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

Download the November-December 2018 CHZC Newsletter in PDF format.
Sign up for email updates via the Chapel Hill Zen Center Listserv.
View the CHZC Google Calendar of Events.

Rohatsu Sesshin

Josho Sensei will lead Rohatsu sesshin from Friday night, November 30, through Friday afternoon, December 7, 2018.

Sesshin is an intimate way to practice with ourselves and others. We begin sesshin together, we sit together, walk together, eat together, and work together. Our practice is supported by the entire universe and each of us is supporting everyone else. In order to help all of us settle into the schedule and our zazen practice, please arrive on time. It is possible to sit part of the sesshin, but please come to orientation on Friday night, and plan to sit for at least two days, and, when registering, clearly explain what part of sesshin you would like to attend.

Sesshin will begin at 7 PM on Friday evening with orientation and job assignments. Following orientation, silence will be observed.

The zendo will be open by 4 PM. on Friday; so please plan to arrive in time to settle in before 7 PM. The sesshin day will include zazen, beginning at 6 AM, kinhin, a Dharma talk, work period, formal meals served in the zendo. Dokusan, an individual meeting with Josho Sensei, will be available. The day will end around 9 PM. This year, one day of sesshin will be a silent day, with no chanting or Dharma talk, probably the 5th or 6th day.

The fees are $40 per day for Participating Members and $50 per day for others. 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. Scholarships are available. If you would like to request a scholarship, please contact Maura High at maurahigh@gmail.com. In the past, contributions received for scholarships were very helpful in allowing people to attend sesshin here and at the San Francisco Zen Center.

Click here to download the 2018 Rohatsu Sesshin Registration Form. Please return your registration form by November 23, with a $30 deposit.

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, pillow, a towel and wash cloth, slip-on shoes, and layered clothing. Opportunities for bathing are limited. Please bring work clothes. For more information, please contact Josho at (919) 967-0861 or info@chzc.org. The Zen Center emergency phone is (919) 933-0776.

Sesshin Guidelines

  • Follow the schedule completely. If you are unable to do so, please speak to Josho before signing up. If you become sick, or if a difficulty arises during sesshin, please speak with Josho, the Director, or the Ino at that time.
  • No reading or writing, including Buddhist studies. Of course, you may read the sesshin schedule, but any reading that is not essential to the sesshin should not be done.
  • No talking. Please maintain silence on breaks and during work time.
  • Meal Practice. Please take some of each food being served unless you have a bad allergy to a particular food. Our meal practice is to accept what is offered. Tea, coffee and water will be available during breaks and before zazen in the morning. If you have a problem with, or allergy to, any food, please indicate that on the registration form.
  • Please do not use deodorants, aftershave lotion, or other cosmetics that are perfumed.
  • No smoking in the building or on the decks.

Buddha's Enlightenment Ceremony

Sunday, December 16th
On Sunday morning, December 16, we will commemorate Buddha's Enlightenment at 10:30 AM 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, with beverages provided. Two periods of zazen, beginning at 9 AM will be held as usual.

New Year's Eve

Monday, December 31st at 8 PM
On Monday night, December 31, we will welcome the New Year with two periods of zazen at 8 and 8:50 PM followed by the Bodhisattva Ceremony at 9:20 PM, and a Fire Ceremony at 9:50 PM 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 pot-luck refreshments.

Eco-Dharma Discussion Group

Mountains and waters right now are the actualization of the ancient Buddha way.
— Master Dogen

Sunday, November 18th at 11:15 AM
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.

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 Children's Program meets twice a month, on Sunday mornings, from 8:50 until 11 AM. The program will be held on November 4 and 18, December 9 and 16, January 6 and 20 and February 3 and 24. For more information, please contact Maura High, the program coordinator, 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. Please contact Kris Garvin at krisgarvin@gmail.com, Senmyo Jeff Sherman at jeffsherman3333@gmail.com or Carol Klein at wmichael@nc.rr.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 Garvin at krisgarvin@gmail.com or Senmyo Jeff Sherman 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 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 in Greensboro

The Gate City Zen Group meets for zazen in Greensboro. For more information, contact Denise at dlgabri2@uncg.edu or (336) 324-9970.

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.

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.

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.

Dharma Talks

Daigaku Rummé will give a public Dharma talk on Sunday morning, November 25, at 10:30 AM. Daigaku Roshi is the Resident Priest and Teacher of the Confluence Zen Center STL located in Maplewood, MO. Ordained a Soto monk by Harada Sekkei Roshi in 1978, he trained for more than twenty-seven years under Harada Roshi at Hosshinji Monastery in Fukui, Japan. Leaving Japan in March 2003, he moved to San Francisco to work on the staff of the Soto Zen Buddhism International Center. In 2010, Rummé moved to Los Angeles where he worked as the Director of the Soto Zen Buddhism North America Office and as the Head Priest of Zenshuji Soto Temple. In April 2015, he resigned from his position in Los Angeles and moved to St. Louis. He is married to Kathleen Copple Rummé. Daigaku Roshi is the translator of The Essence of Zen and, with Heiko Narrog, of Unfathomable Depths, both by Harada Roshi, both published by Wisdom Publications..

Josho Pat Phelan will give a public Dharma Talk on Sunday morning, December 2 at 10:30 AM.

Kuden Paul Boyle will give a public Dharma Talk on Sunday morning, December 9 at 10:30 AM. Kuden leads the Forest City Zen Group in London, Ontario.

Everyone is welcome.

Priest Ordaination

We are happy to announce that on September 29, 2018, Neido Senmyo, Peaceful Way - Declaring Brightness, Jeffrey Sherman (below, center left) and Korin Eden, Revering Forests - Wisdom Way, Kevin Heffernan (center right) received the precepts as priests in the ceremony Shukke Tokudo.

CHZC Priest Ordination Photo

Study Group

Practice-realization in Dogen's understanding includes the totality of all being-time and all beings' time. It is the multidimensional enactment of reality. From the standpoint of our being-time, it is experiencing our life with all being without obstruction.
— Shinshu Roberts, Introduction to Being-Time

Thursday evenings, 6:45 to 8 PM
The Study Group will resume meeting on Thursday evenings, from 6:45 to 8 PM, on September 20, and it will go through November 15. We will read together and discuss the book Being-Time, A Practitioner's Guide to Dogen's Shobogenzo Uji, by Shinshu Roberts. This is a commentary on and a discussion of Zen Master Dogen's text based on his premise that being and time are inseparable. Everyone is welcome and there is no charge. Copies of the book are for sale in the entryway.

Zen Teachings in Challenging Times

A third volume of teachings by Soto Zen women teachers, including Josho Pat Phelan, has just been published. This new book, edited by Maura High, will be available for sale soon at the zendo. The previous two books, Receiving the Marrow and Seeds of Virtue, Seeds of Change, also have chapters by Josho Pat Phelan, and are available for sale in the zendo entryway.

Zen Teachings in Challenging Times book cover

People of Color Sitting Group

Wednesday evenings from 6 to 7:30 PM
The POC Sitting Group begins with zazen from 6 to 6:40 PM, with an option to stay for group discussion and community building. We are currently discussing the book Sanctuary by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel. Both those new to meditation, or experienced, are warmly welcome to join us or drop in as you like. For more information, contact Conal, Kriti or John 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.

Recovery Meeting

Tuesday evenings, 7:30 to 8:30 PM
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.

Chinese Calligraphy & Brush Painting

Jinxiu Zhao will teach Chinese Calligraphy on Sunday afternoons from 2:15 to 3:45 PM, on on November 4 and 18, and December 9 and 16, and Brush Painting from 2:15 to 4:15 PM. Fees are $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.

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

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

Holiday Schedule

The zendo will be closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday on Thursday and Friday, November 22 and 23. The regular Sunday morning program on November 25 will be held as usual.

The zendo will be closed from Thursday, December 20 through Tuesday, January 1, except on Sunday mornings, December 23 and 30, the regular program will be held at 9 AM. Also, on Monday night, December 31, there will be a New Year's Program beginning at 8 PM. The on-going schedule will resume on Wednesday, January 2.

New Library Books

The Zen Center Library is available to Participating Members to check out books for three weeks at a time, with a two-week renewal.

New aquisitions for the Member's Library include:
Louis De LaVallee Poussin, Abhidharma Kosa Bhasyam in three volumes
Hakuin, The Sound of One Hand: Paintings and Calligraphy by Zen Master Hakuin
Robert Aitken, Zen Vows for Daily Life

The library catalogue is online at www.tinyurl.com/chzclibrary.

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.

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

CHZC Newsletter in PDF Format

Download the November-December 2018 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.

Email Updates via the CHZC Listserv

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.


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