Due to concerns about the Novel Coronavirus, the Chapel Hill Zen Center will be closed until further notice.
Zen Center Remains Closed
In order to make the best decisions for the health and safety of the sangha, we have not set a date when the Zen Center will reopen, or what activities will resume first. Please check the Event Calendar section of the CHZC website for updates here at www.chzc.org/events.htm.
If you haven't already, I encourage you to sign up for the new CHZC Email Mailing List where opportunities, including Zoom Study Groups and Dharma Talks on YouTube are announced.
With palms together, Josho
More Zoom Zazen
We are now offering zazen via Zoom (all times EST):
Monday through Friday mornings, 6 to 7:20 AM
Monday and Friday afternoons, 1 to 1:40 PM, and
Sunday mornings, 9 to 10:20 AM
Before joining the online zendo we ask that you please read the CHZC Online Zendo Guidelines to help create a settled and peaceful online space for our shared zazen experience.
Joining Zoom zazen Via computer:www.zoom.us Via phone: (646) 558-8656 Meeting ID: 856 598 045 26#
The Sangha Network
During this time when our lives are being impacted in so many ways by the Coronavirus, the Sangha Net or Sangha Network wants to remind you that we are here!
The Sangha Net was formed 4-5 years ago, and has functioned thus far to offer short term help to members of the Zen Center community, or sangha, experiencing transitions due to illness or disability with simple tasks such as shopping, transportation and meals. Now as the pandemic presents new challenges, we need to be concerned about the risk of infection for both the provider and receiver of assistance. We will continually assess what tasks can be safely done, and Health professionals in the sangha will advise us as needed.
IF YOU NEED HELP, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Messages will be checked daily and we will contact you to discuss the specifics of your need. Please include your phone number. If you feel more comfortable contacting someone personally, please call any of us listed below:
Alex at (336) 302-3251
Carol at (919) 967-9391
Kris at (831) 359-3894
Senmyo at (831) 325-4220
May we be able to support each other,
Alex, Carol, Kris and Senmyo
Dokusan & Practice Discussion
Telephone interviews are available while the Zen Center is closed. If you would like to make an appointment, please write to email@example.com.
Individual meetings are available to discuss your meditation practice, as well as your zazen posture, practice in daily life, and questions you may have about Buddhist teaching. These are usually given during zazen and sometimes by special appointment. To support trust and openness, discussions in these meetings should be kept confidential.
Dokusan is a formal meeting with the Abbess to talk about your practice. You may schedule Dokusan by speaking to Josho Rōshi or contacting her at firstname.lastname@example.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.
Practice Discussion is a meeting to discuss your practice with a priest. Jakuko Mo Ferrell and Zenki Kathleen Batson 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 at email@example.com, and
Zenki - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meetings postponed until further notice.
At the end of the year, the Zen Center's Children's Program invites kids to create their own version of the year-end Fire Ceremony. If you would like to do something similar in your own family this New Year's Eve, since we can't yet meet in person, here's what we have done in past years. We consider the things we want to leave behind, to say goodbye to things that made us sad or uncomfortable or angry, for example. We write or draw them on pieces of paper, and then tear the paper into many little pieces and lay them in a basket (the papers could be buried, or burned later). We chant a short version of the Lovingkindness Metta Sutta, sounding out the beats with one or two or more mokugyos or wooden blocks or clappers. We talk about new intentions and wishes while we eat our snack. If you would like a copy of the sutta, or a year-end story or craft activity, please email Maura at email@example.com. Wishing you and your families a very happy 2021.
Thank you, Maura
Meetings postponed until further notice.
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.
People of Color Sitting Group
Meetings postponed until further notice.
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 or John at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Living with Impermanence
Please write any of the contact people to find when Zoom Meetings are scheduled.
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 email@example.com, Kris Garvin at firstname.lastname@example.org or Senmyo Jeff Sherman at email@example.com, if you have questions, would like more information. Everyone is welcome, regardless of age.
Chinese Calligraphy & Brush Painting
Classes postponed until further notice.
Jinxiu Zhao will teaches Chinese Calligraphy Sunday afternoons from 2:30 to 4:30 PM, and Brush Painting from 2:30 to 4:30 PM.
Fees are $30 per class, or $110 for 4 classes. Please contact Jinxiu at (919) 484-7524 or firstname.lastname@example.org to register or for more information. Jinxiu is also available to teach children's classes.
Eco-Dharma Discussion Group
Mountains and waters right now are the actualization of the ancient Buddha way.
— Master Dogen
Please write the contact peoples to find when Zoom Meetings are scheduled.
The Eco-Dharma Discussion Group explores Buddhist teachings of the natural world, caring for the Earth as an expression of the Bodhisattva Vow, and our responses to current environmen-tal issues. The next Eco-Dharma Discussion Group general meeting will be scheduled once it is deemed safe to return to the Zen Center in some capacity. May the Sangha take this opportunity to develop new thought patterns and behaviors to live more sustainably and harmoniously with all life on the planet. For more information, please contact Zenki: email@example.com or Chris: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Moment of Eco-Dharma
With no-mind, the flower invites a butterfly
With no-mind, the butterfly visits the flower
When the flower opens, the butterfly comes
When the butterfly comes, the flower opens.
Over the last several months, some of the CHZC Eco-Dharma Group participants have been participating in Ecosattva Training offered by One Earth Sangha. In these conversations, we examine how the climate crisis affects our hearts and minds and how to see ourselves in relationship to the natural world through the prism of Dharma. We have engaged in exercises such as eco-biography, or “writing the self in nature”, to express the ways our relationship with special places and experiences in the natural world have shaped us. Please visit the Ecobiography website for more information.
How do we deepen our consciousness and build resilience in the face of an ecological crisis? What actions can we take to oppose ecological disaster that are consistent with the bodhisattva vows? The general Eco-Dharma Discussion Group takes on these and other everyday topics, such as:
Eco-friendly and sustainable products
Looking ahead, the Eco-Dharma Discussion Group will be holding the next gathering in March 2021 for all those interested in delving into these environmental concerns. All are welcome to join!
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 email@example.com. If you are interested in serving as a flower arranger about once a month, please contact Jane at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inter-faith Council Community
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 email@example.com.
Board of Directors for 2020
The Chapel Hill Zen Center Board of Directors are Kenneth Wilson, President; John Paredes, Vice President; Tripp Spivey, Treasurer; Chris Censullo, Secretary; Maura High and Alex Fine, Members-at-Large; and Josho Pat Phelan, ex officio.
CHZC Facebook Page
The Chapel Hill Zen Center is on Facebook! Please follow or like our official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ChapelHillZenCenter/ for announcements and invitations to events and special programs at the center. We also invite you to join our affiliated group, Chapel Hill Zen Center Members and Friends at www.facebook.com/groups/CHZCGroup/ to share news, articles, and other resources, ask questions, and interact with sangha members in a more informal way. Everyone is welcome to join.
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 Rōshi at (919) 967-0861 or firstname.lastname@example.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.
Winter Practice Intensive by Zoom
Sunday, January 31 through
Sunday, February 28, 2021 Please register by Thursday, January 28
... even if just one person sits zazen for a short time, this zazen is imperceptibly one with each and all myriad things, and completely permeates all time, so that within the limitless universe, throughout past, present and future, it performs the eternal and ceaseless work of guiding beings to enlightenment. Zazen is equally the same practice and same realization, for both the person sitting and for all dharmas. ...Not only that, but each and every thing, in its original aspect, is endowed with original practice which cannot be measured or comprehended.
From Bendowa, by Eihei Dogen
I warmly invite you to join this four-week Zoom Practice Intensive, a time of more practice opportunities and sangha exchange. The on-going Zoom zazen schedule will continue, Monday-Friday mornings 6 to 7:20 AM, Monday and Friday at 1 PM, Sunday mornings at 9 AM. During the Practice Intensive there will be a period of zazen on Tuesday nights from 7 to 7:30 PM. On Wednesdays there will be zazen at 7 PM, using the Zoom link posted on the Richmond Zen website. This will be a joint Practice Intensive for the Richmond Zen and Chapel HIll Zen Center sanghas, and everyone is welcome.
Participants are asked to commit to the three Sunday morning "Teas" held on January 31, February 14 and 28, at 10:30 AM after zazen. There will be Dharma Talks on the other Sunday mornings at 10:30 AM, following zazen. Way-seeking Mind talks will be on Tuesday nights, February 2, 9, 16, and 23, at 7:40 PM, following a period of zazen at 7:00 PM. There will be a Half-day Sitting on Sunday morning, February 7, from 6 AM to 12:15 PM.
On the four Thursday evenings in February, we will begin reading Norman Fischer's Training in Compassion, as part of Study Group during the Practice Intensive. Please read the Introduction before class begins. We plan to read the first three chapters during these four weeks.
Please fill out the registration form, saying what periods of zazen and Talks you will be able to attend. These can be sent by email to email@example.com, or mailed to P.O. Box 16302, Chapel Hill, NC 27516.
With great sadness the sangha of Berkeley Zen Center announced that Hakuryu Sojun — White Dragon / Essence of Purity — Mel Weitsman peacefully passed from this world to the Pure Land of Buddhas and Ancestors at home, at 5:30 PM on Thursday, January 7. He was ninety-one years old.
Sojun Roshi is survived by his wife Liz Horowitz Weitsman, their son Daniel, and uncountable disciples and students across the United States and around the world. Cards and letters can be sent to Liz, Daniel, and the BZC sangha c/o Berkeley Zen Center, 1931 Russell Street, Berkeley, CA 94703.
We will continue having a short Memorial Service to support Hakuryu Sojun Mel Weitsman's transition right after Zoom zazen on Thursday mornings through February 25.
The service will including three floor bows before and after chanting, and we will chant the Heart Sutra and the Dai Hi Shin Dharani. The chants are on pages 1 and 22 of CHZC Chant Book. It might be helpful to print out the chants before the service.
With a bow, Josho
Zoom Dharma Talks
Josho Pat Phelan Rōshi will give a Dharma Talk after Zoom zazen Sunday morning, February 7.
Zenki Kathleen Batson will give a Dharma Talk after Zoom zazen Sunday morning, February 21.
There are also private YouTube videos of Dharma Talks by Josho, Zenki and Jakuko available on the Talks on Zen Practice sections of the CHZC website.
Practicing at Home:
Shelter-in-Place Chanting Service
Chapel Hill Zen Center priests will be chanting this service in their homes Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Please use this chanting service as you like to support your own practice at home. You may find it encouraging to join this recorded service after sitting zazen (zen meditation).
If you would like someone remembered during the Well-being Dedication, please send their name to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also download the complete Chapel Hill Zen Center Chant Book here.
Practicing at Home: Ryaku Fusatsu —
The Bodhisattva Ceremony
While the Zen Center is closed, we are currently planning for three remote Study Groups via Zoom:
Open to everyone, and there is no charge.
We will read and discuss Thich Nhat Hanh's book, Transformation at the Base which has been reprinted in paperback with the title, Understanding Our Mind, about consciousness and how it works. We meet Monday evenings from 5:30 to 6:30 PM. Please log on by 5:25 PM so we can begin on time.
Study Group on the Lankavatara Sutra, two translations by Red Pine and D. T. Suzuki, meeting Tuesday evenings from 6:45 to 8 PM. Please contact email@example.com for handouts.
We are currently reading White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo from a Buddhist perspective. We will meet on the following Thursday evenings, 6:45 to 8 PM:
Thursday, December 3
Prepare by reading in advance through Chapter 5 (page 87).
Thursday, January 7
Prepare by reading in advance Chapters 6-9 (pages 89-122).
Thursday, January 28
Prepare by reading in advance Chapters 10-12 (pages 123-154).
On the four Thursday evenings in February, we will begin reading Norman Fischer's Training in Compassion, as part of the Practice Intensive. Please read the Introduction before class begins. We plan to read the first three chapters during these four weeks.
Zoom Study Group Instructions
The CHZC has access to this Zoom account for all of the Study Groups. The instructions for logging on to the CHZC Zoom account are:
Study Group Meetings will take place on a Zoom meeting, which you can join either by laptop/desktop computer or by simply dialing in from your telephone.
To join from your laptop or desktop, click the following link and follow the instructions: www.zoom.us. If you're asked to enter the meeting ID, it is 821 378 615.
If you prefer to join by telephone, dial the following number: (646) 558-8656 and, when prompted, enter the meeting ID: 821 378 615. You may then be prompted to press the pound key again.
Please note: If you join from your computer, the audio will work better (for everyone, not just you) if you use headphones while you're on the call. Also, if you have slow internet at home and join from your computer, you may have a better signal if you turn off your video (you'll see a button for that at the bottom of the screen once you join the meeting).
Alex Fine very generously set this up. If this will be your first time for a Study Group session by Zoom, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we will have an idea of how many people to expect. Please also contact us if you have trouble accessing the attached reading material.
With palms together,
Postponed until further notice.
The Lay Precepts Ceremony, Zaike Tokudo, or Staying Home and Accomplishing the Way, will be held on Sunday afternoon, April 19, at 1:30 PM. The Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts will be given. You are warmly invited to attend, to witness and support these ordainees, as well as renew your own vows. A reception will follow. There will also be a Dharma Talk at 10:30 this morning.
Postponed until further notice.
Study Hall is a time to read Buddhist materials in a quite atmosphere with others on Monday mornings, from 7:45 until 8:30 or 9 AM. Please feel free to join us for any of this time that works for you.
Home Composting Workshop
Postponed until further notice.
The Eco-Dharma Group welcomes you to a composting workshop where you will learn how to build different types of simple composting bins; various composting options, including composting subscription services; tips and tricks from experienced composters, and how composting is a part of Buddhist practice. There will be speakers, demonstrations, and hands-on learning activities. You will become more knowl-edgeable in how to set up your own composting system in your house/apartment. Refreshments will be provided!
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 email@example.com. 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 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 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
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.