Mel Weitsman, founder and abbot of Berkeley Zen Center, talks about establishing the center with his teacher Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

Today marks the launch of the the Tricycle Film Club! Each month, Tricycle Supporting and Sustaining Members will be treated to a select feature-length film, presented in partnership with Alive Mind Cinema and BuddhaFest 2012. The first film, showing today through January 15, is Ed Herzog’s Old Plum Mountain: The Berkeley Zen Center—Life Inside the Gate.

Old Plum Mountain takes and in-depth look at one of the oldest centers of lay Buddhist practice in North America. Established in 1967 by the legendary Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, Berkeley Zen Center is now headed by Sojun Mel Weitsman. This 65-minute documentary takes us inside the workings of BZC, both in times of intense practice during retreats, and during the everyday business that keeps the center up and running.

The film opens with a quote from Eihei Dogen (1200-1253):

When you find a place
Where you are,
Practice begins

Old Plum Mountain tells the story of a group of people who found a place to practice at the Berkeley Zen Center.

Watch—and discuss—the film here. Like what you see? Let the filmmaker know. Each Film Club screening includes an online discussion with the film’s director.

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