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

Download the July-August CHZC Newsletter in PDF format.
View the CHZC Google Calendar of Events.

Saying Goodbye to Gosshi Nyugen, Elizabeth Moore

Chapel Hill Zen Center Soto-shu Banner

Elizabeth Moore, Gosshi Nyugen - Unmoving Resolve, Entering the Source, our dear friend and Dharma sister, passed from this world on June 14, in Charlotte, after living with Parkinson's Disease for 22 years.

For about six months in 1980, Nyugen practiced Zen as a monastic at Shasta Abbey in Northern California, but returned to Roanoke, VA, to help her mother who was in bad health.

Subsequently, Nyugen decided to follow psychologist C.G. Jung's advice to seek a spiritual discipline within your own culture and joined the Episcopalian Order of St. Francis as a novitiate or sister. She lived in community for ten years in San Francisco and New York, before deciding not to take full vows.

At this point, Liz came back to Floyd, VA, where, in 1993 or 1994, she returned to Zen practice with the Stone Mountain Zen Group in Roanoke, led by Jacques and Marianne Miller. There she met James Welsh and Alan Bassett who also visited the CHZC regularly.

Nyugen began visiting the Chapel Hill Zen Center in 1996 and moved to Chapel Hill in 1997 to participate more fully. From 2001 to 2008 she lived as a resident in the zendo apartment. For many years during this time, she got up every morning, opened the gate, unlocked the doors and turned on the lights for 6:00 A.M. zazen. Nyugen was ordained as a Zen Buddhist priest in September, 2003. Her commitment to practice and her intention to be upright was a shining example that has inspired many of us.

Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha! "Gone, gone, gone beyond, completely gone beyond, awakening. Oh, what a release!"

Nyugen, may you continue your path, flowing with everything, unencumbered.

Shukke Tokudo — Priest Ordination

Saturday, September 29 at 1 PM
On Saturday, September 29, at 1 PM, Korin Eden Kevin Heffernan, of the Richmond Zen Group, and Nedo Senmyo Jeffrey Sherman, will receive the precepts in the ceremony of Shukke Tokudo or Leaving Home and Accomplishing the way. Everyone is invited to support Kevin and Jeff in receiving the precepts as priests, and renew your own vows. It is helpful if you can arrive before 1 PM to be ready for the ceremony to begin on time. A reception will follow.

Eco-Dharma Discussion Group

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

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.

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. The group will meet next on Sunday, July 8 around 11:15 AM after temple cleaning. Please contact Kris Garvin at krisgarvin@gmail.com, or Jeff Sherman at jeffsherman3333@gmail.com, if you have questions, would like more information. Everyone is welcome, regardless of age.

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.

During the summer months, we 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 Maura is in town, you are most welcome to bring your child or children, and we'll spend some time with them working on activities in the community room while you sit.

For more information regarding the Children's Program, please contact Maura High at maurahigh@gmail.com.

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 at krisgarvin@gmail.com or Jeff 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

Josho Sensei will visit the Richmond Zen Group on Wednesday evening, August 22, to sit zazen and give a Dharma Talk, beginning at 7 PM. Everyone is welcome.

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

The Gate City Zen Group meets for zazen in Greensboro. For more information, contact Denise at dlgabri2@uncg.edu 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 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

Josho Pat Phelan will give a public Dharma Talk on
Sunday mornings, August 19 & September 16 at 10:30 AM.

Everyone is welcome.

All-Day Sittings

Sundays, August 19, September 16 and October 14
All-day sittings are scheduled for August 19, September 16 and October 14 from 6 AM until 5 PM. Each all-day sitting will begin with orientation on Saturday night at 7:30, and will include instruction on the meal form and one period of zazen. The regular Sunday schedule, with zazen at 9:00 and 9:50 and Dharma Talk at 10:30, will be open to everyone. The day will include zazen, a lecture, dokusan and a work period, as well as breakfast and lunch. The fee is $10 for members and $20 for others. It is alright to sit half of the day, but please sign up in advance, and please speak to Josho Sensei if this is your first all-day sitting. For more information on the oryoki meal form see: www.kannondo.org/oryoki.

Study Group

The Study Group will resume in September. In the meantime, please continue to join us for meditation every Thursday from 6 to 6:40 PM.

People of Color Sitting Group

Wednesday nights from 6 to 7:30 PM
The POC Sitting Group begins with zazen from 6:00-6:40, 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.

Chinese Calligraphy & Brush Painting

Jinxiu Zhao will teach Chinese Calligraphy on Sunday afternoons from 2:15 to 3:45 PM, on July 8 and 22, and August 12 and 26. Chinese Brush Painting is 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.

Recovery Meeting

Tuesday nights at 7:30 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.

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

Sejiki Ceremony — The Feeding and Nourishing of Hungry Ghosts, Saturday evening, October, 27.

Reverend Daigaku Rummé will give a Dharma Talk on Sunday morning, November 25, at 10:30. Daigaku was ordained a Soto monk by Harada Sekkei Roshi in 1978, and trained for more than twenty-seven years under Harada Roshi at Hosshinji Monastery in Fukui, Japan.

Rohatsu Sesshin — November 30 to December 7, 2018, led by Josho Sensei.

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

New Library Books

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

Recent additions to the library include:
The Book of Joy co-authored by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu
Light That Shines Through Infinity by Dainin Katagiri
Deepest Practice, Deepest Wisdom by Kosho Uchiyama, translated by Thomas Wright and Shohaku Okumura
Most Intimate by Pat Enkyo O'Hara
Why Buddhism Is True by Robert Wright

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

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

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.


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

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.


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.

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.

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.