Introduction to Zen Buddhism class, starting Oct 25

Event Details

This event finished on 06 December 2018

A six-week class led by Yoko Ohashi and Terence Caulkins

Thursday evenings:  October 25 – December 6. Please note there there will be no class on November 22.
Class Dates: 10/25, 11/1, 11/8, 11/15, 11/29, 12/6
Class time: Optional sitting from 6:30-7 p.m. (see the updated BZC weekly meditation schedule here). Class from 7:15 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.

Introduction to Zen Buddhism

Zen is sometimes referred to as the Middle Way, a flexible, dynamic practice centered on zazen (meditation) and community life. Instead of building up solid truths for us to hold on to, Zen invites us to move through our lives with skillful questions, as a way of being with the dynamic, changing nature of existence. In this class we will investigate the questions that shaped the lives of the most revered Zen ancestors, studying their stories and teachings in a group setting.

Because of historical patriarchy in buddhist lineages, little has been recorded of the lives of the female masters until this day. Recent efforts have seen the collection of zen stories centered on female practitioners in a set of texts called The Hidden Lamp. In each class we will study and discuss an archetypal story and question of a famous male teacher, alongside a teaching story of a female practitioner from The Hidden Lamp collection.

The class will be participatory, drawing on each and every person’s own experience to bring out the timeless wisdom of these ancient stories.

Class fee:  $160 Sustaining / $120 Base / $80 for BZC members (more than 3 months)

To register, please click here. Please note that registration for this class closes November 1.

Please note our cancellation policy: To request a refund for this event, you must notify BZC in writing at least one week before the beginning of the course or event. Refunds are issued for any and all cancellations up to seven days before an event less a $10 processing fee. Less than seven days before an event, we do not offer refunds. There are no refunds for events with registration fees under $50.

About Yoko Ohashi

Yoko has a strong background in visual arts and yoga. She was born in Osaka, Japan, and her early experience of coming to live in the US inspired her to explore herself in this new culture. Yoko is grateful to have come across Zen in Brooklyn and looks forward to deeply rooting her practice in sangha. Yoko currently serves as co-Ino at BZC (head of the meditation hall) and also co-facilitates the People of Color sangha. She has been practicing and studying Soto Zen Buddhism for over a decade since she first came to the center. She was lay ordained by Teah Strozer in 2015 and served as head student during the fall practice period in 2016.

©Marcia Lieberman/ BZC 2017About Terence Caulkins
Terence Caulkins is a Franco-American acoustical engineer and sound artist who has been training in yoga and meditation for over 10 years. His formal meditation training began in Paris, France in a Tibetan lineage in 2006, year in which he read Shunryu Suzuki’s “Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind” for the first time. When he moved to New York City he sought out a place to practice Soto Zen, eventually finding his way to the Brooklyn Zen Center in 2008. Terence was lay ordained by Soshin Teah Strozer in 2012, and held the position of Ino (head of the meditation hall) at BZC from 2015-2016. He currently holds the role of Jisha (teacher’s attendant) to Laura O’Loughlin and co-facilitates the BZC Undoing Whiteness and Oppression group.

Access Notes: There is one short flight of stairs leading to the entrance to the building. Please press 3-0 to be buzzed in. The center is located at the top of a steeper second staircase of around 20 steps. A ramp and elevator are available via an alternate entrance; please email in advance if you need access. Chairs, benches, and extra support cushions are available. We are not yet a fragrance-free space; our hand soap is scented with essential oils. If you have any additional questions about accessibility, please contact us at