Due to concerns about the Novel Coronavirus, the Chapel Hill Zen Center will be closed until further notice.
Memorial Day Holiday
On Monday, May 31, there will be no Zazen or Study Group.
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.
The Sangha Net is a network of volunteers who can offer short-term assistance to those in the sangha in need of help due to transitions in one's life such as illness, disability, or death of a loved one. Examples of tasks can include shopping, arranging for meals, or transportation. During the pandemic, we will assist in ways that can allow for mutual safety.
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.
A Moment of Eco-Dharma
The entire world is mind ground; the entire world is blossom heart. Because the entire world is blossom heart, the entire world is plum blossoms.
—Dogen, Shobogenzo, Baika (Plum Blossom)
The CHZC Eco-Dharma group is offering the following opportunities to "converse about iris blossoms," to which all are invited:
Saturday, May 29 at 11 AM
Coffee and Conversation
Watch the film Kiss the Ground on your own and then grab coffee and join a conversation about the movie via Zoom.
Saturday, June 19 from 6 AM to 12 PM
Outdoor Half-day Sitting
Choose a spot in the backyard of the Zen Center grounds for zazen and kinhin in the beautiful outdoors. There will be no service, and participants are welcome to arrive and leave when they like.
Please contact Chris at email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org or Zenki at email@example.com, if you would like to attend either of these events, or to get on the CHZC Eco-Dharma mailing list.
Living with Impermanence
Please write any of the contact people to find when Zoom Meetings are scheduled.
This informal discussion group meets on Zoom about once a month, providing the opportunity to explore conversations on aging, death and dying, as well as impermanence in general. Please contact Carol Klein at firstname.lastname@example.org, Kris Garvin at email@example.com, or Senmyo Sherman at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you would like more information.
Everyone is welcome, regardless of age.
Meetings postponed until further notice.
The program, like the Zen Center's other programs, has suspended in-person meetings at the Zen Center for the time being. But there are many ways we can still come together virtually. At this time of year, we usually mark the start of the new lunar year, which this year is the year of the ox. The ox is a patient and strong animal, just the sort of qualities we need during a long pandemic. We'd make masks or cut-out stand-up models and booklets, color pictures, and share our conceptions about the ox (and talk about stereotypes in general). A story that is well known in many Asian cultures is about a young oxherd and his (at first) unruly ox. There are many sources for it online, for example, The Ten Oxherding Pictures at Tricycle magazine. Another wonderful online source for parenting ideas and support for parents is Susan Kaiser Greenland's blog at www.SusanKaiserGreenland.com. She has some great recommendations this month for children's books, such as When I Breathe Deeply/Cuando Respiro Profundo, which celebrates the power of breath to inform, energize, heal, and connect to ourselves and our communities, by Jill Guerra, translated by Morelia Rivas. The Children's Program has many books and materials that can be shared — please just ask. Also, we are constructing a new mailing list; if you'd like to be added to it, please contact me, email@example.com, or leave a message at (919) 265-7045.
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.
We were beginning our meetings with zazen, for those new to meditation or experienced, from 6 to 6:40 PM, with an option to stay for group discussion and community For more information, contact Conal or John at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Organizing Against Racism
The local organization Organizing Against Racism is holding virtual workshops with REI, Racial Equity Institute, instructors. Over several years, some of us have taken this two-day workshop and have found it very informative and beneficial.
The Chapel Hill Zen Center has a scholarship fund to help those who would like to take this workshop and other workshops on race who can't afford the full fee. For more information or to request a partial scholarship, please contact Ken Wilson at email@example.com. Donations to this fund are also welcome!
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.
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.
A Zoom Talk by Guo Gu
Monday, May 24 at 7:30 PM
Guo Gu, a disciple of Chan Master Sheng-yen, will give a Dharma Talk on Silent Illumination, the Chinese predecessor of shikan taza or "nothing but, just sitting," and then take questions. The evening will begin with a period of zazen at 7 PM. Everyone is welcome.
Joining Zoom zazen and talk Via computer:www.zoom.us/j/821378615 Via phone: (646) 558-8656 Meeting ID: 821 378 615
For detailed instructions on how to join this Zoom session, see the Study Group announcement below. We will use the same Zoom link and Meeting ID.
Guo Gu began meditating in Taiwan when he was four, and he met Chan Master Sheng-yen when he was twelve. Guo Gu received monk ordination in 1991, and was given permission to teach by Chan Master Sheng-yen in 1995. Five years later, he gave up monk's robes to begin doctoral work in Buddhist Studies. He now leads the Tallahas-see Chan Center and teaches at Florida State University. To learn more about Guo Gu and his teaching see: www.guogulaoshi.com. Guo Gu's books are the recently published Silent Illumination; The Essence of Chan and Passing Through the Gateless Barrier.
Zoom Dharma Talks
Josho Pat Phelan Rōshi will give a Dharma Talk Sunday morning, May 16 and June 13 at 10:30AM following Zoom zazen — just stay on the same link.
Zenki Kathleen Batson will give a Dharma Talk after Zoom zazen Sunday morning, June 27.
There are also private YouTube videos of Dharma Talks by Josho, Jakuko and Zenki available on the Talks on Zen Practice sections of the CHZC website.
Sunday mornings, May 16 and June 13
There will be Zoom Half-day Sittings from 6 AM until 12:15 PM. The schedule will be similar to that used for the morning of in-person All-day Sittings. For information and to sign up write email@example.com.
Sunday mornings, May 23 and June 20
The Bodhisattva Ceremony, a renewal of vows and precepts, is a pre-Buddhist ceremony with its roots in ancient India. The Bodhisattva Ceremony will be held on Sundays, May 23 and June 20, after zazen at 10:30 AM.
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. Please log on 5-10 minutes before the study group begins so we can start on time
We are reading and discussing 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.
A Lankavatara Sutra study group, reading two translations by Red Pine and D. T. Suzuki. We meet Tuesday evenings from 6:45 to 8 PM. Please log on by 6:40 PM so we can begin on time. Please contact email@example.com for handouts.
We are reading and discussing Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out by Insight Meditation teacher, Ruth King. We meet Thursday evenings at 6:30 PM for 30 minutes of silent meditation. From 7 to 8 PM we read and learn together. Please log on by 6:25 PM so we can begin on time. If you would like to join this study group, please contact Zenki at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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/j/821378615. 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).
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.
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.
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