Category Archives: Featured Events

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.

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:

  • June 29-30, 2019
    Led by Josh Jiun Bartok, Roshi & Kate Kagen Hartland, Sensei

Click here for more information and to register for the June non-residential sesshin.

  • September 20-22, 2019
    Led by Josh Jiun Bartok, Roshi & TBD
  • January 13-20, 2020
    Led by Josh Jiun Bartok, Roshi & TBD

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.

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.

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:
07/19 zazenkai
08/17 zazenkai
09/21 zazenkai
Note that there is no zazenkai in April, May, or June.

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:

Precepts Discussion Group

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Recommended books on the Precepts

The Mind of Clover (Aitken)
Waking Up to What You Do (Rizetto)
Being Upright (Anderson)
If You're Lucky, Your Heart Will Break (Ford)
The Heart of Being (Loori)

Recommended Books on the Precepts and Society

The Great Awakening (Loy)
The New Social Face of Buddhism (Jones)
Money Sex War Karma (Loy)
Pavement (Jensen)
Razor-Wire Dharma (Malone)

The Precepts of Skillful Action are the heart of what it means to practice Zen off the cushion--and their study is an endlessly rich, ever-unfolding practice.

For the 2018-2019 season, the Precepts Study Group will explore the book Being Upright: Zen Meditation and the Bodhisattva Precepts by Reb Anderson.

This book study and discussion group will meet on the FIRST SATURDAY of the month at 1:00 PM, and will be facilitated by GBZC's Board of Directors President, Donna White.

Drop-ins welcome! Prior reading is suggested, but not required. Come for one discussion, a few of them, or all of them as your schedule allows.

We'll be meeting each month, September through June. Please note that there are some exceptions to our typical schedule of meeting on the first Saturday of the month.  The dates below are underlined if they are NOT the first Saturday.

Dates: 9/8, 10/20, 11/3, 12/1, 1/5, 2/2, 3/2, 4/20, 5/25, 6/22

Time: 1:00-2:30 PM

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

Readings:

Sep 8: Chapters 6&7, pp. 33-46
Oct 20: Chapter 7, The Three Refuges
Nov 3: Chapter 8, The Three Pure Precepts
Dec 1: Chapter 9, The Abode and the Source
Jan 5: Chapter 10, Practicing and Being Practiced
Feb 2: Chapter 11, Taking Self and Others Across
Mar 2: Chapter 12, The Ten Grave Precepts
Apr 20: Chapter 13, Not Killing
May 25: Chapter 14, Not Stealing
June 22: Chapter 15, Not Misusing Sexuality

Buddhist Responses to Climate Change

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Thursday, February 18, 6 - 8:30 pm, Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi and BoWZ Dharma Teacher and GBZC sangha-mate, Dr. Julie Nelson, will make presentations at the Harvard Divinity School's RPP Colloquium: Buddhist Responses to Climate Change. 
Dr. Julie Nelson will present "Beyond 'Small is Beautiful': Buddhism and the Economics of Climate Change." and Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, chair of Buddhist Global Relief and president of the Buddhist Association of the United States (BAUS), will present "The Four Noble Truths of the Climate Crisis." Space is limited and RSVP is required.  Get the details and RSVP.

Zen Movie Night

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The Dhamma Brothers
Thursday September 24th, 2015
Start Time 7:15PM

Dhamma-BrosGreater Boston Zen Center’s Zen movie night continues in September with an exploration of the Dharma through the eyes of those incarcerated in the American Prison system.

“An overcrowded, violent maximum-security prison, the end of the line in Alabama's prison system, is dramatically changed by the influence of an ancient meditation program. Behind high security towers and a double row of barbed wire and electrical fence live over 1,500 prisoners, many of whom will never again know life in the outside world.

But for some of these men, a spark is ignited when it becomes the first maximum-security prison in North America to hold an extended Vipassana retreat, an emotionally and physically demanding program of silent meditation lasting ten days and requiring 100 hours of meditation.”

While Vipassana practice differs somewhat from Zen practice, there are many similarities. After the film we will have a discussion, sharing our impressions of the film and reflecting on insights into our practice, the dharma, and the prison system.

Hosted by Harry Gordon
Runtime 1 hour, 16 minutes. Unrated. Inmates describe their past criminal acts, some of which are violent sex crimes. Some crime reenactments.

STAY TUNED — MORE ZEN MOVIE NIGHTS WILL BE ANNOUNCED SOON!

Liturgy Study Group 2015-2016

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The Liturgical texts of Zen are powerful and provocative teaching tools. They can be pointers to practice, words of encouragement, and transformative acts-in-themselves. This group will use Kazuaki Tanahashi's book ZEN CHANTS: THIRTY-FIVE ESSENTIAL TEXTS WITH COMMENTARY, as our main text to explore chants in Boundless Way Liturgy.

GBZC offers a Liturgy study and discussion group on
THIRD THURSDAY EVENINGS at 7:15 PM. Drop-ins are welcome!

For 2015-16, this group will be taught by Josh Bartok and Senior GBZC dharma teachers. John Vetrano will be the practice leader for the group.

We'll be meeting each month, September through May, except January.
Please note the following exceptions to our typical schedule of meeting on the third Thursday of the month: in February we are meeting on the fourth Thursday, in March on the second Thursday and there is no meeting in January.
Dates: 9/17, 10/15, 11/19, 12/17, (no meeting in January), 2/25, 3/10, 4/21, 5/19
Time: 7:15 – 8:45 pm

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

Reading will be:

Sep 17 -- Introduction
Oct 15 -- Engraving trust in the heart
Nov 19 -- Song of Realizing the Way
Dec 17 -- Ten-line Life-affirming Sutra of Avalokiteshvara
Skip Jan
Feb 25 --- Sutra on the Heart of Realizing Wisdom Beyond Wisdom
Mar 10 --- Maka Hannya Haramitsu from second edition of BoWZ liturgy book
April 21 ---Guidepost for Silent Illumination from BoWZ liturgy book
May 19 --- Fulfilling the Buddha Way from BoWZ liturgy book

Liturgy Study Group 2014-15

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The Liturgical texts of Zen are powerful and provocative teaching tools. They can be pointers to practice, words of encouragement, and transformative acts-in-themselves. This group will use Shohaku Okumura's book LIVING BY VOW: A PRACTICAL INTRODUCTION TO EIGHT ESSENTIAL ZEN CHANTS AND TEXTS, as our main text to explore chants in Boundless Way Liturgy.

GBZC offers a Liturgy study and discussion group on
THIRD THURSDAY EVENINGS at 7:15 PM. Drop-ins are welcome!

For 2014-15, this group will be taught by Josh Bartok and Senior GBZC dharma teachers. John Vetrano will be the practice leader for the group.
We will be using Shohaku Okumura's Living by Vow as our primary text.

We'll meeting each month, September through May, except January.
Dates: 9/18, 10/16, 11/20, 12/18, (no meeting in January), 2/19, 3/19, 4/16, 5/21
Time: 7:15 – 8:45 pm

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

Reading will be:

Sep 18 -- Four Bodhisattva Vows (chap 1)
Oct 16 -- Verse of Repentence / Gatha of Atonement (Chap 2)
Nov 20 -- Three Refuges (Chap 3)
Dec 18 -- The Robe Chant / Verse of the Kesa (Chap 4)
Skip Jan
Feb 19 --- Heart Sutra (Chap 6)
Mar 19 --- Meal Chants (Chap 5)
April 16 --- Harmony of Difference and Unity (Chap 7.)
May 21 --- Gatha for Opening the Sutra (chap 8).

The Zen Way Through Anxiety

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A workshop
with Lizabeth Roemer, PhD
and Josh Bartok, Sensei

Sunday June 14 from 1:00-4:30pm
$40 at the door
$30 if you register online at bostonzen.org/workshop
financial aid is available (see below for details)
space is limited

In this newly developed workshop you will:

  • learn how to understand anxiety and stress, recognize early signs of anxiety, and respond differently to anxiety so that your distress is less likely to spiral and interfere with your life
  • learn different practices that you can incorporate into your life to help you strengthen the skills of noticing your experience with curiosity and kindness, so that you can interrupt problematic cycles of responding
  • clarify what is important to you and learn how to take actions that are consistent with how you want to be living your life, no matter what you are feeling in the moment.

Liz Roemer is co-author of The Mindful Way Through Anxiety: Break free from chronic worry and reclaim your life, and Professor of Psychology at University of Massachusetts Boston. She teaches nationally and internationally on the mindfulness- acceptance-based treatment of anxiety. She is also married to Josh Bartok.

Josh Bartok is the Abbot of the Greater Boston Zen Center, and the editor of over 175 Buddhist books from Wisdom Publications. He's also a Buddhist pastoral counselor in private practice, with a Master's Degree in Mental Heatlh Counseling. He is married to Liz Roemer.

Financial Aid

We do not want financial circumstances to keep you from attending this event. We do offer a reduced rate to people with limited income. We encourage you to pay what you can truly afford, and know that your contribution of whatever amount is welcome. Please register at bostonzen.org/workshop and follow the instructions on the payment page.

Help

Contact [email protected] with any questions.