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

Download the May-June CHZC Newsletter in PDF format.
View the CHZC Google Calendar of Events.

June Practice Intensive

June 3-29, 2018
You are invited to join the four-week Practice Intensive beginning on Sunday, June 3, and going through Friday, June 29. This is an opportunity to rededicate ourselves to daily zazen during a focused period of time, much as one would do at a residential practice center. You may want to experiment with the limits of your time and energy, throwing yourself into the zazen schedule, joining the efforts of others. In so doing, we mutually benefit by enjoying sitting together, while supporting each other.

During the month of June, we will have our usual early morning zazen, Monday through Friday at 6:00 and 6:50, followed by service, and our regular Tuesday night zazen at 7:00. There will also be one period of zazen on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings at 6:00, with a Study Group meeting after zazen on Thursday evenings from 6:45 to 8:00 P.M. There will be an all-day sitting on Sunday, June 10. Please sign up at the zendo for the all-day sitting.

Practice Intensive Teas are held after the usual Sunday morning program, on Sundays, June 3, and 24. On Sunday, June 17, there will be a discussion and demonstration of the forms we use in the zendo; so, please bring your questions! Those participating in the Practice Intensive are asked to attend the Sunday morning Teas. For the first tea, participants will be asked to speak for about 5 minutes about how they came to practice and why they want to participate in the Practice Intensive. Participating in the annual intensive is also a good way to get to know other sangha members. Because of our individual circumstances, there is no minimum participation other than the two Practice Period Tea on Sunday mornings.

Please draw up a realistic schedule, perhaps one that will stretch you a little, and then try to commit yourself to your schedule. Joining others for zazen gives us a clear taste of our mutual interdependence. Our practice supports the practice of others and the practice of others benefits us all.

Please download and return the Practice Intensive registration form, along with a $10 registration fee by Friday, June 1.

Study Hall

During the month of June, there will be a Study Hall on Monday mornings, after zazen, from 7:45 until 8:30 or 9:00. Everyone is welcome to come and read Buddhist materials or sew Buddha's Robe. Tea will be available. Bring coffee if you like!

Preparing for Priest Ordination

Jeff Sherman, is preparing for priest ordination, which we hope to have early in October. The ceremony of being ordained and receiving the precepts as a priest is Shukke Tokudo in Japanese, and it means of leaving home and accomplishing the way. Although we don't always literally leave home and move to a monastery or practice center, one way to "leave home" is to make supporting formal practice at the zendo one's highest priority. Helping the temple run smoothly and making zazen practice available to others is the way a priest serves the sangha. Obviously this entails reducing the activity and commitments in one's life in order to be available for zendo practice.

When one "leaves home," one places the needs of the sangha above one's personal preferences, and the sangha supports the priest. This support or encouragement may take different forms. One way our sangha may support the practice of being ordained as a priest is for the sangha to provide the robes priests wear, the kimono and koromo, under the okesa. The robes can be a gift from the sangha to the ordainee, and serving the temple and supporting zendo practice is the priest's gift to the sangha. I think this is a good reflection of our interdependence. If you would like to make a donation toward the cost of the robes and bowls, please note "Robe Fund" on your donation.

Another way to support the ordination of priests is to help sew their ordination robe, the okesa. There will be sewing sessions throughout the summer and everyone is welcome.

It is my hope that together as a sangha, we will benefit from the training of priests and find out how it will shape the future growth and maturity of our sangha.

In gassho,
Taitaku Josho, Abbess

Aging Gracefully, Befriending Death

Sunday, April 29 and May 20, 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.

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 Sunday, April 29 and May 27 at Zen Center.

June 10, from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM, will be our end-of-year picnic, at Wilson Park, in Carrboro. Last year, the kids had great fun, exploring the trails on a treasure hunt, playing games, and sharing in the potluck picnic. The park is loaded with amenities and has plenty of parking. Friends and siblings are warmly invited to join us.

After June 10 we will have no scheduled meetings until after Labor Day. But parents who would like to come on Sundays to sit zazen should certainly check with Maura High if you'd like to bring your child(ren), too, to spend some time working on activities in the community room while you sit.

For information regarding the Children's Program, please contact Maura High at maurahigh@gmail.com.

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 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.

Richmond Zen Group

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.

Altar Maintenance 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 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 prepares and serves 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.

Shakyo: The Practice of Copying Sutras

Saturday, June 16, 10 AM to Noon

Living this subtle dharma everyday, how do you see it? Allowing this subtle dharma into yourself moment after moment, how do you see it? When chanting, we experience it. When reading, we experience it. When writing and copying, we experience it. What we are truly copying? Literally we can say that I am writing my life through my action of copying this most precious subtle dharma.
— Maizumi Roshi

Writing out sutras or other Buddhist texts is a common practice in Zen temples. Copying a sutra is zazen, just as chanting, eating in the zendo, and walking meditation are. Copying the Heart Sutra is most common–the Japanese characters can be traced using rice paper over a template –but in this workshop, you may copy any sutra, daily chant, or part of a Buddhist text. Examples will be available. Don't hesitate to come if you think your handwriting isn't good enough, wholehearted attention is all that is necessary! Please bring a pen you like and blank paper or a blank book. All are welcome! To sign up, please contact Choro Carla Antonaccio at subtlegate@gmail.com.

Dharma Talks

Josho Pat Phelan will give a public Dharma Talk on
Sunday, May 20 and Sunday, June 10 at 10:30 AM.

Everyone is welcome.

Way-seeking Mind Talks

As part of the June Practice Intensive, there will be two Way-seeking Mind talks on Tuesday nights, June 5 and 19, at 7:40, following one period of zazen at 7:00 PM. The talks will be given by Lance Ashdown, and Bunkai Steve Tracy. Lance began practicing zazen in 1992 with Sasaki Roshi at Mt. Baldy Zen Center in California, followed by practicing with Joko Beck and Diane Rizzetto, before moving to CHZC in 2010. Bunkai began practicing by himself and later, in the early 1980's, had instruction with Ed Brown. Bunkai was ordained in 2012 in Kobun Chino's lineage, while practicing at Tassajara.

All-Day Sitting

Sunday, June 10
An all-day sitting is scheduled for Sunday, June 10, from 6 AM until 5 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.

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.)

Chapel Hill Zen Center Soto-shu Banner

Looking Ahead

Rohatsu Sesshin — November 30 to December 7, 2018

Spring Sesshin — March 1 to 6, 2019,
a Genso-e sesshin led by Shohaku Okumura.


The Zen Center will be closed on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, and on Wednesday and Thursday, July 4 and 5 for Independence Day.

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 are currently studying Daitsu Tom Wright's new book, Deepest Practice, Deepest Wisdom: Three Fascicles from Shobogenzo with Commentary.

Beginning June 7th, we will read and discuss the teachings of Katagiri Roshi in the first section of the book The Light that Shines Through Infinity, pages 3-52. Copies of both books are for sale in the entryway.

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 AM, and on Tuesday night at 7 PM.

Chinese Calligraphy & Brush Painting

Jinxiu Zhao will teach Chinese Brush Painting/Calligraphy on Sunday afternoons from 2:15 to 4:10 PM. Classes are small with individual attention, and they will be held on May 13 and 20, and June 3 and 17. 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.

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.

Recent additions 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 www.tinyurl.com/chzclibrary.

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.


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

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.


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.

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.

The 2018 Board Members

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.