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. Group tea meditation is offered weekly as well. 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.
Temple Activities During the Pandemic (12/08/2020 update):
The current shelter in place order in Alameda county permits outside religious activities. The Priory will continue to offer a Sunday schedule that will take place in our back yard, weather permitting, with two periods of meditation starting at 9:30 am and a Dharma talk at 10:45 am. We will also offer these activities on Zoom. In addition, we have a Wednesday evening 8:00pm Dharma talk offered on Zoom. Our day-long meditation retreats will take place December 12, January 16 and February 13. They will take place in our backyard and also be available on Zoom. Please contact the Priory for more information.
Recent Event: Service for the Buddha’s Enlightenment
The Priory held its yearly service for the Buddha’s Enlightenment on December 6 in the Priory backyard. It was joined by many on Zoom. In the midst of this pandemic, it was good to have this opportunity for people to get together and share their gratitude for the Buddha and Dharma. Religious activities are still permitted if they are held outside.