Upcoming Events
For more information, call (919) 967-0861

View the CHZC Google Calendar of Events.
Download the May-June 2019 CHZC Newsletter in PDF format.
Sign up for email updates via the Chapel Hill Zen Center Listserv.

2019 Practice Period Opening Ceremony showing Head Monk, Zenki Kathleen Batson bowing

Opening Ceremony

On April 14, the 90-day Practice Period began, and Zenki Kathleen Batson (shown bowing in photo) was installed as Head Monk or Shuso.

Kessei-ango: 90-Day Practice Period

April 14 to July 14, 2019
I am honored and grateful to be able to announce that for the first time, the Chapel Hill Zen Center will hold a 90-day Ango or Practice Period, and I warmly invite you to join this time of more intense practice and practice opportunities.

In 2017, the Zen Center applied to the Soto Zen School in Japan to be registered as a recognized Overseas Temple. In September of that year, the Chapel Hill Zen Center was registered. This allows us to have recognized Practice Periods, a time of more intensive practice opportunities and commitment with the support of others.

The Practice Period will have a Shuso or Head Monk, which is the second level of training or initiation for a priest. Myokyo Zenki Kathleen Batson will be the Head Monk.

The Practice Period will begin after zazen on Sunday morning April 14, with an Opening Ceremony. During Practice Period, the Shuso will begin giving Dharma Talks and will have teas to meet in small groups to talk about practice. There also will be larger teas on Sundays to discuss our practice and get to know each other better.

There will be a Dharma Inquiry Ceremony on Sunday morning, June 30 at 11:30 AM, for participants in the Practice Period to formally ask a question of the Shuso. On Saturday evening at 7 PM, June 29, there will be a formal Tea in which Gengo Akiba Roshi, the Director of North American Soto Zen, will give a teaching on the case or topic that the Shuso will present for the next day's Dharma Inquiry Ceremony.

During the Practice Period, there will be four Sunday Teas. The first tea is open to everyone to hear more about other events during this time. All of the activities during this 90-day period are open to everyone, except the Dharma Inquiry Ceremony and the last three Teas, which are open to Practice Period participants only.

This is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to recommit to practice and see what happens when we do more, with the support of others and supporting our fellow sangha members. A schedule of events is listed below, and other activities will be announced as they are scheduled. To be a formal participant, please fill out and return the registration form with a $40 suggested donation. Our expenses are greater with this Practice Period since we will be hosting visiting priests, American and Japanese, for the Dharma Inquiry Ceremony and other events around that. If you are able to make a larger donation, that would be very helpful.

I hope you will consider participating in this practice period and supporting the Shuso, or Head Monk, by participating and stretching your commitment to zendo activities during this time.

With palms together,
Taitaku Josho

Click here to download the 2019 Kessei-ango: 90-Day Practice Period Registration Form.

Kessei-ango Schedule

Sunday, April 14: Opening Ceremony followed by a group Tea where we introduce ourselves and hear more about Practice Period events and opportunities.

Beginning Monday morning, April 15: Study Hall, and continuing each Monday morning from 7:45 to 8:30 or 9AM through July 8, except Memorial Day.

Tuesday night, April 16: Way-seeking Mind Talk by Zenki Kathleen Batson, at 7:45 PM, after one period of zazen.

Beginning Wednesday morning, April 17: 8 AM Zazen, and continuing each Wednesday through July 10 at 8 AM.

Beginning Thursday night, April 18: Study Group, and continuing each Thursday through July 11 from 6:45 to 8 PM.

Sunday morning, April 28: Buddha's Birthday Celebration and Pot-luck Lunch.

Saturday morning, May 4: Silent Half-Day Sitting.

Sunday, May 5: Public Dharma Talk by Zenki Kathleen Batson at 10:30 AM

Tuesday night, May 14: Public Dharma Talk by Zoketsu Norman Fischer and Book Signing at 7:45 PM, after one period of zazen.

Friday night, May 17: Public Dharma Talk by Edward Brown and Book Signing.

Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19: Teaching Weekend with Edward Brown and Public Dharma Talk on Sunday.

Monday, May 27: Zendo Closed for Memorial Day.

Sunday, June 2: Tea for Practice Period Participants after Temple Cleaning.

Beginning Monday, June 3: Evening Zazen, and continuing each Monday from 6 to 6:40 PM through July 8.

Beginning Wednesday, June 5: Evening Zazen, and continuing each Wednesday from 6 to 6:40 PM through July 10.

Sunday, June 9: All-Day Sitting, with a Public Dharma Talk by Zenki Kathleen Batson.

Sunday, June 16: Tea for Practice Period Participants.

Sunday, June 23: Dharma Talk by Zenki Katheen Batson at 10:30 PM.

Saturday, June 29: Japanese priests and priests from other lineages arrive Saturday evening.

Saturday evening, June 29 at 7PM: Formal Tea and Presentation of the Case or Topic of the Shuso Ceremony, by Akiba Roshi.

Sunday morning, June 30 at 9:50 AM: Public Dharma Talk by Akiba Roshi, followed by the Dharma Inquiry Ceremony (Shuso Ceremony) where Practice Period Participants each ask the Shuso (Zenki) a question, at 11:30 AM. Lunch and dessert will follow.

Thursday, July 4: No evening programs, morning zazen only.

Friday, July 5: Zendo Closed.

Tuesday night, July 9: Public Dharma Talk by Zenki Kathleen Batson at 7:45 PM after one period of zazen.

Sunday morning, July 14: Short Practice Period Closing Ceremony and final Tea for Practice Period Participants after Temple Cleaning.

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 to learn about Buddhist teachings and contexts while giving their parents an opportunity to meditate in the concurrent adult program.

Given the holidays and school schedules for May, we do not plan any meetings from May through Labor Day, but childcare will be available for parents who are attending Sunday morning programs upon request. Please contact Maura High at maurahigh @gmail.com, if you'd like to arrange that.

Aging Gracefully, Befriending Death

Sunday, July 21 at 11:15 AM
This is an informal discussion group that gives the opportunity to share readings, information, and explore conversations among ourselves on these topics. Please contact Carol Klein at wmichael@nc.rr.com, Kris Garvin at krisgarvin@gmail.com or Senmyo Jeff Sherman at jeffsherman3333@gmail.com, if you have questions, would like more information. Everyone is welcome, regardless of age.

Eco-Dharma Discussion Group

Mountains and waters right now are the actualization of the ancient Buddha way.
— Master Dogen

In this group we will informally explore together Buddhist teachings on the natural world, caring for the natural world as an expression of the Bodhisattva Vow, and our own responses to current environmental issues. The intention of this group is to support and inspire one another in our efforts to make appropriate Buddhist responses to environmental concerns at a personal, local and global level. If you are interested please contact Zenki Kathleen Batson at lulu@rumblebuss.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 Roshi 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.

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.

Richmond Zen Group

Josho Roshi plans to visit the Richmond Zen Group on Wednesday night, June 19 at 7 PM. She will be available for individual meetings and will give a Dharma Talk.

For information, contact Stan at (804) 833-1009 or visit www.richmondzen.org.

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 john@jollyoso.com. If you are interested in serving as a flower arranger about once a month, please contact Andrea at andreajost@gmail.com.

Volunteers Needed

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 chzencooks@gmail.com.

Additional Morning and Evening Zazen

During the Practice Period, April 14 to July 14, we will offer an additional period of zazen on Wednesday mornings from 8 to 8:40 AM. If the attendance is strong, we will consider adding this to our ongoing schedule.

From June 3 through July 10, one period of zazen will be offered at 6 PM on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

Zendo Closures

The Zen Center will be closed on Thursday evening, July 4, and all day on Friday, July 5.

At the end of the 90-day Practice Period, the Zen Center will be closed Monday through Saturday, July 15-20.

Dharma Talks

Zenki Kathleen Batson will give public Dharma Talks on Sunday, June 23 at 10:30 AM, and Tuesday night, July 9 at 7:45 PM.

Gengo Akiba Roshi will give a public Dharma Talk on Sunday morning, June 30 at 9:50 AM (instead of the usual time of 10:30 AM).

Josho Pat Phelan Roshi will give public Dharma Talks on Sunday mornings, July 28, and August 25, at 10:30.

Choro Carla Antonaccio will give a public Dharma Talk on Sunday morning, August 18, at 10:30.

Everyone is welcome.

Way-seeking Mind Talk

Mike McKillip will give a talk about his path to Zen practice Tuesday evening, June 18 at 7:45 PM, after one period of zazen. He began sitting on his own in 2000 and came to the Zen Center is 2001.

All-Day Sitting

Sundays, July 28 and August 25
All-Day Sittings are scheduled for Sunday, July 28, and August 25 from 6 AM until 5 PM. The sittings will begin with orientation on Saturday night at 7:30 PM, and will include instruction on the meal form and one period of zazen. The regular Sunday schedule, with zazen at 9 AM and 9:50 AM, and a Dharma Talk at 10:30 AM, 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 Roshi if this is your first all-day sitting. For more information on the oryoki meal form see: www.kannondo.org/getting-started/oryoki/.

Looking Ahead

Chimyo Atkinson will visit and give a public Dharma Talk on Sunday morning October 27, at 10:30 AM. Chimyo received Dharma transmission under Rev. Teijo Munnich in 2015, in the lineage of Katagiri Roshi. She received her monastic training in Japan and the US. Chimyo currently serves as Head of Practice at Great Tree Zen Women's Temple in Alexander, North Carolina.

Rohatsu Sesshin is planned for December 6-13.

Buddha's Enlightenment Ceremony is planned for Sunday, December 15.

Study Group

Thursday evenings, 6:45 to 8 PM
Join us Thursday evenings as we read together and discuss the The Mountains and Waters Sutra, a text by Master Dogen, with Shohaku Okumura's commentary. Copies of the book are for sale in the entryway. Study Group is preceded by one period of zazen at 6 PM.

Everyone is welcome and there is no charge.

Study Hall

Monday mornings from 7:45 until 8:30 or 9 AM
During the Practice Period, there will be a quiet Study Hall, Monday mornings, from 7:45 until 8:30 or 9 AM through July 8. This is a time to study Buddhist writings or sew Buddha's Robe. Everyone is welcome; tea will be provided. You are also welcome to bring tea or coffee with you. There will be no Study Hall on Memorial Day, May 27.

People of Color Sitting Group

Wednesday evenings from 6 to 7:30 PM
The POC Sitting Group begins with zazen from 6 to 6:40 PM, with an 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, Kriti or John at pocsittinggroup@gmail.com.

As usual, instruction in zazen and an orientation are offered to the public on Sunday morning at 9 AM, and on Tuesday night at 7 PM.

Recovery Meeting

Tuesday evenings, 7:30 to 8:30 PM
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.

Chinese Calligraphy & Brush Painting

Jinxiu Zhao will teach Chinese Calligraphy on Sunday afternoons from 2:15 to 3:45 PM, and Brush Painting from 2:15 to 4:15 PM on June 2, and 16, July 7 and 21, August 11 and 18.

On Sunday, June 30, class will be from 3 to 5 PM.

Fees are $30 per class, or $110 for 4 classes. 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.

New Library Books

The Zen Center Library is available to Participating Members to check out books for three weeks at a time, with a two-week renewal.

New aquisitions for the Member's Library include:
Marilyn McDonald, A Brief History of Tassajara
Sekkei Harada and transl. by Daigaku Rummé, Unfathomable Depths: Drawing Wisdom for Today from a Classical Zen Poem
Reiho Masunaga, A Primer for Soto Zen: a Translation of Dogen's Shobogenzo Zuimonki
Emmanuelle Giumelli, See, Hear, Feel: Mindfulness for Children One Moment at a Time
Trevor Leggett, Zen and the Ways
John Yates, The Mind Illuminated: a Com-plete Meditation Guide
Robert Aitken, Zen Vows for Daily Life
John Daido Loori, Bringing the Sacred to Life: The Daily Practice of Zen Ritual Aiaho Brahm, Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond: A Meditator's Handbook
David Richo, The Five Things we Cannot Change: Zen Teachings in Challenging Times
Ruth King, Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from Inside Out.

The library catalogue is online at www.tinyurl.com/chzclibrary.

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.

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 Roshi at (919) 967-0861 or info@chzc.org.

Shopping Online?

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 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

CHZC Newsletter in PDF Format

Download the May-June 2019 CHZC Newsletter in PDF format.

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 info@chzc.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 now has a blog with photographs from recent ceremonies and events. See: www.chapelhillzen.wordpress.com.

Email Updates via the CHZC Listserv

You are invited to join an email 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: www.groups.yahoo.com/group/CHZCannounce and click the "Join Now" box. You may be requested to supply some information or to create a Yahoo "identity." Please note the options for making your email 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.

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 Carol Klein at wmichael@nc.rr.com, Kris Garvin at krisgarvin@gmail.com or Senmyo Jeff Sherman at jeffsherman3333@gmail.com.

Sangha News

I am pleased to announce several position changes. Recently, Senmyo Jeff Sherman accepted the position of Work Leader. If you are interested in helping out with maintenance and any of the small tasks that keep the Zen Center running smoothly, please let Senmyo know at jeffsherman3333@gmail.com.

With much appreciation for serving as the Zen Center Work Leader for three years, Choro Carla Antonaccio is stepping down and stepping into the position of Ino, director of zendo activities.

Many thanks and much gratitude to Zenki Kathleen Batson, who is stepping down from serving as Ino and training doans these past three years.

Board of Directors for 2019

The Chapel Hill Zen Center Board of Directors are Kenneth Wilson, President; John Paredes, Vice President; Mike McKillip, Treasurer; Nell Kriesberg, Secretary; Andrea Ashdown and Tripp Spivey, Members-at-Large; and Josho Pat Phelan, ex officio. Many thanks and deep bows to Maura High who served as president of the board for these past three years, and to Colin Maxwell who served as Member-at-Large for this past year.

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.