Category Archives: Featured Events

Dogen Study Group

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Recommended Dogen books:

Realizing Genjokoan (Okumura)
Living by Vow (Okumura)
Opening the Hand of Thought (Uchiyama)
Moon in a Dewdrop (Tanahashi)
How to Raise an Ox (Cook)
Eihei Dogen--Mystical Realist (Kim)
Treasury of the True Dharma Eye (Tanahashi)

Eihei Dogen Zenji, the founder of Soto Zen in Japan, is one of the most influential Zen teachers who has ever lived. He is a peerless master of Dharma expression, and the study of Dogen is essential for anyone who practices shikantaza. And yet his writings are, to almost everyone who starts to read them, exceeding difficult to penetrate. We have found that a group study of his work is a wonderfully effective way of entering into these teachings. Some members of the study group refer to it as a "support group" for readers of Dogen.

GBZC offers a virtual Dogen study and discussion group on FOURTH SUNDAYS at 3:30 PM from September through May. Drop-ins are welcome! No prior reading of the text is required.  Come for one discussion, a few of them, or all of them as your schedule allows.  We'll gather on Zoom for this study group.

This group is led by Josh Bartok, Roshi and Steve Wallace, Sensei.  We'll be exploring selected readings from Kaz Tanahashi's translation of Dogen's Shobogenzo, "Treasury of the True Dharma Eye."

The study group starts Sunday, September 27, 2020.

Dates: Fourth Sunday of the month (except December 20)

Location: Via Zoom.  Full instructions here.

Time: 3:30-5:00pm

Suggested donation: GBZC members: $10 / non-members: $15. Click here for virtual dana box.


Sep 27:  Chapter 38, Shinjin Gakudo; Body-and-Mind Study of the Way
Oct 25:  Chapter 90, Shinjin Inga; Identifying with Cause and Effect
Nov 22:  Chapter 2, Maka Hannya Haramitsu; Manifestation of Great Prajna
Dec 20:  Chapter 31a, Gyoji, Jo; Continuous Practice, pp 332-337, 346-348
Jan 24:  TBA
Feb 28:  TBA
Mar 28:  TBA
Apr 25:  TBA
May 23:  TBA

Thursday Night Book Discussion Group

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This virtual book study and discussion group meets on Zoom on the SECOND THURSDAY EVENING of the month at 7:15 PM from September through May and is facilitated by GBZC Practice Leader, John Vetrano. Contact John at [email protected] for more information.

During the 2020-2021 season, the Thursday night book study and discussion group will explore the book Stories of the Lotus Sutra by Gene Reeves.  All are invited to join. Drop-ins are welcome!  Prior reading is not required.  Come for one discussion, a few of them, or all of them as your schedule allows.

Dates:  Second Thursday of the month beginning September 10, 2020

Time: 7:15–8:45pm

Location: Via Zoom.  Full instructions here.

Suggested donation: GBZC members: $10 / non-members: $15.  Click here for virtual dana box.


Sep 10:  Chapter 6 - Shariputra
Oct 8: Chapter 9 - Doing the Common Good
Nov 12: TBA
Dec 10: TBA
Jan 14: TBA
Feb 11: TBA
Mar 11: TBA
Apr 8: TBA
May 13: TBA

indras net

Indra’s Net: A Communications Channel for Social Justice Actions

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Indra's Net is a Google Group that allows us to invite others to join us in taking action for social justice.

The whole universe is seen as a multidimensional net. At every point where the strands of the net meet, jewels are set. Each jewel reflects the light reflected in the jewels around it, and each of those jewels in turn reflects the light from all the jewels around them, and so on, forever. In this way, each jewel, or each particular entity or event, including each person, ultimately reflects and expresses the radiance of the entire universe. All of totality can be seen in each of its parts.

—"Indra's Net," as described by Taigen Dan Leighton

We commit ourselves to actively engaging and fully actualizing our bodhisattva vows in the relative world.
We commit ourselves to doing this fearlessly—opening our hearts to suffering and our eyes to oppression, privilege, marginalization, and injustice.

We commit ourselves to doing this inclusively—embodying the ideals of mutuality, interdependence, and democratic process.
And we commit ourselves to doing this humbly—acknowledging the reality of not-knowing, even as we act in urgent service to all beings.

—Fourfold Commitment to Racial and Social Justice, GBZC Sutra Book

Indra's Net is a new communications channel that allows community members of the GBZC mahasangha to take action together as one way to continue actualizing our bodhisattva vows. Several sangha members, with help from the Programming Committee, have set up this channel as a Google Group. We describe below a handful of working principles to get the idea off the ground, but we are eager for participants to co-create the shape of this channel as they use it. Everyone within our extended community (regardless of formal GBZC membership) is invited to join.

This communication channel takes its name from Indra’s Net, an image of interconnection and interdependence within Buddhist cosmology. It is an image, in Thich Nhat Hanh's words, of "interbeing."  It is precisely because of this interbeing that we actively engage our bodhisattva vows, including our Fourfold Commitment to Racial and Social Justice. And it is precisely because of this interconnection, interdependence, and interbeing that we recognize the need to act in urgent service of all beings.

How to Join:

To join the Google Group and receive communications about upcoming actions, please click here and click "Ask to join group."  If you have any difficulties, you can send an email to [email protected] to request to be added directly.

How and What to Post: 

The main principle of Indra’s Net, in order to keep it an action-oriented space, is that users only post actions that they themselves are committed to doing. Users must also be willing to do a bit of organizing work to enable other sangha members to join them in doing the action. What it means to “do” an action may look very different for different actions, especially in this time of social distancing and Zoom meetings. It might mean joining up together (at 6 feet apart!) at a street rally, or it could mean making a phone call or sending an email from home. The requirement that users only post actions that they themselves are doing prevents the list from becoming a channel for information-sharing alone—a worthy purpose but not the purpose of this group.

Actions do not have to be applicable to every possible group member. You are welcome to post an action that is (for example) a women of color space only, or that is only for people living in a certain legislative district, as long as it is something applicable to you yourself and you are planning to participate.

Once you’ve joined, you can post an action by sending an email to [email protected].  The message will automatically go out to all members of the group.  Please include at least the following details in your email:

  • What is the action?
  • When is it? (Is it one specific time/place? Is it something each person does on their own time?)
  • How would you like people to contact you if they are interested in participating?

It’s important for people who are interested in an action to be able to connect with each other— we know that “life happens,” and if the person originally posting the action is for some reason unable to participate, they can keep others in the loop (especially important for an in-person action where others may be relying on having a companion there). Even for an action that involves people doing something individually on their own time, it can be powerful and useful to be connected to others doing the same.

Community members may reasonably disagree about the effectiveness or value of some proposed actions, and that’s okay. We just ask users to be thoughtful about whether the action they wish to post is aligned with GBZC’s values as a community.

Eco-Anxiety and Pandemic

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Beginning Monday, August 3, the EcoSattva group is offering a free interactive 9-week Zoom course called Eco-Anxiety and the Pandemic.  Worrying about climate change and the pandemic can feel overwhelming, but there are ways to help reduce this anxiety and climate breakdown at the same time.  Speakers will include David R. Loy, Newell Lewey, Ivan Fernandez, and more! 

Visit this website for more information, and register here for all or part of this incredible series of classes.

GBZC Teen Retreat June 14-16

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We invite students in high school and college, as well as recent graduates thereof, to join us for a somewhat-intensive three session "retreat." Sessions are to be held back-to-back - June 14th through 16th from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. - so that our practice together deepens quickly.

It would be best if participants could come all three days, but anyone can sign up for any day(s) that she or he can make it by emailing me at [email protected]

Our retreat will include chants, precept study, forms, and meditation practices, as well as discussions about Zen, meditation more generally, and how to weave practice into daily life.

Please come!