Upcoming Events
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Genzo-e Sesshin

May 4-11

Daitsu Tom WrightWe are fortunate to have Daitsu Tom Wright lead a 7-day Genzo-e or teaching sesshin, beginning at 7:00 on Friday night, May 4, and going through Friday afternoon, May 11. In the Genzo-e sesshin, Daitsu Roshi will give an hour and a half talk each morning and afternoon on Dogen’s last fascicle, Hachi Dainin Gaku or The Eight Virtues of a Truly Great Person. Daitsu Roshi will be using his own translation which will be available before sesshin begins. Other translations are included in Kaz Tanahashi’s Enlightenment Unfolds, and in Nishijima and Cross’s Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo.

Daitsu Tom Wright practiced in Japan with Kosho Uchiyama Roshi for almost 40 years. He translated Uchiyama Roshi’s commentary on the Dogen’s Instructions for the Zen Cook published as From the Zen Kitchen to Enlightenment or How to Cook your Life; he was one of the translators of Uchiyama Roshi's book Opening the Hand of Thought and the recently published Deepest Practice, Deepest Wisdom, Three Fascicles from Shobogenzo with Commentaries. Arthur Braverman describing this book said, “Kosho Uchiyama, the late abbot of Antaiji Monastery, had a special talent for making difficult passages by the ancient Zen master Dogen readable and understandable to the modern student of Buddhism. And no one is more qualified to translate Uchiyama’s words into English than Reverends Thomas Daitsu Wright and Shohaku Okumura, two seasoned translators who studied under Uchiyama Roshi for years.

In order to help all of us settle into the schedule and our zazen practice, please arrive on time. It may be possible to sit part of the sesshin, but space may be limited and priority will be given to those attending the full sesshin. If you can only sit part of the sesshin, please explain clearly what part of sesshin you would like to attend when you register, and please come to orientation on Friday night. It is advisable to sign up for sesshin sooner than you might normally, since this is such an unusual opportunity and there will be more people attending from out of state than we usually have.

You can download the sesshin registration form via this link. Please return your registration no later than Friday, April 27, with a $40 deposit.

Sesshin will begin at 7:00 on Friday evening with orientation and job assignments. Following orientation, silence will be observed. The zendo will be open by 4:00 P.M. on Friday; so please try 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, Dharma talks, a work period, and formal meals served in the zendo. The day will end at 9:00 P.M. Because expenses will be higher for this sesshin than in the past, the fees will also be higher and on a sliding scale for those who may want to offer more. For members, the fees are $280-$320, and for others $340-$390. 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, and partial scholarships are available. If you would like to request a scholarship, please contact Maura at maurahigh@gmail.com and let her know what your participation at the CHZC has been. In the past, contributions received for scholarships were very helpful in allowing people to attend sesshin here and at the San Francisco Zen Center.

You are welcome to sleep in the zendo, and there may be some space available in members' homes nearby. Please bring a pad for the floor, a sleeping bag, a towel and wash cloth, slip-on shoes, and layered clothes. Opportunities for bathing are limited. Please bring work clothes. For more information, contact us at: info@chzc.org, or 919-967-0861. The zendo emergency number is: (919) 933-0776.

Sangha News

I am happy to announce that Jeff Sherman has begun sewing Buddha’s Robe, or Okesa, in preparation to be ordained as a priest.

If you have sewn a rakusu, you are welcome to support him by sewing some stitches. There will be a sewing session during the work period at all-day sittings and sesshin.

With palms together,

Buddha’s Birthday Celebration

Sunday morning, April 8

Buddha's Birthday celebration will be held on Sunday morning, April 8, 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, Saturday, April 7
There will be a work period from 10 a.m. to 12 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.

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. The program will be held on March 11 and 25, April 8 and 29, May 20, with a picnic on June 3. For information, please contact Maura High at maurahigh@gmail.com.

Eco-Dharma Discussion Group

Sunday, April 1, 11:15 AM

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.

Aging Gracefully, Befriending Death

Sunday, April 29, 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. The group will meet next on Sunday, April 29 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The 2018 Board Members

We are happy to announce that the Chapel Hill Zen Center Board Members for 2018 are President, Maura High; Vice President, Ken Wilson; Secretary, John Paredes; Treasurer, Mike McKillip; Members-at-Large, Andrea Ashdown and Colin Maxwell. We offer our deep gratitude to Steve Pickett for serving as Member-at-Large the past two years, and to Shawn Johnson for serving as Member-at-Large this past year – thank you very much for your service.


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

Altars and 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. 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.

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 6:00 A.M. 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.

Beginning Zen Practice
A Class with David Guy

Monday nights, February 12 to March 19
7:00 - 9:00 PM

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. David’s blog and be found at www.davidguy.org.

Chapel Hill Zen Center Soto-shu Banner

Temple Gift

A scroll of Shakyamuni Buddha with the two founders of Soto Zen in Japan below, Eihei Dogen Zenji and Keizan Jokin Zenji, now hangs in the zendo. The scroll was a gift from the Soto Zen Headquarters in Japan honoring the Chapel Hill Zen Center as a formally recognized Soto Zen Temple. (Click image for larger view.)

Dharma Talks

Josho Pat Phelan will give a public Dharma Talk on
Sunday, March 18 at 10:30 AM.

Kuden Paul Boyle will give a public Dharma Talk on
Sunday, April 22, at 10:30 AM.

Daitsu Thomas Wright will give a public Dharma Talk on
Sunday, May 6 at 10:30 AM.

Everyone is welcome.

All-Day Sitting

An all-day sitting is scheduled for Sunday, March 18, from 6:00 a.m. until 5:00 PM. 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 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: www.kannondo.org/oryoki.

Looking Ahead

Practice Intensive - We are planning to have a four-week Practice Intensive from June 4-30. More information to follow.

Study Group

Thursday nights at 6:45 PM

The Study Group meets on Thursday nights, 6:45-8:00 PM, is open to everyone and there is no charge. We will study Daitsu Tom Wright’s new book, Deepest Practice, Deepest Wisdom: Three Fascicles from Shobogenzo with Commentary. Copies will be available for sale in the book store.

People of Color Sitting Group

Wednesday nights from 6:00-7:30

The POC Sitting Group begins with zazen from 6:00-6:40, 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 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 Brush Painting/Calligraphy on Sunday afternoons from 2:15-4:10. Classes are small with individual attention, and they will be held on March 4 and 25, and on April 8 and 29.The fee is $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.

Recovery Meeting

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.

Richmond Zen Group

Josho Sensei plans to visit the Richmond Zen Group on Wednesday evening, March 14, at 7:00. She will be available for individual meetings and will give a Dharma Talk.

Choro Carla Antonaccio will visit the Richmond Zen Group on Wednesday evening, April 11, to sit zazen and give a Dharma Talk.

For more information, contact Kevin at (804) 366-5546 or visit www.richmondzen.org.

Wilmington Zen Group

For information contact Elizabeth at (910) 762-7465 or elizdarrow@gmail.com.

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.

New Library Books

The Zen Center Library is available to Particiapting Members to check out books for three weeks at a time, with a two week renewal.
New entries to the library include:
The Book of Joy co-authored by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu
Light That Shines Through Infinity by Dainin Katagiri
Deepest Practice, Deepest Wisdom by Kosho Uchiyama, translated by Thomas Wright and Shohaku Okumura
Most Intimate by Pat Enkyo O'Hara
Why Buddhism Is True by Robert Wright

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

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.


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.

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.

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.

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   Page updated 11/24/17