Check out our Fall events!

Hello! Please check out and consider taking our:

Fall classes, Introduction to Zen Buddhism (with Greg Snyder) and Introduction to Meditation (with Beatrice Anderson and Yoko Ohashi). Both of these are excellent ways to further engage an interest in Buddhism, cultivate an embodied expression of our vast historical lineage, or just see what is going on here!

October sittings, a one-day sit and a beginner’s half day sit.

Click on the links above to see more details.

The Fall 2015 Practice Period

Dear Sangha,

After our summer break, I am very much looking forward to returning to practice with all of you soon. Once again, we’ll be taking part in our fall practice period together. The practice period will officially open on Wednesday, September 16th. Two days later we are excited to be sitting a 3-day retreat with Zenju Earthlyn Manuel. We’ll also be having a 3-day workshop in November with Kaz Tanahashi and, of course, we’ll be closing the practice period with Rohatsu Sesshin. This year for the first time, we’ll be offering the opportunity to sit 7 days. Several have asked for a longer option and I hope some of you will join us for the full retreat.

The theme of our practice period will be Zen and Awakening the Heart. Our guiding teacher, Teah Strozer, will be offering dharma talks on this theme as well as a class, entitled Awakening the Heart of the Bodhisattva.

Zen practice period is a time to increase your personal commitment to sangha, zazen and practice. I am grateful that Brooklyn Zen Center allows us to take this time together. Each person’s commitment strengthens the overall practice of our community and our collective practice supports each of us. This means your commitment truly matters.

Whether you have taken part in many BZC practice periods or this is your first, I encourage each of you to consider challenging and deepening your practice within community. Review the practice period events and commitments we’ve listed on the attached form. Commit to the schedule and retreats that fit with your life and strengthen your practice. Please submit your commitment form by Monday, September 14th to the jisha (teacher’s assistant), either in person or via Feel free to email the jisha if you have any questions.

Please enjoy these last days of summer. May they be spacious and nourishing and may we have a joyful practice in the dharma together this fall. I look forward to being with each of you soon.

With a bow,

Click here for the full practice period schedule.

Please note that the practice period commitment form cannot be edited in your browser window. Please download the PDF and then edit it offline on your computer, and then email it or print it out and leave it for the jisha at BZC.

Music Improv Night, June 13th

Music Improv Night, June 13th, 7-9pm at Brooklyn Zen Center
Cost: Free, with donation suggested.

Back by popular demand we are creating an evening of music playing for all! You do not need to know how to play an instrument. We encourage people to explore sound and creative exploration,  mindfulness in the present moment, and the self in spontaneous action. We will start with a short meditation. This will be followed by simple warm up to get in touch with our body and voice. We will practice making sounds together as a group and as small ensembles, using percussion instruments, xylophones, and stringed instruments. The key to this evening is experimenting with creating sounds, listening to others play sounds, and responding to what they do. There is no good nor bad sound — just sounds that will be created together as a group.
We look forward to a truly honest and special evening.

Let us create together.

Keith Freer and John Asrelsky

Keith Freer: studied music performance at  Boston university school of music.  He is a business owner and keeps his heart in music and love for the arts.

John Asrelsky is dedicated guitarist and songwriter who has fronted local rock bands.  He is a also a dedicated member of the Brooklyn Zen Center.

Sit for $15: A Meditation Occupation, April 15th

Please join us as we Sit for $15! On April 15th 2015, low-wage workers in over 200 cities worldwide will go on strike, demanding a living wage and the right to unionize. Their movement — the Fight for $15 — is now asking for a coalition of spiritual progressives to come out to support them and their important work.

All are welcome to join in a peaceful early morning Meditation Occupation at a fast food restaurant, in solidarity with low wage workers on strike there, to express our common values — love, justice, and interdependence. This action is coordinated by IDP’s Sit Down, Rise Up initiative.

Where: meet at Brooklyn Zen Center, 505 Carroll St #2A

When: April 15th, 2015
4:15am – morning sitting and walking period at BZC
5:30am – walking meditation to fast food restaurant
6-7am – meditation occupation

Please sign our petition to receive email updates.

Please visit the facebook event page for more information.

Check out Teah’s online class!

Life Hurts: Responding with RAIN
Tricycle online retreat led by Teah Strozer, BZC Guiding Teacher

Life hurts—but not because of any fault or misdeed of our own. Things just simply don’t always go the way we’d like them to. How can Buddhist practice equip us to deal with life’s inevitable letdowns? Zen teacher Teah Strozer’s answer is the straightforward, deceptively simple acronym RAIN: recognize, accept, investigate, not-identify. If we practice it, we’ll gain the skills to respond mindfully whenever difficult emotions and experiences arise. By incorporating RAIN into our daily lives, we will begin to connect authentically with whatever comes up, whether or not things go exactly the way we’d like—and especially when they don’t.

For more information, click here:

Yoga on Wednesdays

Yoko Ohashi is offering a yoga class on Wednesday mornings, after zazen periods, from 9:45-11am.

Payment is donation based.

Iyengar yoga focuses on alignments of the body with detailed anatomical instructions. The class is for beginners. Standing poses, shoulder stand, and other fundamental postures are taught. Since the postures are taught progressively with the use of props, it is safe. Anybody at any age can benefit from this practice.
We all have habits in our body/mind. With yoga practice, you immediately become aware of these habitual patterns in your posture. It is very much like sitting meditation. It realigns your body, making the energy flow better, bringing you back a sense of well being.

Yoko has been practicing Iyengar yoga over a decade. Formerly, Yoko was a practicing visual artist with sculpture and performance background. Exploration with visual forms eventually led her to directly use her body as a medium. She completed her 2 year teacher training at the New York Iyengar Institute in 2009, and since then she has been enjoying practicing this art with others.