Out of a concern for everyone's safety due to the Novel Coronavirus,
the Chapel Hill Zen Center is on a reduced schedule until further notice.
Chapel Hill Zen Center is currently experimenting with in-person zazen on Sunday mornings at 9 and 9:40 AM (beginning Sunday, October 2), on Tuesday evenings at 7 and 7:40 PM and on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at 6 and 6:50 AM.
Please see announcement details below for more information.
December 9 to December 14
For information and to register, see details below.
Beginning Zen Practice
A Class with David Guy
Monday nights, October 10 to November 14
Stop searching for phrases and chasing after words. Take the backward step and turn the light inward. Your body-mind of itself will drop off and your original face will appear.
Zen Meditation, or zazen, is the simple practice of being present with our experience. We hear the instructions in a matter of minutes, but spend a lifetime learning the practice. This class will introduce beginning students to meditation and give them support as they develop a daily sitting practice. It will also introduce them to other aspects of practice at the Chapel Hill Zen Center.
We will begin on the first night with meditation instructions and a short period of sitting. Each week we will continue to sit for a period at the beginning of class, gradually increasing the time. Students will have a chance to ask questions and raise concerns about their practice. As the weeks proceed we will study other aspects of Zen practice, including walking meditation, protocol around the zendo, and the service of bowing and chanting. But the focus will be on zazen, and the students' actual practice as it unfolds. The content of the class will emerge from students' questions and concerns.
The class will meet at the Chapel Hill Zen Center on Monday nights for six weeks, from 7:30 to 9 PM. We will follow the current Zen Center guidelines: students must be fully vaccinated, and wear N95 or KN95 masks when inside. Classes will begin on October 10 and end on November 14. The cost will be $60, payable the first night, and will be contributed to the Zen Center. Partial scholarships are available. For more information, or to sign up, please contact David Guy at (919) 641-9277 or email@example.com.
Please do not attend the class without contacting David first.
David Guy has been practicing meditation since 1991, and regularly gives sitting instruction at the Chapel Hill Zen Center. He has co-authored two books with Larry Rosenberg of the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center — Breath by Breath: The Liberating Practice of Insight Meditation and Living in the Light of Death: On the Art of Being Truly Alive and is the author of Jake Fades: A Novel of Impermanence. In November he will publish his sixth novel, Hank Heals: A Novel of Miracles.
Sunday, November 6 at 11 AM via Zoom
The General Meeting, the annual members' business meeting, will be held Sunday morning, November 6, at 11 AM, by Zoom, following Zoom zazen. The nominees for the next Board of Directors will be introduced and the budget for 2023 will be presented. Everyone is encouraged to attend, but attendance by Participating Members is especially needed in order to reach a quorum. If you have agenda items, please contact the Board President, John Paredes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joining the General Meeting via Zoom Via computer:www.zoom.us/j/85659804526 Via phone: (646) 558-8656 Meeting ID: 856 5980 4526
Led by Josho Pat Phelan Roshi
Friday, December 9 to Wednesday, December 14
How to include more parts of ourselves in our practice.
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. Our practice is supported by the entire universe and each of us is supporting everyone else. Sesshin will begin at 7 PM on Friday evening with orientation and job assignments. In order to help all of us settle into the schedule and our zazen practice, please arrive on time for orientation on Friday night.
Following orientation, silence will be observed. The zendo will be open by 4 PM on Friday. It is possible to sit part of the sesshin, but please come to orientation on Friday night, and commit to sitting for at least two days. When registering, clearly explain what part of sesshin you would like to attend. The sesshin day will include zazen, beginning at 6 AM, kinhin, a Dharma talk, work period, and meals which may or may not use the oryoki form, and dokusan, an individual meeting with Josho Sensei, will be available. The day will end around 9:30 PM.
Fees are $40 per day for Participating Members, and $50 per day for others. However if you are able to offer more, it would be very helpful; the additional funds can be considered a tax-exempt donation. There will also be an opportunity to offer a donation to the teacher. It is our intention that no one be turned away for financial reasons, and scholarships are available. If you would like to request a scholarship, please contact John at email@example.com. In the past, contributions received for scholarships were very helpful in allowing people to attend sesshin here and at the San Francisco Zen Center. Please return your registration form by November 30, with a $40 deposit.
You are welcome to sleep at the Zen Center, and there may be some space available in members' homes nearby. Please bring a portable bed or pad for the floor, a sleeping bag, pillow, a towel and wash cloth, slip-on shoes, work clothes, and layered clothing. Opportunities for bathing are limited. For more information, please contact Zenki at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Zen Center emergency phone is (919) 933-0776.
Al-Nisa Berry moved to Leland, NC in July, while she continues to host Zoom zazen. She plans to return regularly for All-day Sittings and other in person programs. Al-Nisa has served on the CHZC Board this past year as a Member-at Large.
Tripp Spivey will move in September to Pittsburgh, PA, having completed his doctorate at Duke University. This is Tripp's third year to serve as the CHZC Treasurer.
Thank you both and many good wishes for life in your new homes.
Senmyo Sherman and Kris Garvin will be moving into the 5206 House as residents of the Zen Center in September to be closer to temple practice and to help care for the property.
Inter-Faith Council for Social Services
The IFC is looking for volunteers including receptionists and Community Market (formerly known as the Food Pantry) staff (a 3-hour shift, flexible schedule), and volunteers to assist staff with linking people to options such as social services ("Community Navigation"). It is also hiring kitchen staff. More details on their website: www.ifcweb.org.
We also have an updated list of current needs since the IFC has seen quite an increase in numbers recently at both lunch and dinner times, 60-70 for lunch and up to 40 for dinner.
The Community Market most needed items are baked beans, dry or canned pinto beans, pork and beans, peanut and other nut butters, canned chicken, ramen, spaghetti, Mac and Cheese, other pastas, hearty soups such as Progresso, canned vegetables (except corn and green beans, which are in good supply), spaghetti sauce, canned tomato sauce & paste, canned diced & whole tomatoes, canned fruit, cooking oils & fats, butter, grits, oats—including instant packets, baking & cake mixes, cereals, juice both bottles & boxes, coffee, tea, canned milk, powdered milk packets, jelly and other condiments. Personal hygiene items are also need including soap, small tissue packs, toothpaste, toilet paper, shampoo, lotion and moisturizing creams, deodorant, razors, size 4 and 5 children's diapers. For questions, please contact Maura High at email@example.com.
Dokusan & Practice Discussion
Telephone interviews are available while the Zen Center is closed. If you would like to make an appointment, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individual meetings are available to discuss your meditation practice, as well as your zazen posture, practice in daily life, and questions you may have about Buddhist teaching. These are usually given during zazen and sometimes by special appointment. To support trust and openness, discussions in these meetings should be kept confidential.
Dokusan is a formal meeting with the Abbess to talk about your practice. You may schedule Dokusan by speaking to Josho Roshi or contacting her at email@example.com. 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.
Practice Discussion is a meeting to discuss your practice with a priest. Jakuko Mo Ferrell and Zenki Kathleen Batson 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 at firstname.lastname@example.org, and
Zenki at email@example.com.
by Zoom Tuesday Evenings at 7 PM
The Zen Recovery Program is planning to resume in-person meetings at the Zen Center soon. In the meantime, for the Zoom link or for questions, please email: ZenAndRecovery@gmail.com.
We start with a 20 minute meditation, followed by a reading about the connection between Buddhist principles and recovery, then there is an opportunity to share. We conclude with a five-minute meditation. We are a small group and open to everyone. There is no requirement to disclose your recovery status or have any knowledge of Buddhism. Most people who attend are part of a 12-Step Fellowship, and we often discuss the Steps, but our meeting is not affiliated with any other group. This is a link to the essays that inspired our meeting here in Chapel Hill: www.sfzc.org/files/buddhism_12steps.
Living with Impermanence
by Zoom Once a Month
Living with Impermanence is an informal discussion group that shares how we experience impermanence in our lives including life changes, illness, aging and death. We usually begin with participants sharing what they are currently thinking of or dealing with. Discussions then usually emerge spontaneously to raised concerns. Silence is frequently a response after someone shares and we trust in that silence. On occasion we've set an agenda in advance to study a topic of interest.
The Chapel Hill Zen Center Eco-Dharma Group informally explores together Buddhist teachings on the natural world, and caring for the natural world as an expression of the Bodhisattva Vow. Please contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org or Zenki at email@example.com to be added to the CHZC Eco-Dharma mailing list.
Altar Maintenance & Flower Arrangers
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 and flower arranging. 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 and creating flower arrangements are wonderful ways 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 about once a month, please contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in serving as a flower arranger about once a month, please contact Jane at email@example.com.
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 Roshi at (919) 967-0861 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
2022 Board of Directors
The Chapel Hill Zen Center Board of Directors for 2022 are: John Paredes, President; Alex Fine, Vice President; Tripp Spivey, Treasurer; Chris Censullo, Secretary; Al-Nisa Berry and Craig Adamski, Members-at-Large, Josho Pat Phelan ex officio.
Adverse Weather Policy
The general rule about coming to the zendo is, 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 AM zazen. The highway where the zendo is located is often 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.
Inter-faith Council Community
A group of Zen Center volunteers prepare and serve lunch at the
Inter-faith Council Community Kitchen on the fourth Saturday of each
month from 10 AM to 1 PM. 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 email@example.com.
Members of the CHZC also continue to collect items for the IFC Community Market which provides approximately 1,300 bags of groceries to those in need every month. Both produce and non-perishable food and items such as dish washing soap, shampoo, toilet paper are needed, as well as gently used brown paper bags used to send groceries home. Please leave items on the front deck of the ZC in the large plastic containers. They are picked up about once a week.
IFC Food Needs
As many know, the Zen Center is a long-time supporter of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Interfaith Council for Social Service. One of the IFC's major programs is its food pantry, which offers free bags of groceries to anyone in need. There is much need in these cold, Covid-burdened months, and the Pantry's stocks are running low. Please consider making a contribution. Plastic tubs, marked for the purpose, are on the front deck of the ZC. Here's a list of some sorely needed items: Soups, especially chunky ones, like Progresso; Ramen noodles; pasta and pasta sauce; canned chicken; canned fruit; canned vegetables (other than corn and green beans), baking mixes - especially cornbread; jelly; peanut butter; rice; and standard supermarket paper bags with handles.
Online Screening & Panel Discussion
Monday, October 3, 7 to 8:30 PM
Please join us for an online screening and panel discussion of Racist Roots, a powerful 26-minute film created by the Center for Death Penalty Litigation that exposes the North Carolina death penalty's deep entanglement with slavery, lynching and racism. It ends on a hopeful note highlighting the voices of diverse leaders working for criminal legal reform. Our panel will pick up from there facilitating a conversation about the work to end the death penalty in our state. Panelists include Andre Smith who, as a Buddhist, believes all humans contain goodness and are capable of transformation, including the man who killed his son, Daniel, in 2007. Noel Nickle will join Andre. Noel is the executive director of the North Carolina Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, a statewide nonprofit committed to ending the death penalty and creating a new vision of justice.
For more information about NC Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, visit their website at www.nccadp.org.
Join screening via
our regular Zoom link: Via computer:www.zoom.us/j/85659804526 Via phone: (646) 558-8656 Meeting ID: 856 5980 4526
Kuden Paul Boyle will give a Dharma Talk by Zoom on Sunday morning at 10:30 AM, September 25.
Zenki Kathleen Batson will give a Dharma Talk on Sunday morning at 10:30 AM, October 16 in person at the Zen Center. Those who are fully vaccinated and boosted are invited to attend zazen at 9 and 9:50 AM, and the talk at 10:30 AM. Please wear an N95 or a KN95 mask while indoors.
There are private YouTube videos of Dharma Talks by Josho Roshi, Jakuko Mo Ferrell and Zenki Kathleen Batson available on the Talks on Zen Practice sections of the CHZC website.
Outdoor Half-day Sitting Saturday
October 1, 6 AM to 12:15 PM
There will be an Outdoor Half-day Sitting on Saturday, October 1, from 6 AM to 12:15 PM. Please bring a bag breakfast which you can either keep at your place or store in the annex refrigerator. Coffee and tea will be available on the back deck. Masks are required when indoors and when in close proximity to others on the back deck. For more information or to sign up, please email Zenki at firstname.lastname@example.org or Chris at email@example.com. It is not necessary to participate for the entire event. If you would like to join us for only a portion of the morning, please let us know when signing up.
A new Zoom Study Group will begin on Thursday night, September 15, 6:45 to 8 PM.
Open to everyone, and there is no charge.
Please log on 5-10 minutes before the study group begins so we can start on time.
Joining the Zoom Study Group
Via computer: www.zoom.us/j/821378615
Via phone: (646) 558-8656
Meeting ID: 821 378 615
Sunday, October 16, 6 AM to 5 PM
An in-person sitting is planned for Sunday, October 16 from 6 AM to 5 PM at the Chapel Hill Zen Center. This will be for people who are fully vaccinated, including a booster, and who can wear a mask indoors. Orientation will be at 7:30 PM on Saturday night, and we ask that everyone attend Orientation. The day will include zazen, a Dharma Talk, dokusan and a work period, as well as breakfast and lunch. The a suggested donation is $15 for members, and $25 for others; however, if you are inclined to offer more, that would be very helpful in maintaining Zen Center. Oryoki sets are available for use by those who do not have their own, and a $5 donation is appreciated. Please sign up by Wednesday night at firstname.lastname@example.org, and if this is your first All-day Sitting, please speak with Josho ahead of time. For more information on the oryoki meal form see: www.kannondo.org/getting-started/oryoki.
Sunday mornings at 9 AM (beginning October 2) Tuesday evenings at 7 PM and Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 6 AM
We are still in the midst of a partial opening while taking precautions due to COVID. Those who are fully vaccinated, including at least one booster, and who can wear an N95 or KN95 mask while indoors are welcome to attend zazen in person.
Beginning October 2, in-person zazen will resume on Sunday mornings at 9 and 9:40AM.
In-person zazen is also being offered on Tuesday nights at 7 and 7:40 PM; and on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 6 and 6:50 AM. In order to socially distance, seating is available in chairs and on every other zabuton. So far, we have been opening all the windows.
The CHZC continues to offer zazen via Zoom on Monday and Friday afternoons from 1 to 1:40 PM EST; Monday through Friday mornings at 6 and 6:50 AM EST; and Sunday mornings at 9 and 9:50 AM EST. You are welcome to join both periods of zazen or either one. All times EST.
Before joining the online zendo we ask that you please read the CHZC Online Zendo Guidelines to help create a settled and peaceful online space for our shared zazen experience.
To support our practice together during zazen and Dharma Talks, please wear respectful clothing. Pants and skirts that come below the knee are appropriate. If you are wearing Buddha's robe, the rakusu, please wear long pants or skirts, rather than shorts. Please do not wear pajamas, bath robes, hoods, or bring refreshments, especially to Dharma Talks — please treat Zoom practice events with respect as you would in the Zendo.
Your presence and bearing in this way can support all of us in feeling connected and not slipping into a casual attitude toward our practice or the teaching efforts of others.
Five Minute Talks
The Facebook page for Soto Zen Buddhism North America has a number of Five Minute Talks by Soto Zen Teachers from all over America. See: www.facebook.com/SotoZenBuddhismNorthAmerica. Look under the "Videos" section to find them.
Practicing at Home:
Shelter-in-Place Chanting Service
Chapel Hill Zen Center priests will be chanting this service in their homes Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Please use this chanting service as you like to support your own practice at home. You may find it encouraging to join this recorded service after sitting zazen (zen meditation).
If you would like someone remembered during the Well-being Dedication, please send their name to email@example.com. You can also download the complete Chapel Hill Zen Center Chant Book here.
Practicing at Home: Ryaku Fusatsu —
The Bodhisattva Ceremony
Organizing Against Racism
The local organization Organizing Against Racism is holding virtual workshops with Racial Equity Institute instructors. For more information, see www.oaralliance.org, and for workshop schedules see www.racialequityinstitute.com. Over several years, some of us have taken this two-day workshop and have found it very informative and beneficial.
Scholarships for Racial Equity Workshops
The Chapel Hill Zen Center has a scholarship fund to help those who would like to take this workshop and other workshops on race who can't afford the full fee. For more information or to request a partial scholarship, please contact John Paredes at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations to this fund are also welcome!
Black, Indigenous and People of Color Sitting Group
Meetings postponed until further notice.
We were beginning our meetings with zazen, for those new to meditation or experienced, from 6 to 6:40 PM, with an option to stay for group discussion and community For more information, contact Conal or John at email@example.com.
Meetings postponed until further notice.
This program, like the Zen Center's other programs, has suspended in-person meetings at the Zen Center for the time being. But there are many ways we can still come together virtually. The Children's Program has many books and materials that can be shared — please just ask. Also, we are constructing a new mailing list; if you'd like to be added to it, please contact Maura Hight at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a message at (919) 265-7045. Maura will contact you know when the Children's Program will resume its in-person program.
Chinese Calligraphy & Brush Painting
Classes postponed until further notice.
Jinxiu Zhao will teaches Chinese Calligraphy Sunday afternoons from 2:30 to 4:30 PM, and Brush Painting from 2:30 to 4:30 PM.
Fees are $30 per class, or $110 for 4 classes. Please contact Jinxiu at (919) 484-7524 or email@example.com to register or for more information. Jinxiu is also available to teach children's classes.
Postponed until further notice.
Study Hall is a time to read Buddhist materials in a quite atmosphere with others on Monday mornings, from 7:45 until 8:30 or 9 AM. Please feel free to join us for any of this time that works for you.
Richmond Zen Group
Richmond Zen is affiliated with the Chapel Hill Zen Center, and Josho Roshi visits regularly. For information, contact Stan at (804) 833-1009 or visit www.richmondzen.org.
Richard Jaffe, a Zen Center member and professor of Religious Studies at Duke University, edited a four-volume work on D.T. Suzuki, which includes both published and unpublished writings and talks given by D.T. Suzuki. Richard donated a copy of each volume to the Zen Center Library, along with his other two books, Neither Monk nor Layman: Clerical Marriage in Modern Japanese Buddhism and Seeking Sakyamuni: South Asia in the Formation of Modern Japanese Buddhism. We would like to express our gratitude for both Richard's study, research and writing on Buddhism as well as sharing of his work through the donation of these books.
Zen Center Library
These books have been added to the Members' Library:
Dogen's Shobogenzo Zuimonki: The New Annotated Translation, including Dogen's Waka Poetry, Shohaku Okumura, Translstor
A nice selection of Japanese DVDs have been given to the Zen Center Library by a very kind donor. They are directed by Hideo Gosha, Inagaki Hiroshi, Okamato Kihachi, Akira Kuosawa, Kenji Mizoguchi, Kihachi Okamoto, and Masaki Kobayashi:
The Sangha Net is a network of volunteers who can offer short-term assistance to those in the sangha in need of help due to transitions in one's life such as illness, disability, or death of a loved one. Examples of tasks can include shopping, arranging for meals, or transportation. During the pandemic, we will assist in ways that can allow for mutual safety.
If you prefer receiving an email with a link to the PDF file of the CHZC Newsletter which is mailed every two months in printed form, please send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org. The PDF version is always linked to at the top of the Events page.
To get the latest version of Adobe's free PDF viewer, Acrobat Reader, click here.
The Chapel Hill Zen Center is now registered with the online 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.
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
CHZC Facebook Page
The Chapel Hill Zen Center is on Facebook! Please follow or like our official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ChapelHillZenCenter/ for announcements and invitations to events and special programs at the center. We also invite you to join our affiliated group, Chapel Hill Zen Center Members and Friends at www.facebook.com/groups/CHZCGroup/ to share news, articles, and other resources, ask questions, and interact with sangha members in a more informal way. Everyone is welcome to join.