Upcoming Events
for more information call 967-0861
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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.

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 September 24, October 8 and 22, November 5 and 19, and December 17. For information, please contact Maura High, at maurahigh@gmail.com.

Sejiki Ceremony

The Sejiki Ceremony will be held on Saturday evening October 28, at 7:00, followed by refreshments. Children are welcome, and welcome to wear costumes. And we invite you to help decorate the entry garden and deck with your Jack-o-Lanterns!

“Sejiki” is a Japanese word meaning “feeding the hungry ghosts.” Hungry ghosts are depicted as beings with very large stomachs swollen from malnutrition, who have the tiniest of throats, and who are always hungry. They are symbolic of the state of mind which is never satisfied with who we are or what we have. In the ceremony we call forth hungry ghosts and beings who are stuck in intermediary states, as well the dark, unknown regions of our own psyches, bringing them into the light. We offer them the nourishment of Dharma with the hope of satisfying and releasing them.

The Sejiki Ceremony also has the feeling of a universal memorial service. In addition to releasing the spirits of the departed, the ceremony is intended to resolve our karmic relationships with the deceased. During the ceremony, the names of those for whom we have performed memorial services during the past year will be read. If you would like the name of a friend or relative, or other being, read during the service, please leave the name in an envelope on the zendo bulletin board, or give it to Josho Sensei no later than the day before the ceremony.

In the spirit of Sejiki, we invite you to bring a food offering for the Interfaith Council pantry of non-perishable goods, which will be collected in the entryway.

General Meeting

The General Meeting, our annual members’ business meeting, will be held on Sunday morning, November 19, at 11:00, following zazen. The nominees for the next Board of Directors will be introduced and the budget for 2017 will be presented. Everyone is encouraged to attend, but only Participating Members are eligible to vote. If you have agenda items, please contact the Board President, Maura High at maurahigh @gmail.com.

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.

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

All-day Sittings

All-day sittings are scheduled for Sundays, 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 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: http://www.kannondo.org/oroyoki

Lama Rod Owens on Love, Grief, & 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. For more information see: TriangleInsight.org/lamarod/

Events include:

Tuesday, 10/17: “Radical Mindfulness in Times of Crisis,” 3:05-5:35 pm, Duke University Lecture (free and open to the public)

Wednesday, 10/18: “It Gets Better: Developing Basic Friendship with Ourselves,” 6:30 – 8:00 PM, Triangle Insight Meditation Community (free and open to the public)

Friday, 10/20: “Real Vulnerability as a Tool for Social Change,” 7 pm, Duke Memorial United Methodist Church, Whitford Hall (free and open to the public)

Saturday 10/21: “Love, Grief, and Activism: Radical Dharma Vision of Change and Vulnerability,” 9 am–5 pm (more information on specific location, cost, and how to register will be forthcoming)

Sunday 10/22: “Love, Grief, and Activism: Radical Dharma Vision of Change and Vulnerability” for those who identify as LGBTQ and People of Color, 1 pm – 5 pm, Temple Building, 302 W. Main St., Durham (more information on cost and how to register will be forthcoming)

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 with Rev. angel Kyodo williams and Dr. Jasmine Syedullah of Radical Dharma, Talking Race, Love, and Liberation, which explores race in the context of American Buddhist communities.

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.

Dharma Talks

September 17, at 10:30, by Josho Pat Phelan

October, 23, at 10:30, by Josho Pat Phelan

November 12, at 10:30, by Choro Carla Antonaccio

Looking Ahead

December 1–8, Rohatsu – the 7-day December Sesshin.

Sunday, December 17 – Buddha’s Enlightenment Celebration.

May 4 – 9, 2018 – Spring Genzo-e Sesshin led by Daitsu Tom Wright. Tom Wright was a long-term disciple of Uchiyama Roshi and translator of How to Cook Your Life, or From the Zen Kitchen to Enlightenment.

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 Sept 10 and 24, October 8 and 27. 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.

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.


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.

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 10/22/17