About

Berkeley Buddhist Priory is a Buddhist temple following the tradition of Serene Reflection Meditation, which was known as Soto Zen in Japan and Ts’ao-Tung (曹洞 of Chan 禪) in China. The teaching and our practice emphasize meditation, guiding our lives by the moral Precepts of Buddhism, awakening the heart of compassion, and expressing it through selfless activity in everyday life.

The Priory is a temple of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives (OBC), an international Buddhist Order, whose North America office is at Shasta Abbey located in Mt. Shasta, California. The Founder of both OBC and Berkeley Buddhist Priory is the late Reverend Master Jiyu-Kennett.

The Priory was established in 1973. It offers a regular schedule of meditation, Dharma classes, Buddhist services, day-retreats, and spiritual guidance. It also offers meditation instruction and workshops for beginners. There are no fees for participating in above activities or any other services that the Priory offers. Like other affiliated temples of OBC, the Priory is financially independent; we are supported entirely by donations of our congregation and friends.

The Prior of the temple is Rev. Kinrei Bassis, a Dharma heir of Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett. Rev. Kinrei was ordained as a Buddhist monk by Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett in 1979, and trained at Shasta Abbey. He received Dharma Transmission in 1982 and was named Master by Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett in 1987. He has been the Prior of the temple since 1997. A selection of his Dharma talks and articles are available for download.

Finding our Peaceful and Compassionate Heart

Rev. Kinrei Retreat Talks at Shasta Abbey (2022/08)

(Listen to audio recordings on Dharma Talks page)

Watch video click the links below (or on YouTube)

Retreat Introductory Talk (video)19 min
Retreat Talk 1: Peaceful Heart (video)40 min
Retreat Talk 2: Compassion (video)36 min
Retreat Talk 3: Feelings and Emotions (video)44 min
Retreat Talk 4: Adapting to Conditions (video)41 min
Retreat Talk 5: Converting Suffering (video)38 min
Retreat Talk 6: Buddha Heart (video)39 min

Temple Activities Update (7/06/2022):

The Priory, like everywhere else in the world is living through and dealing with the pandemic. We are following all of our normal schedule but we currently still requiring people to be vaccinated and to wear masks when there is a large indoor gathering, such as our Sunday Dharma talk. When weather permits it, we will plan to hold Sunday activities and day retreats outside, in the temple backyard. The good fortune of being in the Bay area is that the weather is often mild and sunny and it usually worked well to have the practice outside during the pandemic.

We have been offering Dharma talks and our day retreats on Zoom. There is a Sunday morning Dharma talk at 10:45 am and Wednesday evening Dharma talk at 8:00 pm. Also the Sunday Zoom meeting includes the 9:30 am meditation period and at 10:05, either another meditation period or a Buddhist service