May 4 to 11, 2018
Daitsu Tom Wright practiced in Japan with Kosho Uchiyama Roshi for almost 40 years. He translated Uchiyama Roshi's commentary on the Dogen's Instructions for the Zen Cook published as From the Zen Kitchen to Enlightenment or How to Cook your Life; he was one of the translators of Uchiyama Roshi's book Opening the Hand of Thought and the recently published Deepest Practice, Deepest Wisdom, Three Fascicles from Shobogenzo with Commentaries. Arthur Braverman describing this book said, "Kosho Uchiyama, the late abbot of Antaiji Monastery, had a special talent for making difficult passages by the ancient Zen master Dogen readable and understandable to the modern student of Buddhism. And no one is more qualified to translate Uchiyama's words into English than Reverends Thomas Daitsu Wright and Shohaku Okumura, two seasoned translators who studied under Uchiyama Roshi for years.
In order to help all of us settle into the schedule and our zazen practice, please arrive on time. It may be possible to sit part of the sesshin, but space may be limited and priority will be given to those attending the full sesshin. If you can only sit part of the sesshin, please explain clearly what part of sesshin you would like to attend when you register, and please come to orientation on Friday night. It is advisable to sign up for sesshin sooner than you might normally, since this is such an unusual opportunity and there will be more people attending from out of state than we usually have.
You can download the sesshin registration form via this link. Please return your registration no later than Friday, April 27, with a $40 deposit.
Sesshin will begin at 7:00 on Friday evening with orientation and job assignments. Following orientation, silence will be observed. The zendo will be open by 4:00 P.M. on Friday; so please try to arrive in time to settle in before 7:00 P.M. The sesshin day will include zazen, beginning at 6:00 A.M., kinhin, Dharma talks, a work period, and formal meals served in the zendo. The day will end at 9:00 P.M. Because expenses will be higher for this sesshin than in the past, the fees will also be higher and on a sliding scale for those who may want to offer more. For members, the fees are $280-$320, and for others $340-$390. 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, and partial scholarships are available. If you would like to request a scholarship, please contact Maura at firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know what your participation at the CHZC has been. In the past, contributions received for scholarships were very helpful in allowing people to attend sesshin here and at the San Francisco Zen Center.
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, a towel and wash cloth, slip-on shoes, and layered clothes. Opportunities for bathing are limited. Please bring work clothes. For more information, contact us at: email@example.com, or (919) 967-0861. The zendo emergency number is: (919) 933-0776.
Preparing for Priest Ordination
Jeff Sherman, is preparing for priest ordination, which we hope to have early in October. The ceremony of being ordained and receiving the precepts as a priest is Shukke Tokudo in Japanese, and it means of leaving home and accomplishing the way. Although we don't always literally leave home and move to a monastery or practice center, one way to "leave home" is to make supporting formal practice at the zendo one's highest priority. Helping the temple run smoothly and making zazen practice available to others is the way a priest serves the sangha. Obviously this entails reducing the activity and commitments in one's life in order to be available for zendo practice.
When one "leaves home," one places the needs of the sangha above one's personal preferences, and the sangha supports the priest. This support or encouragement may take different forms. One way our sangha may support the practice of being ordained as a priest is for the sangha to provide the robes priests wear, the kimono and koromo, under the okesa. The robes can be a gift from the sangha to the ordainee, and serving the temple and supporting zendo practice is the priest's gift to the sangha. I think this is a good reflection of our interdependence. If you would like to make a donation toward the cost of the robes and bowls, please note "Robe Fund" on your donation.
Another way to support the ordination of priests is to help sew their ordination robe, the okesa. There will be sewing sessions throughout the summer and everyone is welcome.
It is my hope that together as a sangha, we will benefit from the training of priests and find out how it will shape the future growth and maturity of our sangha.
Aging Gracefully, Befriending Death
Sunday, April 29 and May 20, 11:15 AM
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 program will be held on Sunday, April 29 and May 27 at Zen Center.
June 10, from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM, will be our end-of-year picnic, at Wilson Park, in Carrboro. Last year, the kids had great fun, exploring the trails on a treasure hunt, playing games, and sharing in the potluck picnic. The park is loaded with amenities and has plenty of parking. Friends and siblings are warmly invited to join us.
After June 10 we will have no scheduled meetings until after Labor Day. But parents who would like to come on Sundays to sit zazen should certainly check with Maura High if you'd like to bring your child(ren), too, to spend some time working on activities in the community room while you sit.
For information regarding the Children's Program, please contact Maura High at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eco-Dharma Discussion Group
Sunday, May 13, 11:15AM
Mountains and waters right now are the actualization of the ancient Buddha way.
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 email@example.com.
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 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. 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 email@example.com and Choro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com or Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 more information, contact Kevin at (804) 366-5546 or visit www.richmondzen.org.
Wilmington Zen Group
For information contact Elizabeth at (910) 762-7465 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com or (336) 324-9970.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in serving as a flower arranger about once a month, please contact Andrea at email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
June Practice Intensive
June 3-29, 2018
During the month of June, we will have our usual early morning zazen, Monday through Friday at 6:00 and 6:50, followed by service, and our regular Tuesday night zazen at 7:00. There will also be one period of zazen on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings at 6:00, with a Study Group meeting after zazen on Thursday evenings from 6:45 to 8:00 P.M. There will be an all-day sitting on Sunday, June 10. Please sign up at the zendo for the all-day sitting.
Practice Intensive Teas are held after the usual Sunday morning program, on Sundays, June 3, and 24. On Sunday, June 17, there will be a discussion and demonstration of the forms we use in the zendo; so, please bring your questions! Those participating in the Practice Intensive are asked to attend the Sunday morning Teas. For the first tea, participants will be asked to speak for about 5 minutes about how they came to practice and why they want to participate in the Practice Intensive. Participating in the annual intensive is also a good way to get to know other sangha members. Because of our individual circumstances, there is no minimum participation other than the two Practice Period Tea on Sunday mornings.
Please draw up a realistic schedule, perhaps one that will stretch you a little, and then try to commit yourself to your schedule. Joining others for zazen gives us a clear taste of our mutual interdependence. Our practice supports the practice of others and the practice of others benefits us all.
Please download and return the Practice Intensive registration form, along with a $10 registration fee by Friday, June 1.
During the month of June, there will be a Study Hall on Monday mornings, after zazen, from 7:45 until 8:30 or 9:00. Everyone is welcome to come and read Buddhist materials or sew Buddha's Robe. Tea will be available. Bring coffee if you like!
Kuden Paul Boyle will give a public Dharma Talk on
Daitsu Thomas Wright will give a public Dharma Talk on
Josho Pat Phelan will give a public Dharma Talk on
Everyone is welcome.
Way-seeking Mind Talks
As part of the June Practice Intensive, there will be two Way-seeking Mind talks on Tuesday nights, June 5 and 19, at 7:40, following one period of zazen at 7:00 PM. The talks will be given by Lance Ashdown, and Bunkai Steve Tracy. Lance began practicing zazen in 1992 with Sasaki Roshi at Mt. Baldy Zen Center in California, followed by practicing with Joko Beck and Diane Rizzetto, before moving to CHZC in 2010. Bunkai began practicing by himself and later, in the early 1980's, had instruction with Ed Brown. Bunkai was ordained in 2012 in Kobun Chino's lineage, while practicing at Tassajara.
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.