Upcoming Events
for more information call 967-0861
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New! CHZC Google Calendar of Events

CHZC Newsletter (PDF)

All-day Sitting

The all-day sitting will be March 26 from 6:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. The sitting will begin with orientation on Saturday night at 7:30, and will include instruction on the meal form and one period of zazen. The regular Sunday schedule, with zazen at 9:00 and 9:50 and Dharma Talk at 10:30, will be open to everyone. The day will include zazen, a Dharma talk, dokusan, and a work period, as well as breakfast and lunch. The fee is $10 for members and $20 for others. It is alright to sit half of the day, but please sign up in advance, and please speak to Josho Sensei if this is your first all-day sitting. For more information on the oryoki meal form see: http://kannondo.org/getting-started/oryoki-manual/

Study Group
The Thursday night Study Group which meets from 6:45 until 8:00, will resume meeting on Thursday, January 5. The topic is Dogen Zenji’s text, Gyoji or “Continuous Practice.” We will be studying the text and comparing differnent translations, but the primary translation will be Kaz Tanahashi’s found in Enlightenment Unfolds, pages 114-136.  Xeroxed copies of the text will also be available. Everyone is welcome and there is no charge.

Aging Gracefully, Befriending Death

This is an informal discussion group that gives us the opportunity to share readings, information, and explore conversations among ourselves on these topics. Sangha members Jeff Sherman, Carol Klein and Kris Garvin-Sherman will organize and facilitate a group to continue these discussions if there is enough interest. The group plans to meet on May 14, following the regular morning schedule, around 11:15 after temple cleaning. Please contact Kris Garvin at krisgarvin@gmail.com, or Jeff Sherman at jeffsherman3333@gmail.com, if you have questions, would like more information, or if you would like to be included in email notifications.
Old age is not a requirement for joining us!

Practice Discussion

Practice discussion is a discussion with a priest about your practice. Jakuko Mo Ferrell and Choro Carla Antonaccio are available to meet with people for Practice Discussion. The form is to do a standing bow in front of the altar and to bow to and away from your cushion before sitting down, turn clockwise and begin. You may contact them at the zendo or by email. Jakuko can be reached at mositwear@gmail.com and Choro can be reached at subtlegate@gmail.com.

Private Interview

Individual meetings are available to discuss your meditation practice including your posture, practice in daily life, and questions you may have about Buddhist teaching. Interviews are usually given during zazen and sometimes by special appointment.


Dokusan is a formal meeting with the Abbess to talk about your practice. You may schedule Dokusan by speaking to Josho Sensei or contacting her at info@chzc.org. When it's time for you to have Dokusan, someone may come to the zendo and get you, or the bell in the Dokusan Room will signal when it is time for you to come back. When it is your turn, go to the Dokusan Room, enter and close the door. Do one floor bow toward the altar ending with a standing bow, then sidestep and bow to and away from the cushion. Sit down and turn clockwise to face the teacher, settle and begin talking. When Dokusan is over, turn clockwise, fluff your cushion, and do a standing bow. Leave the door slightly open as you leave. During all-day sittings and sesshins the private interview will be treated as Dokusan.

Recovery Meeting

The Recovery Meeting meets on Tuesday nights at 7:30

This is a recovery group with a Buddhist perspective on the 12-Step Program which meets at the Chapel Hill Zen Center. The meetings begin with twenty minutes of silent meditation. For more information, call 919-265-7600 or ZenandRecovery@gmail.com.

Wake-Forest University
Meditation Group

The Wake-Forest Meditation Group meets on Monday evenings at 7:00 p.m. For more information: http://chaplain.studentlife.wfu.edu/worshipmeditation-opportunities/wake-forest-university-meditation-group.

Gate City Zen Group

The Gate City Zen Group in Greensboro meets for zazen on Monday and Wednesday mornings from 6:00-6:40, and on Wednesday evenings from 6:00-6:40, at 917 Union Residence Hall, First Floor Faculty in Residency Unit, at the UNC-G Campus. For more information, contact Denise at dlgabri2@uncg.edu or 336-324-9970.

Sangha Network

The CHZC has a Sangha Network of volunteers to offer short-term assistance to those in the sangha who need help with simple tasks such as shopping, arranging for meals, or transportation, due to transitions in one’s life including illness, disability, or death of a loved one. If you would like to volunteer or if you need assistance, please contact Kris at krisgarvin@gmail.com or Jeff Sherman at jeffsherman3333@gmail.com.

Prison Outreach

Members of the Chapel Hill Zen Center volunteer in both state prisons in North Carolina and the federal prison at Butner. We can always use more volunteers, and having volunteers present is usually a requirement in order for inmates to meet for religious services or to sit zazen. We are looking for people who have been sitting zazen at the Zen Center for a year or more. Orientation is required by each institution. If you would like more information, please contact Josho at (919) 967-0861 or info@chzc.org.

Volunteers Needed

A group of Zen Center volunteers prepares and serves lunch at the Inter-faith Council Community Kitchen on the fourth Saturday of each month from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. More volunteers are needed, including a core group of committed people, so we can continue our presence. The IFC Community Kitchen is the only soup kitchen in Orange Country and is located on the corner of Rosemary and Columbia Streets in Chapel Hill. If you are interested in volunteering or would like more information, please contact Shawn at 919-619-2243 or chzencooks@gmail.com.


The Chapel Hill Zen Center now has a blog with photographs from recent ceremonies and events. See: http://chapelhillzen.wordpress.com/.

New Library Books

Following are the books most recently added to the Member’s Library. Buddhism in Translations by Henry Clark Warren, The Northern School and the Formation of Early Chan Buddhism by John R. McRae, Soto Zen: An Introduction to the Thought of the Serene Refection Meditation School of Buddhism by Keido Chisan Koho Zenji, Aging as a Spiritual Practice by Richmond Lewis, Crazy Wisdom by Chogyam Trungpa, Big Sky Mind and the Beat Generation, by Carole Tonkinson, Untangling Self: A Buddhist Investigation of Who We Really Are by Andrew Olendzki, Awake at the Bedside: Contemplative Teachings on Palliative and End-of-life Care edited by Koshin Paley Ellison and Matt Weingast, Embracing Mind: the Zen Talks of Kobun Chino Otogawa by Kobun Chino Otogawa, Book of Serenity translated by Thomas Cleary, Essential Chan Buddhism: the Character and Spirit of Chinese Zen by Jun Guo, a reference book, Beginner’s Dictionary of Chinese-Japanese Characters by Arthur Rose-Inns and a new children’s book, The Cat From Hungry Mountain by Ed Young.

The library catalogue is online at http://tinyurl.com/chzclibrary or http://tinyurl.com/chzcpubcat.

Amazon Smile

Amazon now donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you need to select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. Your selection will be remembered, and then every eligible purchase you make on AmazonSmile will result in a donation. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. The Chapel Hill Zen Center is now listed with smile.amazon.com.

Prison Book Donation Program

The Prison Book Donation Program is grateful for the generous support of the Sangha. Donations of Buddhist books, particularly on Zen, are appreciated, and only paperbacks are accepted by the prison. Please leave prison book donations at the Zendo.

Electronic Newsletter

If you would prefer receiving an e-mail message with a link to a PDF file of the paper newsletter which is mailed every two months, please send your request to: info@chzc.org. The PDF version is always attached to the top of the Events page and to the bottom of the Events page in the pink box on the left.

Precepts Weekend

The Lay Precepts Ceremony, Zaike Tokudo, will be held on Sunday afternoon,March 5, at 1:30. Craig Adamski, Andrea Ashdown, Sheldon Clark, and Bruce Miller are preparing to receive the Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts. You are warmly invited to attend, to witness and support these ordainees. A reception will follow.

Informal Sitting

In preparation for the precepts ceremony, there will be an informal sitting on Saturday, March 4, from 9:00–4:00. Everyone is welcome to attend any part of the sitting. Tea will be available, but lunch will not be served.

Buddha’s Birthday Celebration

Buddha’s Birthday celebration will be held on Sunday morning, April 23, following regular zazen, beginning at 9:00 a.m. At 10:30 there will be a short talk in the zendo directed to the children. The kids will then have a procession to an outdoor altar where they will offer incense and bathe the Baby Buddha. Following the ceremony, there will be a vegetarian potluck picnic. Beverages and birthday cake will be provided.

Children, families, and friends are welcome! At 9:00 a.m. the kids will decorate the pagoda or "flower house" outside during zazen. Please bring balloons, bubbles, and banners for the procession and flowers for decorating the pagoda for the Baby Buddha.

Work Morning

On Saturday, April 22, there will be a work period from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to clean the grounds and prepare for the outdoor celebration of Buddha’s Birthday. Everyone is encouraged to come to the work period, either for the whole session or for any part of it. Please bring flowers if you can, either on Saturday, or by 9:00 a.m. on Sunday.

Dharma Talks

On Sundays, March 5 and 26, Josho Pat Phelan will give a public Dharma Talk at 10:30.

On Sunday, April 9, Choro Carla Antonaccio will give a public Dharma Talk at 10:30.

Spring Sesshin

The Spring sesshin will begin on Friday evening, May 5, and go through Wednesday afternoon, May 10. See pages 6 and 7 of the newsletter for more information and a registration form.

Children’s Program

The Zen Center’s Children’s program offers children four years and older a place in the Zen Center sangha through a variety of activities, including meditation, story, craft, song, and movement, as well as participation in Zen Center events and celebrations throughout the year. In each meeting, the children have the space and time to practice living mindfully and learn about Buddhist teachings and contexts while giving their parents an opportunity to meditate in the concurrent adult program. The Children’s Program meets twice a month, on Sundays, from 8:50 until 11:00. Meetings will be held March 12 and 26, April 9 and 23, May 21, and on June 4, an end-of-year picnic is planned. To sign up, or simply for more information, please contact Maura High, the program coordinator, maurahigh@gmail.com.

Looking Ahead

Buddha’s Birthday Celebration is planned for Sunday, April 23

The Spring Sesshin is planned for May 5-10, led by Josho Pat Phelan

We are planning to have a 3-4 week Practice Intensive in June

People of Color Sitting Group

Wednesday nights from 6:00-7:30

The POC Sitting Group begins with zazen at 6:00, followed by kinhin (walking meditation), and then there is the option to stay for group discussion and community building. Both those new to meditation, or experienced, are warmly welcome to join us or drop in as you like. For more information, contact Conal or Kriti at pocsittinggroup@gmail.com. As usual, instruction in zazen and an orientation are offered to the public on Sunday morning at 9:00, and on Tuesday night at 7:00.

Chinese Calligraphy & Brush Painting - New Time

Jinxiu Zhao will teach Chinese Calligraphy on Sunday afternoons from 2:15-3:45, on March 12 and 19, and on April 9 and 23. Chinese Brush Painting is from 2:15-4:15. Fees are $20 for calligraphy and $25 for brush painting. Please contact Jinxiu at (919) 484-7524 or Jxznc@aol.com to register or for more information. Jinxiu is also available to teach children’s classes.

Spring Sesshin

Josho Sensei will lead the Spring sesshin from Friday night, May 5, through Wednesday afternoon, May 10. Sesshin is an intimate way to practice with ourselves and others. We begin sesshin together, we sit together, walk together, eat together, and work together. In order to help all of us settle into the schedule and our zazen practice, please arrive on time. It is possible to sit part of the sesshin, but please come to orientation on Friday night, and plan to sit for at least two days, and, when registering, clearly explain what part of sesshin you would like to attend.

Sesshin will begin at 7:00 on Friday evcning with orientation and job assignments. Following orientation, silence will be observed. The zendo will be open by 4:00 p.m. on Friday; please plan to arrive in time to settle in before 7:00 p.m. The sesshin day will include zazen, beginning at 6:00 a.m., kinhin, lecture, work period, formal meals served in the zendo. Dokusan, an individual meeting with Josho Sensei, will be available. The day will end around 9:30 p.m. The fees are $40 per day for Participating Members and $50 per day for others. Fees for the whole sesshin are $200 for Participating Members and $250 for others. There will also be an opportunity to make a donation to the teacher. It is our intention that no one be turned away for financial reasons. Partial scholarships are available. If you would like to request a scholarship, please contact Maura High at maurahigh@gmail.com. Applications are due by April 28, and should include a $30 deposit.

You are welcome to sleep in the zendo or camp outdoors. Please bring a pad for the floor, a sleeping bag, a towel and wash cloth, slip-on shoes, work clothes, and layered clothing for the zendo. Bathing is limited during sesshin. For more information, please contact Josho Sensei at (919) 967-0861, or info@chzc.org.

Zendo emergency number: (919) 933-0776.

Adverse Weather Policy

The highway where the zendo is located is not as well traveled or as well treated for snow as other highways in the area, and the temperature in the county is often a couple of degrees colder than in more populated areas. The general rule about coming to the zendo is that if driving may be risky, don’t do it. For example, when it is snowing or sleeting, or if snow or sleet are predicted to occur before or during zazen, you can assume that the zendo will be closed. This is particularly true for 6:00 A.M. zazen.

The 2017 Board Members

We are happy to announce that the Chapel Hill Zen Center Board Members for 2017 are President, Maura High; Vice President, Ken Wilson; Secretary, John Paredes; Treasurer, Mike McKillip; Members-at-Large, Shawn Johnson and Steve Pickett. We offer our deep gratitude to Elliott Schaffer for serving as Treasurer for these past two years and before that as Vice President, and to Michael Emberson for serving as Member-at-Large this past year.


You are invited to join an e-mail listserv now available via Yahoo for announcements about upcoming activities at the CHZC. If you wish to become a member of this listserv, please type "Subscribe" in the subject line and send an email to CHZCannounce-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. You can also go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CHZCannounce/ and click the box "Join Now." You may be requested to supply some information or to create a Yahoo "identity." Please note the options for making your e-mail address public or for receiving marketing or other messages not directly from the listserv. It is your choice whether or not to receive other messages. Joining this list will not increase the amount of spam you receive. If you have any questions, please contact the list moderator, Lance at lashdown@yahoo.com.

Shopping Online?

The Chapel Hill Zen Center is now registered with the on-line company iGive.com. iGive.com is set up so that when you register with them to make a purchase, a percentage (about 2%-15%) will be given to the non-profit of your choice. iGive.com has 238 merchants registered with them, including LandsEnd, L.L. Bean, and Amazon.com. After logging on to iGive.com, to make a purchase, choose the merchant, place the order, and then designate the Chapel Hill Zen Center to receive a portion of the proceeds from the sale. We are not advocating that you buy something you wouldn’t ordinarily, or that you buy online, but, if you already shop online, consider going through iGive.com to make your purchase.


If you are interested in helping care for the altars of our temple, this would be a good time to begin, or return to, the practice of chidening. Traditionally, chidens are responsible for maintaining the altars of a temple which means cleaning the altars themselves, sifting and cleaning the incense burners, trimming candles, and replenishing needed items. We also need volunteers to bring flowers and create flower arrangements for the altars. Chidening is a wonderful way of supporting the ongoing practice of our temple. A new schedule is being set up, and if you are interested in serving as a chiden, please contact John at john@jollyoso.com.

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   Page updated 4/13/17