Upcoming Events
for more information call 967-0861
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CHZC Newsletter (PDF)

Beginning Zen Practice
A Class with David Guy
September 11 to October 23
(No class October 9)
Monday nights, 7:30-9:00

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. — Dogen

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 participants 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.

The first night will begin 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. Participants 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 participants’ actual practice as it unfolds. The content of the class will emerge from participants’ questions and concerns.

Cost is $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 919-286-4952 or davidguy@mindspring.com

David Guy has been practicing meditation since 1991, and regularly gives sitting instruction. 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. In 2008 he published Jake Fades: A Novel of Impermanence.

All-day Sittings

All-day sittings are scheduled for Sundays, July 16, August 20, September 17, and October 15, 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 a 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 lecture, 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://www.kannondo.org/oroyoki.

Aging Gracefully, Befriending Death

Sunday, September 10

This is an informal discussion group that gives the opportunity to share readings, information, and explore conversations among ourselves on these topics. The group meets on Sunday mornings, 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. Everyone is welcome, regardless of age.

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, contact: 919-265-7600 or ZenandRecovery@gmail.com.

Wilmington Zen Group

For information contact Elizabeth at 910-762-7465 or elizdarrow@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 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.

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.

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.

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.

Showing Up for Racial Justice

A workshop about the way in which racism operates in our society

Sunday, August 27, 12:00-2:00

Lunch provided at 11:15

The Chapel Hill Zen Center Board of Directors, and I, invite you to join us for a two-hour guided discussion and workshop about the ways in which racism operates in our society and how we can work against it. Members of the Triangle Showing Up for Racial Justice (TSURJ) will discuss how people in power have historically, and at the present, used racism to divide and conquer us, the power of multi-racial coalitions who have worked and are working together in spite of these efforts, and the role that each of us can play in the current movement against racism.

Lunch will be provided after Temple Cleaning, around 11:15. Our hope is to finish eating and clean up so that the workshop can begin at noon. If you would like to attend lunch and/or the workshop, please sign up on the clipboard in the entryway or write info@chzc.org so we know how many people to plan for. TSURJ facilitators are offering this workshop for no charge, but a donation basket will be out.

For more information about TSURJ, see: facebook.com/trianglesurj

With palms together, JOSHO

Lama Rod Owens on Love, Grief, and Activism: Radical Dharma Vision of
Change and Vulnerability

October 17th - 22nd, 2017

Lama Rod Owens is coming to the area for a week of activities focusing on the above theme. Many of us are grieving and in deep mourning for the suffering that we are perceiving in the world as well in our own situations. We do not live in a society that is comfortable with our open grieving. Community based grieving is healing and transformative. When we combine community grieving with our deep aspirations to love, then we are able to better transform our grief into wisdom and joy. This is a radical vision of bringing our full selves into the complexity of living.
Lama Rod's itinerary is still in the planning stages, but the tentative schedule thus far is as follows (please stay tuned to this space as details unfold):
Lecture at Duke: Tues, 10/17, 3:05-5:35 pm
Dharma Talk, Triangle Insight: Wed, 10/18, 6:30-8 pm
Public Talk:  Fri, 10/20, 7 pm, venue to be announced
All Day Retreat/Workshops: Sat, 10/21-22, 9 am - 5 pm, venue to be announced
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Lama Rod, he co-authored Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation with Rev. angel Kyodo williams and Dr. Jasmine Syedullah. Many of us were involved in the visit last fall by Kyodo Sensei, and are excited for this opportunity to learn from Lama Rod as well. In addition to the book, Lama Rod has a website which offers his teachings in written and oral form.
Lama Rod Owens is the Guiding Teacher for the Radical Dharma Boston Collective and teaches with Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme), where he is also a faculty member for the organization's teacher training program. He holds a Masters of Divinity degree in Buddhist Studies from Harvard Divinity School with a focus on the intersection of social change, identity, and spiritual practice. He is a co-author of Radical Dharma, Talking Race, Love, and Liberation, which explores race in the context of American Buddhist communities. 

Dharma Talks

On Sunday mornings, July 16, and August 20, Josho Pat Phelan will give a public Dharma Talk, at 10:30.

Richmond Zen Group

Josho Sensei will visit the Richmond Zen Group on Wednesday evening, July 12 at 7:00. She will be available for individual meetings and will give a Dharma Talk.

Children’s Program

The Zen Center’s Children’s program offers a variety of activities, including meditation, stories, crafts, songs, and movement, as well as participation in Zen Center events and celebrations throughout the year. In each meeting, the children have the space to practice living mindfully and learn about Buddhist teachings while giving their parents an opportunity to meditate in the adult program. The Children’s Program will resume in the Fall. For information, please contact Maura High, at maurahigh@gmail.com.

Looking Ahead

On Saturday evening, October 28, we are planning to hold the Sejiki Ceremony.

December 1-8, we are planning to have Rohatsu, our 7-day December Sesshin.

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), with 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

Jinxiu Zhao will teach Chinese Calligraphy on Sunday afternoons from 2:15-3:45, on July 9 and 23, August 6 and 13. 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.

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.


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


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.

New Library Books

These books have been recently added to the Members’ Library. Wild Ivy: The Spiritual Autobiography of Zen Master Hakuin, transl. by Norman Waddell; The Laughing Buddha of Tofukuji: The Life of Zen Master Keiko Fukushima, by Ishwar C. Harris; Commentary on the Song of Awakening by Kodo Sawaki, transl. Tonen O’Connor; and The Grass Flute Zen Master: Sodo Yokoyama by Arthur Braverman. Additionally CD’’s were added of talks by Dainin Katagiri Roshi on "The Significance of Lay Ordination," "Three Aspects of Repentance," "The Triple Treasure."

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


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 8/15/17