Join us for a 2-Day Sesshin in April

Please join us for two days that will make a difference:  Weekend Sesshin (Retreat) on Saturday, April 20, 7am -  Sunday, April 21, 5pm.

See this page for details and application.

Diamond Sutra Class Continues: 6 Weeks

Diamond Sutra Class Registration

Registration Deadline: February 20, 2013

Cost: non-members: $120; members: $60

This class continues an exploration of one of the most important texts in Zen Buddhism. It is not necessary to have participated in the first section of this class since each section is self contained.

Sometime around 400 BC, after returning from begging for his daily meal in a nearby city, the Buddha returned to the forest preserve where he was staying with his followers. He put away his robe and stone begging bowl, went outside, washed his feet and sat down on a wooden seat just outside his door. Sounds a bit like what many of us might do after a day’s work earning our living. We return home and settle into householder life. The Buddha’s long time student, Subhuti, approaches him and asks him to please offer instruction as to how we can all be freed from suffering. So, the Buddha begins his teaching and The Diamond Sutra is born. Such a simple everyday action opens one of the most profound of the wisdom teachings.

The full title of this sutra is The Diamond that Cuts Through Illusion. With the strength and precision of a diamond cutter, the sutra cuts through to the very core of our every day discontent and suffering. The versus are rich with imagery and offer profound insight into the wisdom teachings of interconnection and emptiness. Yet they are only useful to the extent that we see how they connect with our daily life. The sutra comes to life in our very being as it manifests through our joys, sorrows, strengths, weakness, life and death. It invites us to consider how we eat a meal, drink a glass of water, drive the freeway, attend a meeting at work, communicate with each other, take care of our environment.

Although the class will draw on discussion from various viewpoints, the primary translation will be Red Pine’s Diamond Sutra (Counterpoint).

If you live at a distance, it’s easy to participate fully in the class through Skype/Teleconferencing. Just be sure to indicate on your registration.

All registration forms must be received by February 20th. To sign up, go to Diamond Sutra Class Registration. Please make your check payable to Bay Zen Center and write “Diamond Sutra Class” on your check and on the envelope. People registering from out of the U.S. may make their payment through PayPal.

Join us for a 2-Day Sesshin in February

Please join us for two days that will make a difference: Weekend Sesshin (Retreat) Saturday, February 16, 7:30am – Sunday, February 17, 5:30 pm.

Everyone is welcome.

Application Deadline: February 9.

In the midst of our busy lives, it can be difficult to remember to pay attention to our lives. Each activity seems to pull us from one moment to the next. Even if we meditate every morning, we might still find ourselves being swept up in the current. So how do we keep strong the habit of awareness, of being awake to our lives, even in the midst of each busy day?

One of the most powerful tools we have for doing this is sesshins (retreats), extended periods of time set aside for simply paying attention. Sesshin gives us the opportunity to step out of the swift current of everyday life and enter a time of radical simplicity. We eat, we walk, we sit, and with each activity we offer our full attention. In doing so, we remind the body and mind that being awake in this moment, and the sanity and simplicity that comes with being fully present, is available in every moment of our lives.

If you often find that you can’t set aside time for this important aspect of practice because of family, work or other commitments, this sesshin offers you that opportunity to participate. With all our sesshins, we are flexible with the needs of individuals. If you have any questions, please contact the sesshin director, Bill Press at

Space is limited, so be sure to apply early.