Audio dharma: Realizing Justice Face to Face Part 2, by Tenshin Reb Anderson

You can now listen to a new talk (Realizing Justice Face to Face Part 2) by Brooklyn Zen Center visiting dharma teacher Tenshin Reb Anderson, offered during the 2017 sesshin:

Realizing Justice Face to Face – Part 2 (05/11/2017)

Audio dharma: Realizing Justice Face to Face Part 1, by Tenshin Reb Anderson

You can now listen to a talk by Brooklyn Zen Center visiting dharma teacher Tenshin Reb Anderson, offered during the 2017 sesshin:

Sewing the rakusu

This month several Zen students will begin sewing rakusu, the small Buddha robe worn around the necks of lay practitioners and priests. In preparation for jukai – the ceremony where each will receive the Bodhisattva precepts – they will be sewing together from now through the summer. During this time they will take refuge in the Buddha, dharma and sangha with every stitch sewn. This is a joyous time of sangha support as we all take refuge with them in their vow to take up the Bodhisattva way of life.

Images by Byron Wollen, 2017.

Mountain Seat Ceremony at SFZC

This weekend (March 1-3), the San Francisco Zen Center  will be hosting a very special ceremony: the grand stepping up of the new Abbot Tenzen David Zimmerman. The Mountain Seat weekend at City Center will also include ceremonies marking the stepping down of Ejun Linda Ruth Cutts as Central Abbess and the stepping over of Rinso Ed Sattizahn into Central Abbot.

Tenzen David Zimmerman has served as the BZC Tanto (Head of Practice) and received dharma transmission from BZC root teacher Soshin Teah Strozer.

For more information on David and to learn about other abbatial changes, see the letter from Central Abbess Eijun Linda Ruth Cutts here.

More details on the schedule of events are available here. On Sunday, March 3, the Mountain Seat Ceremony will be livestreamed beginning at 6pm Eastern Time. BZC will host a community gathering for those who wish to watch together.

Black & Buddhist in America

Just because this picture always puts a smile on our faces! Every single time.

Black and Buddhist in America gathering, October 2018. From Lion’s Roar March 2019 issue. Photo by Garlia Cornelius.

On October 21, 2018, Buddhist teachers of black African descent from across the country gathered at Union Theological Seminary in NY for “Black & Buddhist in America,” a conversation about dharma, the state of the world, and what it means to be a black Buddhist in America today. A livestream public dialogue concluded the weekend, with a historic panel discussion of Buddhist teachers of black African descent from many different Buddhist traditions, including Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Lama Rod Owens, Kaira Jewel Lingo, and Sebene Selassie, among many others.

Awake Youth Project Winter/Spring programming

Awake Youth Project (AYP), a secular program that brings mindfulness and meditation to underserved high schools throughout Brooklyn, will be offering free after-school drop-in meditation sessions for teenagers on February 5, 12 and 19, from 4 to 6pm, at the Brooklyn Zen Center. More information is available here.

The AYP Spring Internship, a 12-week program for participants aged 14 to 18, will run from February 27 through May 22, with meetings on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 to 6 pm. Applications are due February 15!




Inclement weather notice

Due to inclement weather and hazardous travel conditions, all of the programming for the evening of Wednesday, January 30, has been cancelled. Morning zazen on Thursday, January 31, is also canceled due to the extreme cold.

Wishing everyone stays safe and warm!




BZC at the Weeksville Heritage Center: Healing & Self-Determination Through 4MX

BZC will be participating in a special edition of Weeksville Weekends for Black History Month 2019 at the Weeksville Heritage Center.

For this special edition, artist Jordan Weber, in collaboration with A Blade of Grass, presents his project 4 Malcolm X Greenhouse, centered around a greenhouse he built on the foundation of Malcolm X’s birth home in North Omaha, Nebraska.

On Saturday, February 9, BZC will be offering two guided meditation sessions on undoing racism at 2 and 2:30pm. Please note that this offering will take place at the Weeksville Heritage Center, at 158 Buffalo Avenue, in Brooklyn. This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP here.

2018 at BZC: A Year in Pictures

The life of our sangha was rich and deep during 2018. Amongst retreats, classes, dharma talks, conferences and gatherings small and large, the BZC community showed up in diverse and engaged ways within the walls of our beloved practice space in Brooklyn and out in the world. This selection of images is not intended as a complete representation of the life of our sangha during the past year, but it’s rather a glimpse into the richness of BZC’s practice and commitment. Many other events and practice manifestations unfolded during the past year and are not included here, but all will continue to ripple into 2019. May we continue to practice together in this way in the years ahead!

BZC 2018 End of Year Campaign

The 2018 End of Year Campaign for Brooklyn Zen Center (BZC) is an opportunity for you to express your support for our community by taking up the socially healing practice of dana (generosity). Our sangha has tremendous spiritual strength that we need to match with an equivalent financial strength. We invite each of you to engage in this powerful ritual of care by offering a financial contribution to BZC. …

Sewing practice: a meditation in action

The Brooklyn Zen Center sangha is currently sewing a nine-fold okesa (full-body robe) for dharma teacher and senior priest Rev. Kosen Greg Snyder. The okesa is completely hand-sewn using a traditional rice field pattern.

The nine jo okesa is the teaching okesa, worn for dharma talks and ceremonies, and is traditionally sewn by the Zen students in the sangha, especially those working with the teacher for whom it is a gift.

BZC community agreements

Each time we enter Brooklyn Zen Center (BZC), we step into a shared practice container. We water a collective intention to create and hold cherishable spaces rooted in safety and bravery. In such spaces, we are witnessed and encouraged to express ourselves without fear of attack, ridicule, or denial of experience. A cherishable space invites us to risk intimacy, trust, and transformative love, and to be mirrored by our practice and our sangha (practice community).

Sangha Business Meetings

Brooklyn Zen Center will be holding two Sangha Business Meetings: Wednesday, November 28, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. (zazen at 6:50 p.m), and Saturday, December 1, 11 am – 1 p.m. (zazen at 10:20 a.m.).

These meetings are open to everyone, especially those interested and invested in the present states of BZC as a sangha and a physical space. Please join us during one or both of our Sangha Business Meetings to engage with our board of directors and administrative team members, as we share insights into BZC’s practices, finances, and programming.

Eiheiji temple: impressions from Dogen’s world

Eiheiji temple, located in the mountains outside Fukui city in central Japan, was established by Zen master Dogen in 1244 and is one of the two head temples of Soto Zen. In existence for almost eight centuries now, the temple is an active monastery where more then 150 monks are in training. With dozens of buildings nestled in a forest of tall cedar trees, Eiheiji provides a glimpse into the 13th century world of Dogen, the founder of our Soto Zen lineage, from whom dharma as been transmitted over time and continents, from warm hand to warm hand. Thousands of people visit Eiheiji each year – all visitors are treated as religious trainees and are required to respect its traditional monastic practice and environment.

Words and Sights from BZC’s Residential Summer Retreat

This past August, Brooklyn Zen Center held its first-ever residential retreat. This special weeklong gathering took place in the farmland of the Watershed Retreat Center, a couple of hours north of New York City.

BZC’s teachers Laura O’Loughlin and Greg Snyder co-led the retreat, which included zazen, service, study, dharma talks, discussions, dokusan, and silent meals, along with time for swimming and walks in the woods. …

Imágenes del Ser: online intro Zen course in Spanish by SFZC

Imágenes del Ser is a four-week study course in Spanish offered online by the San Francisco Zen Center that will use Suzuki Roshi’s “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” (“Mente Zen, Mente de Principiante”) as its core text. The course will be taught by Ven. Dhammadipa (Rev. Konin Cardenas) and will run from October 22 to November 19. …