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.


Within Heaven and Earth: a Class on Living with Living and Dying: 4 Thursdays in April
Buddha's Birthday Celebration: April 5 starting at 9:40 am
One Day Sesshin: Sunday, 4/13, 5:00 am to 5:00 pm
Spring Practice Period: Begins Saturday May 10
3-Day Mountains and Rivers Sesshin: May 2 to 4 at Point Reyes
SAVE THESE DATES: Sojun Roshi's 85th Birthday Party at Tilden Park - Sunday, July 13
Annual BZC Campout - Saturday, July 26 to Sunday July 27.

Especially for beginners:

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

20's and 30's Dharma Group

BZC invites students in their 20' and 30's to join us, for an open discussion about Zen, Buddhism, meditation, and/or your own practice. We may also discuss selected Buddhist texts. Meetings start at 11:30 am in the zendo on some Saturdays following the morning schedule and lecture. People new to BZC are welcome along with continuing students. This group is in a process of evolution. Contact Gerry Oliva for more information: olivag AT 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, Christy Calame, at ccalame AT earthlink.net. 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, self-sustaining, lay practice centers in the nation.
Click here view the trailer and purchase the DVD


One-Day Sesshin
Sunday, April 13, 5:00 am to 5:00 pm

Denkei Raul Moncayo will lead a one-day sesshin on Sunday, April 13, from 5 am-5 pm. We encourage old and new sangha members to participate. This is a great opportunity to get prepared for our Spring Practice Period. Please sign up on the patio bulletin board by Wednesday morning, April 10 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; please speak to the director). Put checks marked "April 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 "April sesshin fee."

If you have any questions, contact the sesshin director, Gerry Oliva at sesshindirectorbzc AT gmail.com or 510.652.7217.

Within Heaven and Earth: a Class on Living with Living and Dying
Four Thursdays in April from 7:15 pm to 9:00 pm: April 3, 10, 17 and 24
We, Ryushin Andrea Thach and Guy Micco, will be offering a class this spring concerning our relationships with aging, illness, dying and separation. We will draw on personal experiences as well as on materials from the Pail Canon using Buddha's and his disciples teachings, Chan, Zen and Tibetan stories; poems, essays and reflections from over the last centuries by philosophers, poets, health practitioners, and others. Our readings will anchor what we hope will be a lively exploration of our own paths following Siddhartha outside the palace gate to understand how to find our place in this world. Guy is a long time member/friend of BZC and student of Yvonne Rand, a physician-educator at UCB, and an internal medicine and hospice/palliative care physician. Andrea is a priest at BZC. Like Guy, she is an internist working in geriatrics and hospice/palliative care. We both, perhaps like you, have been tangling with the questions posed by this course in our medical practices and our personal lives.

Cost is $40 plus the xeroxing fees for a small syllabus. If you have questions, please contact Ryushin Andrea (andrea.thach AT gmail) or Class Coordinator Ron Nestor (rnestor1 AT yahoo).

Buddha's Birthday
Saturday, April 5
This year Buddha's birthday will be celebrated at Berkeley Zen Center on Saturday morning April 5. Please bring your family and friends!
Children, who embody our hope for enlightened peace and the planet's future, are especially encouraged to attend. The celebration will include a song by our children, lecture, the ceremony and a birthday cake.
An important part of the ceremony is bathing the baby Buddha in his bower. Everyone is invited to help decorate the flower bower from 7:30 - 8:30 am. Flower donations are appreciated. Flowers such as iris, daisy, ranunculus, sweet william, camellia, and carnations work well. Please leave flowers on the community room porch before evening zazen on Friday, April 4.
The Saturday morning program will begin at 9:40. Additional information and volunteer opportunities will be posted on the bulletin board.
Questions? Please contact Head Chiden Stephanie Seaborg at slseaborg AT gmail.com.

Mountains and Rivers Sesshin
May 2 to 4 at Point Reyes

Our next Mountains and Rivers Sesshin will take place Friday-Sunday, May 2-4, at Point Reyes. The sesshin will begin with an orientation Thursday evening, May 1, at BZC. Friday morning we will carpool to Point Reyes, then hike from Bear Valley trailhead to Coast Camp (5.5 miles), moving at a moderate pace with rest stops and lunch on the way. We will get back to Berkeley around 5:00 pm Sunday. All meals are provided and camping experience is not required. You are encouraged to do the full three days, but provision will be made for those who have to arrive late.
The signup sheet will be posted on the BZC bulletin board. Signup deadline is Sat., April 26. The fee is $60. If you have questions, contact Ken Knabb at knabb AT bopsecrets.org.

Spring Practice Period
Saturday, May 10 to Sunday, June 22

Our annual spring practice period will begin with a one-day sitting on Saturday, May 10 and continue through the Shuso Ceremony on Sunday, June 22. Sojun Roshi invites everyone to increase their commitment to practice during this period while tending to their obligations outside the gate.
Sojun Roshi has invited Kogen Yudo John Mogey-Constant Presence/ Courageous Path-to be the Shuso this year, sharing the Abbot's seat and setting an example for us all. Sangetsu Seikyo John Busch-Mountain Moon/ Clear Mirror-will serve as Benji, assisting the shuso.

There will be a Thursday night class with Sojun Roshi, with the topic to be announced soon. For a detailed practice period schedule, click here. Practice period applications will be available on the main bulletin board shelf in April. Please fill one out and put it in the shuso's box on the community room porch by Monday, May 5. In addition to signing up for practice period and turning in a registration form, you need to sign up separately for many practice period events. See the bulletin board for signup sheets.

Practice Period Events
Opening Sitting: May 10, 5 am - 9 pm
Opening/Shuso Entering Ceremony: May 10, 4 pm
Shuso talks/lectures: May 12, 17, 30, and June 7
Classes: Thursday evenings, May 15 - June 12
Bansan (tea, dharma discussion with the abbot): May 16
Dinner and Skit Night: May 31, 6 pm
Shosan (dharma dialogue with the abbot): June 13 and 16
Lay Ordination: June 14, 3 pm
Five-day Sesshin: June 18 to 22
Shuso Hossen (dharma dialogue with the shuso): June 22

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


Buddha's Birthday Celebration
Saturday, 4/5

One-Day Sesshin
Sunday, 4/13

Bodhisattva Ceremony
Saturday, 4/12, 9:40 am


Mountains & Rivers Sesshin
Friday, 5/2 -
Sunday, 5/4

One-Day Sitting
PP Opening

Saturday, 5/10

Bodhisattva Ceremony
Saturday, 5/17, 9:40 am