News

New audio dharma by Greg Snyder – 2018 Rohatsu Sesshin: Day 1

A new audio dharma talk by Kosen Greg Snyder is now available! This talk was offered during the 2018 Rohatsu Sesshin at Brooklyn Zen Center. Registrations for this year’s Sesshin are now open – register early and secure your spot.

Dharma talk with Greg Snyder (12/12/2018)

The BZC audio dharma talks are now available via a brand new podcast! You can subscribe to the BZC Podcast here and listen to the 120 audio dharma talks already made available. You can listen and download BZC’s dharma talks, as well as share them on social media.

New audio dharma by Laura O’Loughlin

Dharma talk by Laura O’Loughlin, (11/17/2018)

The BZC audio dharma talks are now available via a brand new podcast! You can subscribe to the BZC Podcast here and listen to the 120 audio dharma talks already made available. You can listen and download BZC’s dharma talks, as well as share them on social media.

BZC Audio Dharma Podcast is here!

The BZC audio dharma talks are now available via a brand new podcast! You can subscribe to the BZC Podcast here and listen to the 120 audio dharma talks already made available. You can listen and download BZC’s dharma talks, as well as share them on social media.

BZC’s dharma talks are now searchable by teacher, date and keywords on iTunes. Are you exploring a particular teaching? Are you in interested in a specific teacher? Would you like to find that talk you heard at BZC some time ago? The BZC Audio Dharma Podcast is here for you! Subscribe and stay tuned for more talks soon!

The BZC audio dharma talks are offered free of charge and made possible by the donations we receive. If you would like to support the BZC Audio Dharma Podcast, please visit the “Giving” section of our website. Thank you!

New audio dharma by Kosen Greg Snyder

You can listen to two new dharma talks by Kosen Greg Snyder, dharma teacher and senior priest at Brooklyn Zen Center, on the topic of collective self and collective karma.

Working with Collective Self and Collective Karma in Sangha (part 1), by Greg Snyder (03/16/2019)

Working with Collective Self and Collective Karma in Sangha (part 2), by Greg Snyder (03/17/2019)

Audio dharma talk by Laura O’Loughlin

You can listen to a new dharma talk by Laura O’Loughlin, dharma teacher and senior lay practitioner at Brooklyn Zen Center (BZC), as well as its co-founder. 

On Wednesday night we had our full moon ceremony. It’s a way for us to feel ourselves as energetic bodies, connecting to something beyond our individuality. In this full moon ceremony we renounce our karma, we confess our karma and we wish for ourselves to live in alignment with the precepts, with a way of being with each other that offers a chance for us to be healing influences in the world, as opposed to harming influences.

Dharma talk by Laura O’Loughlin (03/23/2019)

Joining the 2019 Fall Practice Period: Commitment Form

Dearest sangha,

Each fall we look forward to the gathering together in a practice period as our sangha focuses on deepening intimacy with our practice and each other. The focus of our 7th practice period will be “Bodhisattva Service: Actualizing Self and Sangha.” We are excited to invite a Shuso (head student) to take a seat next to the teachers and encourage us in our practice.

Through our formal practice together we will continue to realize the truth of our interconnection as we endeavor to deeply and skillfully love and care for ourselves, our shared lives, all beings and our Mother Earth. In Soto Zen, we enact this Bodhisattva vow through zazen, study and being of service to each other and to the wider world.

The practice period form outlines the many offerings that will support our practice period. The beauty of our collective practice is that sangha both creates and receives these offerings. In fact, the practice period can only be created, nourished and sustained by each person’s participation. By filling out the practice period form we clarify how all of us will be supporting each other and our own practice. We encourage you to be part of this precious time when we together devote our efforts to cultivating the Bodhisattva way of life.

Please fill out and submit the 2019 fall Practice Period form by September 11th.

With love and appreciation,
Laura and Kosen

New Beginner’s Mind Experience group!

The Beginner’s Mind Experience (BME) is a program that introduces newcomers to the various aspects of community practice at the Brooklyn Zen Center. The next BME program starts on Monday, September 30!

As part of this program, participants have the opportunity to join a peer practice group, try practice discussion, experience various forms of wholehearted activity practice, and, if you are a BZC member, receive special rates on two introductory classes (valid for one year): Introduction to Zen Buddhism (starting September 24!) and Meditation in Everyday Life.

There are two ways to take part in the Beginner’s Mind Experience:

– Members of BZC can join the program for free. You can become a member here. To register for BME as a BZC member please go here.

– Non-members can join the program for a fee of $100. To register to BME as a non-member please go here. Scholarships are available. To apply for a scholarship, please use this link and wait for approval BEFORE registering. Scholarship applications are due by Monday, September 23 at midnight.

The registration deadline for the Fall 2019 BME program is Friday, September 27 at midnight.

The program provides members with a sense of the variety and intimacy of zen practice in the BZC community and also offer embodied experience with how we can engage these practices in our daily lives.

More information and registration available here.

Audio dharma talks by Tenshin Reb Anderson: Listening to the Cries of the World (2018 sesshin at BZC)

You can now listen to the dharma talks by Tenshin Reb Anderson offered during the 2018 5-day sesshin at Brooklyn Zen Center.

Listening to the Cries of the World (part 1) by Tenshin Reb Anderson (06/14/2018)

Listening to the Cries of the World (part 2) by Tenshin Reb Anderson (06/15/2018)

Listening to the Cries of the World (part 3) by Tenshin Reb Anderson (06/16/2018)

Listening to the Cries of the World (part 4) by Tenshin Reb Anderson (06/17/2018)

Audio dharma by Greg Snyder

You can listen to a new dharma talk by Greg Snyder, dharma teacher and senior priest at Brooklyn Zen Center.

Dharma talk with Greg Snyder (01/26/2019)

Bringing Ancestral Heart Zen Monastery into being

We are very excited to announce that on Monday, June 10th, we became stewards of 14 acres of land at 87 Kaye Road, Millerton, NY, where we will together be bringing Ancestral Heart Zen Monastery into being. The land where our community will practice is a currently very green watershed to the Webatuck Creek that rises up into the Taconic ridges of the Appalachian range. These are among the most ancient mountain expressions of Mother Earth, believed to be nearly 500 million years old. Our individual, human anxieties are tiny flurries amid these great settled beings and so we do as our many Zen ancestors did before us and go learn from them. In doing so, may we also remember and honor those indigenous ancestors who cared for this land for thousands of years before us. As Dogen Zenji wrote:

Mountains have been the abode of great sages from the limitless past to the limitless present. Wise people and sages all have mountains as their inner chamber, as their body and mind. Because of wise people and sages, mountains appear. You may think that in mountains many wise people and great sages are assembled. But after entering the mountains, not a single person meets another. There is just the activity of the mountains.

We are honored to have the opportunity to root and carry forward our Soto Zen tradition and the lineage of Suzuki Roshi in sangha together. We are also thrilled to begin our many conversations about how to deepen our flavor of practice at BZC in a monastic setting. There is much to come!

We are so deeply grateful for all of the inspiring effort that allowed this to unfold. We would like to thank our board of directors for their wise oversight, the BZC staff and our Monastic Acquisition Committee for all their work writing grants and overseeing due diligence processes, our strategic partner TDC for their ongoing guidance, our benefactors at Still Water for their very generous gift and to all of you who have diligently supported this process with your effort, feedback, thoughtfulness and unwavering practice. May we offer deep bows to one another all around!

So we would like to make you aware of two things. Firstly, we will be accepting applications for monastic residence starting now. Please find the Ancestral Heart Zen Monastery (AHZM) application here (in PDF format) and here (in Word format). Please keep in mind that we have a very limited number of monastic spots at this time. Also, this first, small group of monks will be engaging in the relentless work of building a monastery and we will be considering applicants in light of this particular set of needs.

Secondly, on Sunday, August 11th, we will be holding a public ceremony on the land to formally open the monastery, honor our many supporting ancestors and offer prayers for the land. Further information on the ceremony will be forthcoming so there is no need to reply to this email with questions. For now, please just save the date.

Thank you all for your loving support throughout this process. Now is the time to rest and enjoy the beautiful summer as we prepare ourselves for the work ahead of bringing a monastery to life. May we always remember that our every thought and action is for the benefit of all beings and our collective liberation from suffering in this world.

With great respect and appreciation,
Greg and Laura

BZC Sit-a-Thon: Thank you, Sangha!

Thank you for your wholehearted support of and engagement with Brooklyn Zen Center’s (BZC) 2019 Sit-A-Thon!

With over 500 unique donations, we exceeded our Sit-A-Thon fundraising goal by 118%, totaling $47,316. Thank you for you generosity!

All of the contributions will be directed towards our scholarship fund and programs, including the Awake Youth Project, People of Color group, Undoing Whiteness and Oppression, Undoing Patriarchy and Unveiling the Sacred Masculine, and the Sacred Feminine group.

If you are not yet on our mailing list, we invite you to stay in touch by signing up for our monthly newsletter to know how we continue on with our collective work and opportunities for future engagement.

BZC Sit-a-Thon: keep ’em coming!

We had a beautiful BZC 2019 Sit-a-Thon community sit and after party yesterday! Throughout the day, we sat in silence and community, bringing to the cushion our intention to keep stillness in mind and body as a form of generosity towards our sangha. At the same time, we shared the joy of having not only reached our BZC 2019 Sit-a-Thon fundraising goal, but of surpassing it by a large margin!

Today, a day after the actual Sit-a-Thon, the total amount has reached $45,000, as contributions large and small continue to percolate. Thank you for you generosity!

Contributions for the BZC 2019 Sit-a-Thon will continue to be accepted through June 15. You can donate to one of the 70 (!!!) individual fundraisers or directly to Brooklyn Zen Center. 

All contributions will be directed towards our scholarship fund and programs, including the Awake Youth Project, People of Color group, Undoing Whiteness and Oppression, Undoing Patriarchy and Unveiling the Sacred Masculine, and the Sacred Feminine group.

Deep bows!

BZC Sit-a-Thon: goooaalll!

We did it! Not only have we met, but we have surpassed our goal to raise $40,000 for the BZC 2019 Sit-a-Thon!

But reaching our goal is no reason to stop. We have about 36 hours left before our Sit-A-Thon is complete. Let’s keep going! The more money we raise the more we can put towards programs like Awake Youth Project, People of Color group, Undoing Whiteness and Oppression, Undoing Patriarchy and Unveiling the Sacred Masculine, and the Sacred Feminine group. Not to mention our scholarship fund!

If you are a fundraiser and you have not yet registered to join the sit tomorrow tomorrow, June 1, please do so here, so we can get a count for cushions and lunch.

At the end of the day tomorrow, from 5 to 6 pm, we’ll have a party. Everyone is invited, sitters and non-sitters, families and friends. There will be cake. Join us to celebrate this incredible accomplishment!

BZC Sit-A-Thon matching grant!

An anonymous sangha member has stepped forward and offered a matching grant of up to $10,000 on every dollar raised by the 2019 BZC Sit-A-Thon! All donations to the fundraising campaign will now count as double, thanks to the generosity of this sangha member! This means that if you donate $1, BZC will receive $2; if you donate $50, BZC receives $100, and so on.

We deeply appreciate this generous offer and everyone’s contributions!

Similar to a walk-a-thon, the 2019 BZC Sit-A-Thon is a fundraiser where instead of walking all day, we will meditate! Leading up to the Sit-a-Thon on June 1, you can support the BZC Sit-a-Thon here by:

1 – Setting up your own fundraising page;
2 – Donating to one of the sitters;
3 – Donating directly to BZC.

Questions? We have answers! Please take a look at the 2019 BZC Sit-a-Thon FAQ here.

Please reach out to the Brooklyn Zen Center Board with any additional questions at bzcboard@brooklynzen.org.

Audio dharma: Difficult Conversations on Race, by Yoko Ohashi

You can listen to a new dharma talk by senior student Yoko Ohashi, “Difficult Conversations on Race.”

Difficult Conversations on Race (02/23/2019)

NYC Vesak Celebration

Vesak marks the traditional celebration of the Buddha’s birthday in countries around the world. On Saturday, May 18, local sanghas will com together to join the Vesak celebrations at Union Theological Seminary, in partnership with the Buddhist Council of New York and the Thích Nhất Hạnh Program for Engaged Buddhism.

This event is open to all who wish to celebrate, children included! Speakers include Ven, Saccananda, Rev. Doyeon Park, and Ven. Lema Pema Dorjee.

1:00 pm  |  Morning Meditation
1:30 pm  |  Bathing a Buddh, Puja Opening Meditations & Prayer
2:30 pm  |  Music Offering & Greetings
3:00 pm  |  Dharma Messages
4:00 pm Closing: Dedications of the Merits

Feel free to join at any time during the event.  No RSVP required.

More information is available here.

Brooklyn Zen Center Sit-A-Thon FAQ

Similar to a walk-a-thon, the 2019 BZC Sit-A-Thon is a fundraiser where instead of walking all day, we will meditate! Leading up to the Sit-a-Thon on June 1, you can support the BZC Sit-a-Thon here by:

1 – Setting up your own fundraising page;
2 – Donating to one of the sitters;
3 – Donating directly to BZC.

2019 BZC Sit-A-Thon Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Brooklyn Zen Center holding a Sit-A-Thon?
Perhaps you’ve heard our teachers discuss the particular challenges of practicing in the rush and noise of New York City. There are also practical financial concerns like increasing rent. BZC as a nonprofit organization has these same concerns as you. So as we accrue extra costs to keep the doors open, this effort is vital to help anchor and sustain programming such as Awake Youth Project and the Scholarship Fund.

Is there a minimum amount of money I have to raise to sit?
Nope. The sangha is grateful for any amount. You can ask your friends and family to support your practice and a place you love, or you can be the sole donor to your page.

Do I have to sit for the whole day?
No! The day will be an open, fluid structure for you to come, sit and celebrate as fits your schedule. Whether you stay for an hour or stay for the day, we’re grateful for your participation and happy we can sit together. Anyone with a fundraising page is also free to bring your families!

What is the schedule?
The sit will start with a bell and incense at 10 am and end with a bell at 5 pm. We will have snacks throughout the day and lunch from 12-1:30. The community will be sitting and holding the space together. For some of us individually that means being in the zendo all day. For others of us, that means joining for only a little while. You are welcome to sit for as long as you wish. Whenever you sit, we hope you’ll be able to join us for our party at 5 pm!

I want to sit, but I don’t want to fund raise. Can I still participate?
Yes and no. We ask that everyone who joins us on Saturday, June 1, to set up a page. Even if you only raise $1, we are encouraging 100% participation from the sangha to show that we are holding the responsibility of BZC’s financial sustainability together. That being said, if you don’t want to fund raise, you can still create a page and be the only donor. You can even make your donation anonymously. Having many pages helps show that our sangha is vibrant and larger than a handful of people.

Also, a generous sangha member has stepped forward to announce they will anonymously donate $50 to all pages posted by June 1! So even if you do only raise $1, it will count as $51 towards the campaign!

I can’t sit on June 1. Does that mean I can’t participate?
If you can’t be in the zendo with us on June 1, you can still join us in spirit by fundraising and sitting as long as you like wherever you will be. Or perhaps you’d rather find an entirely different time to sit. If you’d like to highlight on your page that you’re following a different schedule that’s fine. By creating a page, you’re sharing that BZC is important to you and asking for donations to help support it. How you share that and your sitting intention is up to you.

Why does it feel competitive?
The day is not intended to be a fundraising competition. We hope people are successful in whatever efforts they undertake, and we are grateful for every dollar from every person. In years past, the community has set its own tone of a playful competition, but that was an organic manifestation of joy and not the spirit in which we are organizing the campaign.

Please reach out to the Brooklyn Zen Center Board with any additional questions at bzcboard@brooklynzen.org.

Audio dharma: Martin Luther King day – Cultivating Bodhisattva Effort Until Death, by Greg Snyder

You can now listen to a new talk by dharma teacher and senior priest at BZC, Greg Snyder. This talk was offered during the Martin Luther King one-day retreat at Brooklyn Zen Center:

Martin Luther King day: Cultivating Bodhisattva Effort Until Death (01/19/2019)

2019 Brooklyn Zen Center Sit-A-Thon!

We are excited to announce the 2019 Brooklyn Zen Center Sit-A-Thon!

Similar to a walk-a-thon, the 2019 BZC Sit-A-Thon is a fundraiser where instead of walking all day, we will meditate!

The funds raised from this event will support Brooklyn Zen Center’s many important programs: Awake Youth Project teen meditation, the People of Color Group,  Undoing Whiteness and Oppression, Undoing Patriarchy and Unveiling the Sacred Masculine, Sacred Feminine, Buddhism and the 12 Steps of Recovery, Soto Zen training, and the scholarship fund!

How You Can Support the Brooklyn Sit-A-Thon raise our campaign goal of $40,000:

Become a Sitter:  If BZC is as dear to your heart as it is to ours, please sign up for your own personal fundraising page and reach out to your network to sponsor you. Then join us on Saturday, June 1 for a day-long sit. If you cannot sit on June 1, please still feel free to become a “virtual sitter” and set up a page to help us raise funds. We would love 100% Sangha participation, and any amount helps.

Sponsor a Sitter:  Find a Sit-A-Thoner you want to support by browsing the profiles on this site. Any one of them will deeply appreciate your contribution.

Donate to BZC: If you can’t imagine donating to JUST ONE sitter but do want to donate to the Sit-a-Ton campaign please donate directly here.

The sit-a-thon will take place on Saturday, June 1, from 10 am to 6 pm, and will be open to anyone who participates in the fundraising, plus any Awake Youth Project students who would like to join us.

Please reach out to the Brooklyn Zen Center Board with any questions at bzcboard@brooklynzen.org.

New Beginner’s Mind Experience group!

The next Beginner’s Mind Experience peer group starts on Monday, May 6! The registration deadline is Wednesday, May 1.

All new members at the Brooklyn Zen Center (BZC) are strongly encouraged to take part in the Beginner’s Mind Experience (BME), a 3-month introduction program to the various aspects of community practice at BZC.

As part of this program, members have the opportunity to join a peer practice group and experience various forms of wholehearted activity practice. BME participants also receive special rates on two introductory classes (discount available for one year): Meditation in Everyday Life (starting June 4!) and Introduction to Zen Buddhism.

The program provides members with a sense of the variety and intimacy of zen practice in the BZC community and also offer embodied experience with how we can engage these practices in our daily lives.

To take part in the Beginner’s Mind Experience you must be a BZC member. The registration deadline for the next BME group is Wednesday, May 1. In response to feedback received from our sangha, the new BME group will be meeting during week days.

More information and registration available here.