Category Archives: Featured Events

Uji, Being-Time Study Group

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For the 2018-2019 season, the Thursday night book study and discussion group will explore the new book Being-Time; A Practioner's Guide to Dogen's Shobogenzo Uji by Shinshu Roberts.

Shinshu Roberts writes, “In this world we are surrounded by much prejudice and violence born of deep ignorance of our sameness. To understand the truth of mutual identity and mutual interpenetration is not an abstract philosophical idea, it is the dharma gate of compassion and wisdom.” 

All are invited to join us in exploring how Dogen’s teaching Uji, Being-Time can help us actualize our Bohisattva vows in our daily lives. 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 will meet on the SECOND THURSDAY EVENING of the month at 7:15 PM and will be 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: 9/13, 10/11, 11/15, 12/13, 1/31, 2/21, 3/28, 4/18, 5/9

Time: 7:15 – 8:45 PM

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

Readings:

Sep 13
Uji, p. 25 and the first three paragraphs on p. 26
Chapter 1, p. 35 through the top of page 40
Oct 11:
Chapters 2 and 3  
Nov 15:
Pages 72-78
Dec 13:
Chapter 8: Pages 86-90
Jan 31:
TBA
Feb 21:
TBA
Mar 28:
TBA
Apr 18:
TBA
May 9
:
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 the Boundless Way Zen 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 BoWZ Guiding Josh Bartok and another BoWZ 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!

2018 Schedule:
12/15 Zazenkai: Led by Josh Bartok, Roshi and Kate Hartland, Sensei

2019 Schedule:
01/19 Zazenkai: Led by Josh Bartok, Roshi and James Cordova, Sensei

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:

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 Dogen study and discussion group on
FOURTH SUNDAYS at 3:30 PM. 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.

For 2018-19, this group will be led by Josh Bartok, Roshi and Steve Wallace, Sensei.
We will be using Kaz Tanahashi's translation of Dogen's Shobogenzo "Treasury of the True Dharma Eye".

We'll be meeting each month, September through May. Please note that there are some exceptions to our typical schedule of meeting on the fourth Sunday of the month.  The dates below are underlined if they are NOT the fourth Sunday.
Dates: 9/9, 10/28, 11/25, 12/23, 1/27, 2/24, 3/24, 4/28, 5/19

Time: 3:30 - 5:00 PM

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

Readings

Sep 9:  Chapter 10 - Valley Sounds, Mountain Colors
Oct 28:  Chapter 11 - Refrain from Unwholesome Action
Nov 25:  Chapter 28 - The Point of Zazen, pp 303 - 309
Dec 23:  Chapter 28 - The Point of Zazen, pp 309 - 314
Jan 27:  Chapter TBA
Feb 24:  Chapter TBA
Mar 24: Chapter TBA 
Apr 28:  Chapter TBA 
May 19:
 Chapter TBA 

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.

Zen Movie Night

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projectorThe Greater Boston Zen Center sponsors an ongoing series of films whose Zen themes range from implicit to non-obvious. Each Movie Night is hosted by a Zen student or teacher who offers a brief introduction to that evening's film. A short break during the film and a brief talk afterwards gives us a moment to ask, listen, and reflect on the Zen threads that emerge as the film tells its tale.

Feel free to invite your partners, family and friends and to bring your favorite snacks!

Thursday August 6th, 7:15 PM
Screening:
A Zen Life: D.T. Suzuki
Hosted by Harry Gordon
Run time 1 hour, 17 minutes.  Appropriate for all ages

Zen movie night at the Greater Boston Zen Center continues this Summer with a look into the life of one of the most important people in the history of Zen.  The spread of Zen Buddhism to the West had no greater broadcaster than Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki and A Zen Life: D.T. Suzuki continues that same tradition long after his death in 1966.

This absorbing visual record presents Suzuki’s journey from a young Japanese boy raised in rural impoverishment, through his Zen training and to his powerful influence on key creative and political figures in the 20th century.

Beyond simply being an advocate and knowledge base for curious Western minds, Suzuki’s command of the English language and Western ways positioned him to become one of the first to introduce Zen to the West. Bridging the cultural divide between East and West, he made Zen and the Eastern mind comprehensible to Westerners. Suzuki authored hundreds of books that remain resources for Western students of Zen, as well as scholars of Japanese religion and culture.

He most famously conducted a series of lectures at Columbia University from 1951 to 1953 filled with audiences who would take his teachings and apply them to their own philosophies and advocacy for cultural change. Featured interviews, spanning from Zen luminary Roshi Robert Aitken to beat-culture icon Gary Snyder. render a view of Suzuki as both a master of this Buddhist school and also as the ideal conveyor of Zen Buddhism to Westerners.

Considered the ultimate celluloid biography of Suzuki, step into the world of no-thinking with us as we come to know the historical facts and the spiritual oeuvre that make up A Zen Life.

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