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

CHZC Newsletter (PDF)

Holiday Schedule

The zendo will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 23 and 24. The regular Sunday morning program on November 26 will be held as usual.

The zendo will be closed from Thursday, December 21 through Saturday, December 30. However, on Sunday morning, December 31, the regular program at 9:00 am will be held, and on Sunday night, December 31, there will be a New Year’s Program beginning at 8:00. The zendo will be closed on Monday, January 1. The on-going schedule will resume on Tuesday, Jan. 2.

Rohatsu Sesshin

December 1-8. For information, see pages 6 & 7 of the Newsletter.

Children’s Program

The Zen Center’s Children’s Program offers a variety of activities for children age 5 through 15, including meditation, mindfulness, Buddhist teachings and stories, crafts, songs, and movement, as well as participation in Zen Center celebrations throughout the year. Parents are encouraged to volunteer to help with the Children’s Program or attend the concurrent adult program of zazen. The first meeting this fall will be September 10. Subsequent meetings are scheduled for November 5 and 19, and December 17. For information, please contact Maura High, at maurahigh@gmail.com.

Aging Gracefully, Befriending Death

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.

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.

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


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.

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.

Dharma Talks

Josho Pat Phelan will give a public Dharma Talk on Sunday morning, December 3rd, at 10:30. Everyone is welcome.

Kuden Paul Boyle will give a public Dharma Talk on Sunday morning, December 10, at 10:30.

Buddha’s Enlightenment Ceremony

On Sunday morning, December 17, we will commemorate Buddha’s Enlightenment at 10:30 with a short talk directed to children followed by a candle lighting and special service in the zendo. At the end of service, the children will be given a gift of incense and a candle. The morning will end with pot-luck refreshments, beverages provided. Two periods of zazen, beginning at 9:00 a.m. will be held as usual.

New Year’s Eve

On Sunday night, December 31, we will welcome the New Year with two periods of zazen at 8:00 and 8:50 followed by the Bodhisattva Ceremony at 9:20, and a Fire Ceremony at 9:50 followed by refreshments. For the Fire Ceremony, we write down the habits and tendencies, difficult states of mind, tangled aspects of relationships, and so on, that we would like to release. We will have an outdoor fire to burn our papers along with the name cards from Memorial Services held during the past year and incense stubs that have accumulated throughout year. Everyone is welcome for the whole program or to any part of it. The program will end with refreshments.

Supporting the Zen Path of Practice
with Choro Carla Antonaccio

Monday nights, January 8, 15, 22, and 29
7:00 - 8:00 PM

This four week offering is intended for anyone who has taken the “Beginning Zen Practice” class with David Guy, or who has received zazen instruction and would like to establish their practice at the zendo or at home. We will begin with a 30 minute period of zazen, followed by a period of walking meditation, bowing or chanting practice. The rest of our time together will be devoted to exploring what is coming up for you in practice, your questions about Zen including the formal aspects of our practice together, finding ease in your zazen posture, and extending zazen into daily life.

Please sign up in advance by contacting Choro at subtlegate@gmail.com, or 919-423-5987. You may also just come to the first class, but it is helpful to know how many to expect and to have contact information in case of any change (e.g. bad weather). Cost is $40, payable the first night, and will be contributed to the Zen Center. Partial scholarships are available.

Choro began sitting zazen on a daily basis in 1999 at the Chapel Hill Zen Center. She was ordained as a Zen priest in 2010 and has participated in three, three-month practice periods at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center and a two-month Practice Period at Green Gulch Farm. She looks forward to sharing Zen practice with you.

Study Group

The Study Group will resume meeting on September 14, and continue through November 16, on Thursday nights, from 6:45–8:00. We will study together Being with Dying, Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death by Joan Halifax. There will be copies for sale in the entryway. Everyone is welcome and there is no charge.

Looking Ahead

All-day Sittings are planned for January 14, February 11, and March 18, 2018.

May 4 – 9, 2018 Daitsu Tom Wright, translator of How to Cook Your Life, will lead a 7-day teaching sesshin May 4-11, 2018. Daitsu lived in Japan for over thirty years, and he practiced with Uchiyama Roshi from 1968 until the latter’s death, and he was ordained as a priest in 1974. He was a teacher for the Kyoto Soto Zen Center until 1995, and then led Zen groups with Rev. Doyu Takamine in Kyoto and Tamba.

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 Nov. 5 and 19, and on Dec. 10 and 17. 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/.

Wilmington Zen Group

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

New Library Books

These books have been recently added to the Members’ Library.

Zen at Daitoku-ji by Jon Covell, The Book Of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura, Mindfully Facing Disease and Death by Bhikku Analayo, The Search for the Buddha by Charles Allen, Transmission of the Lamp: Early Masters authored by Tao-Yuan, trans. Sohaku Ogata, The Buddha’s Teachings on Social and Communal Harmony ed. Bhikkhu Bodhi, Engaging Dogan’s Zen: The Philosophy of Practice as Awakening by Tetsuzen Jason Wirth & Shudo Brian Schroeder, Emptiness: A Practical Guide for Meditators by Guy Armstrong, Records of Manzu and the Making of Classical Chan Literature by Mario Poceski, Zen Bridge: The Zen Teachings of Keido Fukushima ed. Grace and Peter Schireson, Buddha before Buddhism by Gil Fronsdal, Loving-Kindness on Plain English: The Practice of Metta by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, and the DVD: One Body, One Heart a documentary film by Frederic Forrest.

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

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.

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   Page updated 11/24/17