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.

Family Practice Saturday begins Feb. 7th

As members of Brooklyn Zen Center’s Family Practice Committee, we are excited to let you know about a new program for children and families! It’s called “Family Practice Saturday” and will take place on the first Saturday of each month. We will begin on Saturday, February 7. Families should plan to arrive at 11:15am. (The usual time will be 11:30; read on for further explanation.)

As you may be aware, it became necessary to discontinue “BZC Kids,” the once-a-month Sunday morning mindfulness gathering for children that we offered between 2011-2014. In creating this new offering, we had two questions in mind: 1) how can we bring children and their caregivers in greater contact with the practice and the community; and 2) given our current resources, how can we make the program more sustainable. Out of a series of discussions, this idea was born.

We are inviting families to come on the first Saturday of each month at 11:30 (or at 11:15 on occasion; see note below). We will take a few minutes to settle in and have a brief circle. Children will be assigned simple roles to play in the service. At around 11:45, when the dharma talk is over, families will be invited into the zendo for five minutes of kinhin (walking meditation) and service. Children will lead kinhin and will help to run the service, e.g. using the clackers, ringing bells, offering incense, and so on.

After the service, children will participate in a short period of soji (work period) and then are invited to stay for the community lunch for a donation of $10 per adult. For families that cannot stay for lunch, we ask that you donate $10 per family to help support the program and zen center.

PLEASE NOTE: on Saturdays when there is no dharma talk, we will ask families to come at 11:15. It just so happens that there is no dharma talk on February 7th, so please plan to arrive at 11:15 if you are joining us on that day.

We are excited about this new program and are actively seeking people to join the Family Practice Committee. If you are interested, please contact us here.

Winter Interim Schedule

Please note that our regular weekday meditation schedule will be suspended during the winter interim period (ThursdayDecember 18th through Tuesday, January 20th). We will have a limited Saturday-only schedule on the first three Saturdays of the interim: December 20th, 27th, and January 3rd (BZC will be closed on January 10th and 17th).

On these first three Saturdays, the schedule will be as follows:

8:45am Doors open

9:00am Zazen instruction

10:20am Zazen

10:50 am Kinhin (walking meditation)

11:00 am Zazen

11:30am End

Our regular schedule will resume on Wednesday, January 21st.

Our 108 x 108 Campaign

The mission of Brooklyn Zen Center is to cultivate an open community based on Buddha’s teachings of love and interconnectedness.

Our vision is to make BZC a spirited urban refuge, offering the Zen Buddhist tradition in a modern, relevant and approachable way that fosters inclusion and transformation. BZC strives to honor and serve its community, providing a place of support and wisdom for all.

Our 108 x 108 campaign was conceived as a way to help sustain our mission and bring our vision to life. Our three-year goal is to have 108 members contributing at the Sustaining Circle Membership level– at least  $108 dollars per month. This amount would substantially boost our long-term sustainability and viability. Those members who generously contribute at this level are expressing their strong commitment to BZC’s mission and vision in the community and thus become its stewards going forward.

Please consider becoming a Sustaining Circle member today.

BZC Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday

Brooklyn Zen Center will be closed starting Wednesday evening, November 26 through Sunday, November 30th for the Thanksgiving holiday. (We will have zazen on the morning of Wednesday the 26th.)

Our regular meditation schedule will resume on Wednesday morning, December 3rd.

Dharma Talk With Teah This Saturday

Please join us this Saturday for our regular Saturday program. Head teacher Teah Strozer will be giving a dharma talk at 11am after the first period of zazen. Our community lunch will follow. All are welcome.

The full Saturday schedule is as follows:

8:45 am – Doors Open

9:00 am – Meditation Instruction ($10 suggested donation)

10:20 am – Zazen

10:50 am – Kinhin

11:00 am – Dharma talk

11:50 am – Service

12:00pm  – Soji (temple cleaning)

12:20 pm – Community Lunch ($10 suggested donation)

Second Saturday: November 8th

On the second Saturday of each month, Brooklyn Zen Center’s schedule is designed for those who are new to Zen and meditation as well as regulars who may have questions or just want to discuss the practice. Meditation periods are a little shorter so there are more opportunities for questions and discussion than is the case during other Saturdays.

Although all are welcome to join us at anytime during our weekly meditation schedule, those new to meditation and Zen practice are encouraged to come on Second Saturdays. As with any other Saturday, regulars are of course welcome.

The Second Saturday schedule is:

8:45am  – Doors Open
9:00am  – Beginner’s Meditation Instruction
10:00am – Break
10:20am – Meditation
10:40am – Open Discussion with Questions and Responses
11:00am – Talk with Q&R (or another period of meditation if no talk)
11:40am – Guided Service
12:00pm – Community Lunch

For more information about Second Saturdays, please feel free to email us.