Category Archives: Events

Non-Residential Sesshin

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Yunmen

"Every Day Is A Good Day"

"We can't do it by ourselves, and no one else can do it for us."
--from our liturgy book

Non-residential sesshins at GBZC are a wonderful opportunity to deepen our practice by joining together as a sangha (community) in either 2 or 2.5 days of intensive Zen practice.

You can sign up for the multi-day sesshin or you can sign up for any combination of full and half-days. Non-residential sesshins are scheduled from 8am-6pm over either one regular or one long holiday weekend and include up to 8 hours of zazen (seated meditation) per day, liturgy, oryoki (traditional Zen meal ceremony) and dokusan (private meetings with the teachers).

The non-residential sesshin format allows us to practice together during the day and still spend the evening at home. While we will be chanting and eating together during our lunch meal service, we do not serve food at the Center. We will provide hot water for tea. We ask that participants plan to eat breakfast and dinner at home and plan to bring a bag lunch, a teacup, and whatever snacks they may need.

GBZC Non-residential sesshins are led by Josh Bartok, Kate Hartland, Laura Wallace, and others, and are scheduled for:

  • January 17-19, 2020
    Led by Josh Jiun Bartok, Roshi & Dharma Holder, Laura Yushin Wallace

Click here for more information and to register for the January 2020 Non-residential sesshin

Lunch: Please bring a brown-bag lunch and teacup to eat Oryoki style.

Suggested donation: $50 for each full day; $25 for each half-day
Sliding scale available. Please never let money keep you away. All are welcome, regardless of means. It is our policy that no one is turned away from sesshin because of financial circumstances. And we really mean this. Because it costs money to run the Zen Center and to support our teacher's time, we do ask that everyone make a contribution in some amount to our shared work. We encourage you to donate what you can, and know that your contribution of any amount is gratefully received.

October 2019 Residential Sesshin

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Bright Sea/Greater Boston Zen Center 7-day October 2019 Sesshin

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED

When: October 18-25, 2019
From 8:00 pm Friday evening through noon the following Friday

Where: Cedar Hill Retreat Center on Kingston Bay
346 Standish Street
Duxbury, MA 02332

Cost: $450 (U.S.) fee for full-time
Pro-rated fees for part-time
Scholarships available
(details below)

Space is limited. Priority is given to those who plan to attend the entire sesshin.

OCTOBER SESSHIN TEACHERS

Josh Jiun Bartok, Roshi is the abbot at the Greater Boston Zen Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is a Soto Zen priest. He is a Dharma heir to James Myoun Ford, Roshi in two lineages: the ordained Soto transmission through Jiyu Kennett, Roshi and the lay koan-teaching lineage through John Tarrant, Roshi. Josh also works as a Buddhist pastoral counselor in private practice, and as the executive editor of Wisdom Publications, where he has edited more than 200 books from all Dharma traditions. He’s the co-author with Ezra Bayda of Saying Yes to Life (Even the Hard Parts), and the authoring editor of four anthologies of Dharma quotes, including most recently Daily Doses of Wisdom. His writing has appeared in Shambhala Sun, Lion’s Roar, and Buddhadharma magazines, as well as The Handbook for Zen and Mindfulness for Behavioral Health Practitioners.

Kate Kagen Hartland, Sensei is the Resident Teacher for Bright Sea Zen Sangha and a Spiritual Director for the Greater Boston Zen Center. Before coming to Boundless Way she had studied with both Philip Kapleau (Rochester Zen Center) and Toni Packer (Springwater Center) and has been practicing for a total of about 25 years. Kate received Dharma transmission (Denbo) from Josh Mu’nen Bartok, Roshi, in 2017. Kate is retired from the non-profit Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge.

DETAILS & REGISTRATION INFORMATION

Applications are now being accepted for the Bright Sea/Greater Boston Zen Center October sesshin. The sesshin begins at 8:00 pm on Friday evening, October 18, and ends at noon on Friday, October 25. This sesshin will be held at the Cedar Hill Retreat Center in Duxbury, MA.

The total fee for the sesshin is $450. Scholarships are available, so please do not let financial considerations affect your decision to apply. We do ask everyone to make some contribution no matter how small. For part-time attendance there is no fee for Friday evening, but the fee for any or all of each remaining day is as follows:

One day $120
2-3 days $100/day ($200-$300)
4-5 days $90/day ($360-$450)
6 days $70/day ($420)

Space is limited. Priority is given to those who plan to attend the entire sesshin.

The fee schedule and cancellation policy are as follows:

Payment in full is made upon arriving at the sesshin, via check or cash.

We request that you notify us as soon as possible if cancellation is necessary so that we can offer the opening to a waiting-list registrant.

Important Notes

  • Registration will be open until October 10; however, priority will be given to those who register within 2 weeks. Verbal requests for a reservation are not accepted.
  • We offer easy-to-use online registration. This application is a streamlined and secure process. The link to the online form is below.
  • You need only complete and submit the online application form, there is no payment at this time.
  • At the end of the 2-week registration period, a lottery system will be used to choose participants. You will be notified of your status shortly afterward.
  • Although registration will remain open through October 10, priority will be given to completed registration requests for full-time, residential attendance received within the first two weeks of the registration period. If more requests are received by October 10 than there are spaces available, a lottery system will again be implemented. The sesshin is open to all, regardless of previous retreat experience or financial considerations.
  • Payment will be made upon arriving at sesshin, via check or cash.

Registration is limited. The final date to register is October 10. If you have any questions please contact the sesshin registrar, Kate Hartland, at [email protected].

We hope to see you there!

LGBTQIA+ Zen Group

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The community at GBZC invites you to participate in a monthly sitting practice where our focus is on LGBTQIA+ issues. Our aim is to create a safe space for Zen meditation and dialogue for LGBTQIA+ people and allies.

What to Expect
This is a shortened Zen Buddhist service that will include chanting, seated meditation, walking meditation, and discussion. We will also seek to bring in teachers from the Zen community that can speak to topics affecting the LGBTQIA+ community. No RSVP required.

This is an opportunity to cultivate a diverse community rooted in inclusivity, justice, and compassion. This group is meant to be both an entry point to discovering and practicing Zen and an exploratory practice for LGBTQIA+ people and allies already familiar with Zen.

GROUP INFO:

Location:
Greater Boston Zen Center
552 Massachusetts Avenue #208
Second Floor
Cambridge, MA 02139

When: Every 4th Sunday from 7:00-8:30 P.M. starting September 22, 2019.

Approximate program schedule:
6:30 pm - Early arrival for newcomers that would like an orientation
7:00 pm - Sutra Service (15 min), Walking Meditation (5 min), Sit (20 min), Walking Meditation (5 min), Discussion/Talk (30 min), Walking Meditation (5 min), Closing Service (5 min)
8:30 pm - Out for the evening

Who: All LGBTQIA+ people and allies are welcome.

Questions/Comments: Please contact the group's facilitator, Caroline Murphy, at [email protected]

Writing as Spiritual Practice Group

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Greater Boston Zen Center (GBZC) member Rebecca Doverspike invites all to join her in this new, monthly sitting group.

This group will gather to share (and maybe inspire further) creative works with one another and to collaborate in conversation about how those works relate to spiritual practices as a whole. Often, we cannot see alone what we are doing, or could do, with a particular creative piece and readers can help by sharing what they see in it. We will also spend time doing spiritual reading practices and free-writing together.

You are welcome to bring other author’s creative works that relate to spiritual practice for you to share with the group instead of, or in addition to, your own. Work in any language is welcome, as are translations (either of your own work or another’s). Also, if you simply want to listen in to gauge interest, you are welcome to do so.

Quarterly, we will hold an interfaith open mic night for anyone interested in and beyond our
community.

GROUP INFO:

Location:
Greater Boston Zen Center
552 Massachusetts Avenue #208
Second Floor
Cambridge, MA 02139

When: Once a month from 7:00-8:30 P.M. on the last Thursday evening of the month unless otherwise noted.

Who: All are welcome for any of the meetings.

Questions/Comments: Please contact the group's facilitator, Rebecca Doverspike, at [email protected]

Introduction to Zen Buddhism Class Confirmation

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Greater Boston Zen Center
552 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA in Central Square
Four Mondays in July: 7/1-7/22
TIme: 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Thank you for registering for the Introduction to Zen Buddhism Class, co-led Josh Bartok Roshi, Spiritual Director of GBZC and Karen McCormack, a practice leader at GBZC. A spot has been reserved for you.

This four-session class is a perfect way to connect to the vibrant and welcoming contemplative community at the Greater Boston Zen Center and learn what Buddhism is all about. Through a mixture of history, philosophy, context, hands-on practice, and direct experience, you’ll learn about the Zen tools for finding peace—right in the middle of our busy, complicated lives.

Cost This class is made available on a sliding scale, according to means. Please see below for suggested donation. Please do not let money keep you away.

Please enter donation amount and click Pay Now button.

  • Circumstances of financial challenge: $ as you can afford (Please never stay away due to financial reasons. Your presence itself is valuable!)
  • $80 for all four session

With bows,
Karen McCormack

Introduction to Zen Buddhism Class

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Introduction to Zen Buddhism Class
>> REGISTRATION NOW OPEN <<

Curious about Zen?
Want to learn more about Buddhism?
Looking for guidance in starting a meditation practice?
Wondering what goes on at the Greater Boston Zen Center?
Hoping to understand Zen forms and practices more deeply?

 

This four-session class is a perfect way to connect to the vibrant and welcoming contemplative community at the Greater Boston Zen Center and learn what Buddhism is all about. Through a mixture of history, philosophy, context, hands-on practice, and direct experience, you’ll learn about the Zen tools for finding peace—right in the middle of our busy, complicated lives.

 

Classes led by Josh Bartok Roshi, Spiritual Director of GBZC and Karen McCormack, GBZC Practice Leader
Four Mondays in July: 7/1–7/22
Time: 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Registration Fee: $80 for all four sessions (or pay whatever you can)

To inquire, email: [email protected];
To register: please use our
online registration form.

Right Use of Power Workshop Confirmation

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Greater Boston Zen Center
552 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA in Central Square
Saturday, May 18th from 9-5pm
full event description

If you are viewing this page, you should have received a confirmation email confirming your spot will be reserved to attend this workshop. Space is limited, so confirmed reservations are required.

If you did not receive an email confirmation or are unsure if you are on the list, please be in touch with [email protected].

Cost Thank you for supporting this event and the dharma! This event is made available on a sliding scale, according to means. Please see below for suggested donations. Please do not let money keep you away.

Please choose donation level, fill-in amount and click Pay Now button.

  • Circumstances of financial challenge: $ as you can afford (Please never stay away due to financial reasons. Your presence itself is valuable!)
  • Basic community member cost : $50
  • Supporting community member : $100
  • Collaborating community member : $150
  • Sustaining community member: $150+

Lunch A boxed vegetarian lunch will be provided to attendees. Please fill out this google form if you would like us to order you lunch. There will be a space to include any special dietary restrictions, which we will do our best to accommodate. If we are unable to accommodate, we will let you know.

With bows,
Karen McCormack & Rebecca Behizadeh, Workshop Registrars

Persons of Color Monthly Sitting Group

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Greater Boston Zen Center (GBZC) member Leilani Diaz invites persons of color (POCs) to join her in this new, monthly sitting group. This is an opportunity to cultivate a diverse community rooted in inclusivity, justice, and compassion; it is also a chance to open our hearts and eyes to the history of Western convert Zen Buddhism, which has historically been quite white. This group is meant to be both (a) an entry point for POCs new to Zen and (b) an exploratory practice for POCs familiar with Zen. This is a shortened Zen Buddhist service that will include chanting, seated meditation, walking meditation, and discussion (with tea and cookies). No RSVP required.

POCs GROUP INFO:

Location:
Greater Boston Zen Center
552 Massachusetts Avenue #208
Second Floor
Cambridge, MA 02139

Dates/Time:
Held the third Monday each month, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. Please note the following exceptions:
June 24th
July 29th
Newcomers please try to arrive at 6:30 p.m. for a brief orientation and warm welcome.

Questions? Please email Leilani at [email protected]

About Leilani Diaz: Leilani is a social worker hailing from Somerville, MA. She first started sitting at GBZC in January 2015, and it has been her spiritual home since then. In her free time, Leilani enjoys making mixed media collages, playing the guitar, keeping up with friends and family, and petting the neighborhood cat that sits on her stoop.

Realizing Genjokoan Study Group

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For the 2019-2020 season, the Thursday night book study and discussion group will explore the book Realizing Genjokoan; The Key to Dogen's Shobogenzo by Shohaku Okumura. Jisho Warner, co-editor of Opening the Hand of Thought, describes this book as "An unequaled introduction to the writings of the great Zen master Eihei Dogen that opens doors to Dogen's vast understanding for everyone from newcomer to adept."

All are invited to join us in exploring this introduction to Dogen’s teachings and how they can encourage and support us in our practice. Drop-ins are welcome! Prior reading is not required and a few books will be on hand to use during the discussion. Come for one discussion, a few of them, or all of them as your schedule allows.

This book study and discussion group meets on the SECOND THURSDAY EVENING of the month at 7:15 PM and is facilitated by GBZC Practice Leader, John Vetrano.

We'll be meeting each month, September through May. Please note that there are some exceptions to our typical schedule of meeting on the second Thursday of the month.  The dates below are underlined if they are NOT the second Thursday.
Dates: 9/12, 10/10, 11/14, 12/19, 1/9, 2/13, 3/12, 4/9, 5/14

Time: 7:15 – 8:45 PM

Suggested donation - GBZC members: $10 / non-members: $15

Readings:

Sep 12
Genjokoan Parts 1-4 (page 1) and pages 42-49
Oct 10:
Genjokoan Parts 1-4 (page 1) and pages 51-55
Nov 14:
Pages 75-81
Dec 19:
Page 95 through the top of page 100
Jan 9:
TBA
Feb 13:
TBA
Mar 12:
TBA
Apr 9:
TBA
May 14
:
TBA

All-day Sit (Zazenkai)

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Yunmen

"Every Day Is A Good Day"

"We can't do it by ourselves, and no one else can do it for us."
--from our liturgy book

A powerful way to more deeply explore your practice is to attend a zazenkai, an all-day sit. At GBZC "all-day" means 9am-4:30pm. You are always welcome to attend for any portion of an all-day sit, as suits your schedule. The retreat includes liturgy, dokusan/interviews, zazen, walking meditation, and a Dharma talk with discussion.

All-day sits at GBZC are usually led by our spiritual director Josh Bartok and another teacher. Everyone will have the opportunity to have interviews with both teachers, and people may even have the opportunity to see each teacher twice.

Please bring a bag lunch to eat oryoki-style.

Schedule: Our all-day sits are on Saturdays
Time: 9 AM - 4:30 PM.  You are welcome to attend any part of the day.
Please note: This schedule is subject to change up to 30 days prior!

2019 Schedule:
12/21 zazenkai

2020 Schedule:
02/15
Note that there is no zazenkai in January.

Suggested donation:
All day - GBZC members: $25 / non-members: $40
Half day - GBZC members: $12 / non-members: $20

Registration:
Pre-registration is encouraged. You may register online using the "Pay Now" button below, or you may register in person on the day of the event.

Please select option: