. If you are planning to attend the 9:35 kids’ activity, please RSVP to Laurie at lauries@kushiki.org.

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 August half-day director Greg Denny at greg@techperience.org or (510) 559-8831.

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


Bodhisattva Ceremony
Saturday, 10/11, 9:40 am

One-Day Sesshin: Open Aspects of Practice
Saturday, 10/18, 5:00 am – 9:00 pm

Aspects of Practice
Saturday 10/18 – Saturday, 11/15

Sejiki Ceremony and Celebration
Saturday, 10/25, 10:15 am


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