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

View the CHZC Google Calendar of Events.
Download the July-August 2019 CHZC Newsletter in PDF format.
Sign up for email updates via the Chapel Hill Zen Center Listserv.

2019 Practice Period Dharma Inquiry Ceremony

Practice Period participants and special guests during the Shuso Dharma Inquiry Ceremony,
where participants each ask the Shuso, or Head Monk, a question.

The Shuso, Zenki Kathleen Batson is seated with the altar to her left. Josho Pat Phelan Roshi, Abbess of Chapel Hill Zen Center, and Gengo Akiba Roshi, Bishop of Sotoshu in North America, are seated with the altar to their right.

The Kessei-ango, or 90-Day Practice Period, took place April 14 to July 14, 2019. Photo by Rev. Dokan Kojima.

Sangha News

Carter and Madelyn Smith moved to Fredericksburg, VA, in early May, to live near family. Carter turned 93 in February and Madelyn turned 98 last November.

Around 1977, when living in Southern California, Carter began practicing Zen with Sasaki Roshi. After retiring, they returned to live Durham where Carter grew up and he began practicing with the Chapel Hill Zen Center, early in 1995. Carter was a conscientious sangha member, and served as head Doorwatch for many years. He was also very helpful as a CHZC Board member, utilizing his engineering skills to advise on repairs needed to the building. Carter was especially helpful during the renovation project in 2008, when we added the current entry room, routinely meeting with workers on this project, and other projects, that included the building finally getting a dry crawl space.

In addition, Carter visited the Butner Federal Prison Medical Center once or twice a month to lead and support zazen from 2003 until 2017.

Carter is a dedicated practitioner who brought a calm and friendly presence to our sangha, and we will miss him.

On behalf of the Sangha, a deep bow to you, Carter, for your example,

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 Carol Klein at wmichael@nc.rr.com, Kris Garvin at krisgarvin@gmail.com or Senmyo 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.

Given the summer holidays and school schedules, we do not plan any meetings from May through Labor Day, but childcare will be available for parents who are attending Sunday morning programs upon request. Please contact Maura High at maurahigh @gmail.com, if you'd like to arrange that.

Eco-Dharma Discussion Group

Sunday, September 8 at 11:15 AM

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.

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. 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 2:30 to 4:00 PM, and Brush Painting from 2:30 to 4:30 PM on August 11 and 18, September 1 and 15, October 6 and 27, November 3 and 17, and December 1 and 15.

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.

Dokusan & Practice Discussion

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 Roshis 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, Choro Carla Antonaccio, 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 - mositwear@gmail.com,
Choro - subtlegate@gmail.com, and
Zenki - chzc.zenki@gmail.com.

Richmond Zen Group

Josho Pat Phelan Roshi will visit the Richmond Zen Group Wednesday, August 14 beginning at 7 PM to sit zazen and give a Dharma Talk. All are welcome.

For information, contact Stan at (804) 833-1009 or visit www.richmondzen.org.

Volunteers Needed

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.

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 Andrea at andreajost@gmail.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 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.

Board of Directors for 2019

The Chapel Hill Zen Center Board of Directors are Kenneth Wilson, President; John Paredes, Vice President; Mike McKillip, Treasurer; Nell Kriesberg, Secretary; Andrea Ashdown and Tripp Spivey, Members-at-Large; and Josho Pat Phelan, ex officio. Many thanks and deep bows to Maura High who served as president of the board for these past three years, and to Colin Maxwell who served as Member-at-Large for this past year.

8 AM Wednesday Morning Zazen

Join us for a period of zazen Wednesday mornings from 8 to 8:40 AM. Drop-ins welcome.

Our usual early morning zazen at 6 and 6:50 AM will also be held, followed by sutra chanting serice.

Study Hall

Monday Mornings at 7:45 AM
We will continue having a quiet Study Hall to read Buddhist materials 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.

Study Group

Resuming Thursday, September 12
Join us Thursday evenings, 6:45 to 8 PM, as we read together and discuss the The Mountains and Waters Sutra, a text by Master Dogen, with Shohaku Okumura's commentary. Copies of the book are for sale in the entryway. Study Group is preceded by one period of zazen at 6 PM.

Everyone is welcome and there is no charge.

Dharma Talks

Choro Carla Antonaccio will give a public Dharma Talk on Sunday morning, August 18, at 10:30 AM.

Josho Pat Phelan Roshi will give public Dharma Talks on Sunday mornings, August 25, September 22 and October 20 at 10:30 AM.

David Guy will give a public Dharma Talk on Sunday, October 13, at 10:30 AM.

Chimyo Atkinson will visit and give a public Dharma Talk on Sunday morning November 10, at 10:30 AM. Chimyo received Dharma transmission under Rev. Teijo Munnich in 2015, in the lineage of Katagiri Roshi. She received her monastic training in Japan and the US. Chimyo currently serves as Head of Practice at Great Tree Zen Women's Temple in Alexander, North Carolina.

Jakuko Mo Ferrell will give a public Dharma Talk on Sunday, November 17, at 10:30 AM.

Zenki Kathleen Batson will give a public Dharma Talk on Sunday, November 24, at 10:30 AM.

Everyone is welcome.

All-Day Sitting

Sundays, August 25, September 22 and October 20
All-Day Sittings are scheduled for Sunday, August 25, September 22 and October 20 from 6 AM until 5 PM. The sittings will begin with orientation on Saturday night at 7:30 PM, and will include instruction on the meal form and one period of zazen. The regular Sunday schedule, with zazen at 9 AM and 9:50 AM, and a Dharma Talk at 10:30 AM, 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 Roshi if this is your first all-day sitting. For more information on the oryoki meal form see: www.kannondo.org/getting-started/oryoki/.

Looking Ahead

Rohatsu Sesshin is planned for December 6-13.

Buddha's Enlightenment Ceremony is planned for Sunday, December 15.

General Meeting

The General Meeting, the annual business meeting for sangha members, will be held on Sunday, November 3, around 11:15 AM. Everyone is welcome.

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:
The World Could Be Otherwise: Imagination and the Bodhisattva Path by Zoketsu Norman Fischer
The Most Important Point, Zen Teachings of Edward Espe Brown by Edward Brown
Freedom from Anger: Understanding it, Overcoming it, and Finding Joy by the Venerable Alubomulle Somanasara.

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

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.

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.

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 July-August 2019 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.

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.

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.

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 Carol Klein at wmichael@nc.rr.com, Kris Garvin at krisgarvin@gmail.com or Senmyo Jeff Sherman at jeffsherman3333@gmail.com.