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

View the CHZC Google Calendar of Events.
Download the November-December 2021 CHZC Newsletter in PDF format.
Sign up for email updates via the Chapel Hill Zen Center Email Announcement List.

The Chapel Hill Zen Center is experimenting reopening on a limited basis.
Please see announcements below for more information.

In-Person Zazen

The Chapel Hill Zen Center invites those who are fully vaccinated and who can wear a mask while indoors to attend zazen in person. Zazen is now being offered on Thursday nights at 7 and 7:40PM; and on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at 6 and 6:50AM. In order to socially distance, seating is available in chairs and on every other zabuton. So far, we have been opening all the windows.

The CHZC will continue to post updates about reopening via the CHZC email mailing list, here on the CHZC website, and on the CHZC Facebook page. To sign up for our email announcements see www.chzc.org/mailinglist.htm

Zoom Zazen

The CHZC continues to offer zazen via Zoom on Monday and Friday afternoons from 1 to 1:40 PM; Monday through Friday mornings at 6 and 6:50 AM; and Sunday mornings at 9 and 9:50 AM. You are welcome to join both periods of zazen or either one. All times EST.

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/j/85659804526
Via phone: (646) 558-8656
Meeting ID: 856 5980 4526

Sangha News

Mike McKillip and Adrianne Robinson were married on October 15. We send them our congratulations and many warm wishes for a long life together.

This Fall, Zenki Kathleen Batson is attending a 90-Day Practice Period at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, south of San Francisco, deep in the mountains of the Ventana Wilderness Area. During the practice period, the traditional monastic schedule and forms will be used. Sam Ridge and Tim Kroll, who began their practice at the Chapel Hill Zen Center, are also attending. Tim was ordained as a priest in September by Ryushin Paul Haller, and Tim will be Head Monk or Shuso, for this Practice Period.

Sangha Net

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.

If you would like to volunteer or if you need assistance, please contact Kris Garvin at krisgarvin@gmail.com, Senmyo Jeff Sherman at jeffsherman3333@gmail.com, or Carol Klein at carollyklein53@gmail.com.

Dokusan & Practice Discussion

Telephone interviews are available while the Zen Center is closed. If you would like to make an appointment, please write to info@chzc.org.

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 Roshi 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.

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 mositwear@gmail.com, and
Zenki - chzc.zenki@gmail.com.

A Moment of Eco-Dharma

Just as when a sugar cane seed is placed in moist soil, the nutriment it takes from the soil contributes to its sweetness. Why is that? Because the seed is auspicious. In the same way, when a person has right view, the deeds performed in line with that view are agreeable. Why is that? Because the view is auspicious.
— Anguttara Nikaya

The Chapel Hill Zen Center Eco-Dharma group informally explores together Buddhist teachings on the natural world, and caring for the natural world as an expression of the Bodhisattva Vow.

The Eco-Dharma Group is planning to participate in the planting of new trees at the 5206 NC-86 property early next year. The trees are scheduled to arrive in February. The group will most likely schedule a meeting prior to the planting to tour the property and plan the project. Please keep this in mind for next year and look out for more announcements as we get closer to the date. Please contact Chris at ccensullo@yahoo.com to be added to the CHZC Eco-Dharma mailing list.

For an interesting look at creating an urban forest, read How to use the Miyawaki Method to grow a mini forest at home in Architectural Digest.

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 wilso003@duke.edu. Donations to this fund are also welcome!

Black, Indigenous and 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 pocsittinggroup@gmail.com.

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 carollyklein53@gmail.com, Kris Garvin at krisgarvin@gmail.com, or Senmyo Sherman at jeffsherman3333@gmail.com, if you would like more information.

Everyone is welcome, regardless of age.

Children's Program

Meetings postponed until further notice.

This 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. 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 Maura Hight at maurahigh@gmail.com, or leave a message at (919) 265-7045. Maura will contact you know when the Children's Program will resume its in-person program.

Recovery Meeting

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.

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 jxznc@aol.com 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 john@jollyoso.com. If you are interested in serving as a flower arranger about once a month, please contact Jane at janeharwell12@gmail.com.

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 chzencooks@gmail.com.

Members of the CHZC also continue to collect items for the IFC Community Market which provides approximately 1,300 bags of groceries to those in need every month. Both produce and non-perishable food and items such as dish washing soap, shampoo, toilet paper are needed, as well as gently used brown paper bags used to send groceries home. Please leave items on the front deck of the ZC in the large plastic containers. They are picked up about once a week.

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 Roshi 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.

All-day Sitting

Sunday, December 5, 6AM to 5PM
An in person sitting is planned for Sunday, December 5, from 6AM to 5PM, at the Chapel Hill Zen Center. This will be for people who are fully vaccinated and who can wear a mask indoors. Orientation will be at 7:30PM on Saturday night, and we ask that everyone attend Orientation. The day will include zazen, a Dharma Talk, dokusan and a work period, as well as breakfast and lunch. The a suggested donation is $15 for members, and $25 for others; however, if you are inclined to offer more, that would be very helpful in maintaining Zen Center. Oryoki sets are available for use by those who do not have their own, and a $5 donation would be appreciated. Please sign up by Dec. 3 at: info@chzc.org, and if this is your first all-day sitting, please speak with Josho ahead of time. For more information on the oryoki meal form see: www.kannondo.org.

Holiday Schedule

Zoom Zazen Thanksgiving Week
Early morning Zoom Zazen will be offered Monday to Friday as usual. However, no afternoon Zoom Zazen will be held on Friday, November 26.

Zoom Zazen Christmas through New Year's Eve
Early morning Zoom Zazen will be offered Monday to Friday, as usual throughout the Winter Holiday Season. However, no afternoon Zoom Zazen will be held on Monday, December 27 or Friday, December 24 and 31.

In-Person Zazen Schedule at the Zen Center
No in-person zazen will be held Thursday and Friday, November 25 and 26 during the Thanksgiving Holiday.

No in-person zazen will be held Thursday, December 23 through Friday, December 31. In-person zazen will resume on Monday morning January 3.

New Year's Eve Program

Friday, December 31, beginning at 8PM
On Friday, December 31, there will be two periods of zazen by Zoom, at 8 and 8:50PM, followed by the Bodhisattva Ceremony at 9:30PM. Everyone is welcome, and please use our regular Zoom Zazen link:
Via computer: www.zoom.us/j/85659804526
Via phone: (646) 558-8656
Meeting ID: 856 5980 4526

Dharma Talks by Zoom

There are also private YouTube videos of Dharma Talks by Josho Roshi, Jakuko Mo Ferrell and Zenki Kathleen Batson available on the Talks on Zen Practice sections of the CHZC website.

Tuesday Evening Study Group by Zoom

Plum trees in Japan bloom right in midwinter, in a world of complete whiteness. It's very beautiful. Everything is covered with snow when all of a sudden the scarlet flowers bloom....When the plum tree blossoms, the whole world blooms —the whole world is embraced by blooming flowers. Even though the world is covered with snow, it is nothing but flowers. That is spring. Which comes first, spring or blooming flowers?...Reality is that blooming flowers and spring appear simultaneously.

— Katagiri Roshi      

Tuesday Evenings, 6:45 to 8 PM
We will read talks by Dainin Katagiri Roshi collected in the book, The Light that Shines Through Infinity, beginning on page 66. 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.

Joining the Zoom Study Group
Via computer: www.zoom.us/j/821378615
Via phone: (646) 558-8656
Meeting ID: 821 378 615

Bodhisattva Ceremony

Sunday, November 28 at 10:20AM
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 by Zoom, on Sunday, November 28, at 10:20AM, following Zoom zazen.

General Meeting

Sunday, November 21
The General Meeting, the annual members' business meeting, will be held on Sunday morning, November 21, at 11 AM, by Zoom, following Zoom zazen. The nominees for the next Board of Directors will be introduced and the budget for 2022 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, Ken Wilson at wilso003@duke.edu. Please check back here for updates and the link to this meeting.

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 chzczenki@gmail.com. You can also download the complete Chapel Hill Zen Center Chant Book here.

Practicing at Home: Ryaku Fusatsu —
The Bodhisattva Ceremony

Precepts Weekend

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.

Study Hall

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.

Richmond Zen Group

Richmond Zen is affiliated with the Chapel Hill Zen Center, and Josho Roshi visits regularly. For information, contact Stan at (804) 833-1009 or visit www.richmondzen.org.

Zen Center Library

These books have been added to the Members' Library:

  • When You Greet Me I Bow by Norman Fischer
  • Long Quiet Highway by Natalie Goldberg
  • Zen Beyond Mindfulness by Jules Shuzen Harris
  • Selected Works of D. T. Suzuki, Vol. III: Comparative Religion, Richard Jaffe, Ed.
  • Selected Works of D. T. Suzuki, Vol. IV: Buddhist Studies, Richard Jaffe, Ed.
  • Buddha Nature by Sallie B. King
  • Tao Teh Ching by Lao Tzu
  • Philosophical Meditations on Zen Buddhism by Dale S. Wright

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

CHZC Newsletter in PDF Format

Download the November-December 2021 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.

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 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.


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

Board of Directors for 2021

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.

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.