Upcoming Events
for more information call 967-0861
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New! CHZC Google Calendar of Events

CHZC Newsletter (PDF)

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.

Everyday Practices of Nonviolence and
Nonviolent Communication for
Individuals, Couples, and Groups

Tuesday night, February 6, 7:40-9:10 PM

Catherine Cadden and Jesse Wiens, co-authors of The Ongo Book: Everyday Nonviolence, will introduce their book and talk about how to use it for creating more peace, compassion, and wisdom in both your inner and outer world. Our time together will include experiencing some of the practices in the book, which emphasize practical applications of mindfulness, Nonviolent Communication, and more in everyday life situations. This evening will have a special focus on the integration of these practices with Zen Buddhism. Based on the authors’ work on six continents with communities, organizations, and ordinary people from all walks of life, the book offers a progression of learning that supports individuals, couples, and groups to be nonviolent in the real world.

This program will begin at 7:40 PM, following a period of silent meditation from 7:00-7:30. Everyone is welcome and there is no charge.

“Using a wealth of wisdom and techniques from the many traditions they have explored, Catherine and Jesse have put together an impressively thorough and well-crafted program for spiritual development and well-being. I am frankly amazed by their daring and skill.”
– Norman Fischer, Zen priest, author of Experience: Thinking, Writing, Language and Religion and What is Zen?

"Born from a clever idea – to make long term contemplative practice doable at home – this book brims with useful advice. You will be encouraged to prioritize the values of meditative life, like compassion and clarity, in the midst of your ordinary situation. Organized to be accessible to solo practitioners, pairs or partners, and groups, the framework makes The Ongo Book practices highly adaptable."
– Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness

"In a hurried and harried world, here are some basic and potentially powerful ideas about how to remain stable and unrocked. My guess is they will become more valuable as our various external crises deepen, and some of the distractions on which we currently lean begin to show their shallowness."
– Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy and co-founder of 350.org

I once asked Marshall Rosenberg what it would take for me to ‘really learn this stuff.’ His answer: ‘Practice, practice, practice’" My Companion Workbook was written to offer practice in learning the NVC model, and now Jesse and Catherine take us further and deeper, providing practices to really get it in our bones, from the inside out. I highly recommend The Ongo Book as a way to take Marshall’s suggestion to heart!"
– Lucy Leu, author of Nonviolent Communication Companion Workbook and co-founder of the Freedom Project

Children’s Program

The Zen Center’s Children’s Program offers a variety of activities for children age 5 through 15, including meditation, mindfulness, Buddhist teachings and stories, crafts, songs, and movement, as well as participation in Zen Center celebrations throughout the year. Parents are encouraged to volunteer to help with the Children’s Program or attend the concurrent adult program of zazen. The Children’s Program meets twice a month, on Sundays, from 9:00 until 11:00 AM. The next meetings are January 7 and 21, February 4 and 18, March 11 and 25, April 8 (Buddha's birthday), April 29, May 20 and June 3. For information, please contact Maura High at maurahigh@gmail.com.

Aging Gracefully, Befriending Death

Sunday, March 4, 11:15 AM

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, January 21 around 11:15 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.

Eco-Dharma Discussion Group

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

When you realize the whole universe as nothing but yourself, you have to take care of it. - John Daido Loori

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. We will determine the first meeting date based on people’s availability.

Practice Discussion

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.

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.

Recovery Meeting

Tuesday nights at 7:30

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.

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 dlgabri2@uncg.edu or 336-324-9970.

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.

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 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. 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.


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. 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 is a wonderful way 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, please contact John at john@jollyoso.com.


You are invited to join an e-mail 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: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CHZCannounce/ and click the box "Join Now." You may be requested to supply some information or to create a Yahoo "identity." Please note the options for making your e-mail 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.

Electronic Newsletter

If you would prefer receiving an e-mail message with a link to a PDF file of the paper newsletter which is mailed every two months, please send your request to: info@chzc.org. The PDF version is always attached to the top of the Events page and to the bottom of the Events page in the pink box on the left.

Dharma Talks

Josho Pat Phelan will give public talks on Sundays, January 14, and February 11, at 10:30 AM. Everyone is welcome.

Choro Carla Antonaccio will give a public Dharma Talk on Sunday morning, January 28, at 10:30 AM.

Supporting the Zen Path of Practice
with Choro Carla Antonaccio

Monday nights, January 8, 15, 22, and 29
7:00 - 8:30 PM

This four week offering is intended for anyone who has taken the “Beginning Zen Practice” class with David Guy, or who has received zazen instruction and would like to establish their practice at the zendo or at home. We will begin with a 30 minute period of zazen, followed by a period of walking meditation, bowing or chanting practice. The rest of our time together will be devoted to exploring what is coming up for you in practice, your questions about Zen including the formal aspects of our practice together, finding ease in your zazen posture, and extending zazen into daily life.

Please sign up in advance by contacting Choro at subtlegate@gmail.com, or (919) 423-5987. You may also just come to the first class, but it is helpful to know how many to expect and to have contact information in case of any change (e.g. bad weather). Cost is $40, payable the first night, and will be contributed to the Zen Center. Partial scholarships are available.

Choro began sitting zazen on a daily basis in 1999 at the Chapel Hill Zen Center. She was ordained as a Zen priest in 2010 and has participated in three, three-month practice periods at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center and a two-month Practice Period at Green Gulch Farm. She looks forward to sharing Zen practice with you.

Beginning Zen Practice
A Class with David Guy

Monday nights, February 12 to March 19
7:00 - 9:00 PM

Stop searching for phrases and chasing after words. Take the backward step and turn the light inward. Your body-mind of itself will drop off and your original face will appear.
— Dogen

Zen Meditation, or zazen, is the simple practice of being present with our experience. We hear the instructions in a matter of minutes, but spend a lifetime learning the practice. This class will introduce participants to meditation and give them support as they develop a daily sitting practice. It will also introduce them to other aspects of practice at the Chapel Hill Zen Center.

The first night will begin with meditation instructions and a short period of sitting. Each week we will continue to sit for a period at the beginning of class, gradually increasing the time. Participants will have a chance to ask questions and raise concerns about their practice. As the weeks proceed we will study other aspects of Zen practice, including walking meditation, protocol around the zendo, and the service of bowing and chanting. But the focus will be on zazen, and participants’ actual practice as it unfolds. The content of the class will emerge from participants’ questions and concerns.

Cost is $60, payable the first night, and will be contributed to the Zen Center. Partial scholarships are available. For more information, or to sign up, please contact David Guy at 919-286-4952 or davidguy@mindspring.com.

David Guy has been practicing meditation since 1991, and regularly gives sitting instruction. He has co-authored two books with Larry Rosenberg of the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center – Breath by Breath: The Liberating Practice of Insight Meditation and Living in the Light of Death: On the Art of Being Truly Alive. In 2008 he published Jake Fades: A Novel of Impermanence. David’s blog and be found at www.davidguy.org.

All-day Sittings

All-day sittings are scheduled for Sundays, January 14, February 11, and March 18, from 6:00 a.m. until 5:00 PM. The 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 meets on Thursday nights, 6:45-8:00 PM, is open to everyone and there is no charge. It will resume meeting on January 4. We will look at early talks by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi which can be found on the San Francisco Zen Center website under Suzuki Roshi Archives, see: http://suzukiroshi.sfzc.org/archives/ index.cgi/621200U.html?seemore=y. We will begin with the first talk from December 1, 1962, and continue in chronological order.

After Daitsu Tom Wright’s new book, Deepest Practice, Deepest Wisdom: Three Fascicles from Shobogenzo with Commentary, is available, we will begin studying it, probably the beginning of February.

Looking Ahead

Spring Sesshin

This sesshin will be led by Daitsu Tom Wright, beginning at 7:00 PM on Friday night, May 4, and ending early on Friday afternoon, May 11. It may be possible to attend part of the sesshin, but priority will be given to those attending the full sesshin. This will be a teaching sesshin, or Genzo-e, with two talks a day on Dogen’s last teaching, Hachi Dainin Gaku or Eight Awakenings of Great Beings. Daitsu Roshi’s translation will be available soon.

The sesshin day will begin at 6:00 AM and end around 9:00 PM, with meals served oryoki-style in the zendo, a work period, and an opportunity for dokusan with Daitsu Roshi. A registration form will be printed in the March newsletter, and there will be a link to it here on the Event Calendar sooner. Questions can be directed to info@chzc.org.

Daitsu Tom Wright lived in Japan for over thirty years, practicing and studying under Uchiyama Roshi from 1968 until the latter’s death. He was ordained as a priest in 1974. Daitsu Roshi translated Uchiyama Roshi’s teaching in the book, How to Cook Your Life, and he has a new translation of Uchiyama Roshi’s teachings, Deepest Practice, Deepest Wisdom: Three Fascicles from Shobogenzo with Commentary, which will be published the end of January.

People of Color Sitting Group

Wednesday nights from 6:00-7:30

The POC Sitting Group begins with zazen at 6:00, followed by kinhin (walking meditation), with the 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 or Kriti at pocsittinggroup@gmail.com

As usual, instruction in zazen and an orientation are offered to the public on Sunday morning at 9:00, and on Tuesday night at 7:00

Chinese Calligraphy & Brush Painting

Jinxiu Zhao will teach Chinese brush painting/calligraphy class on Sunday afternoons from 2:15-4:10pm, on January 7 and 21, February 4 and 25. The fee is $30 per class and $110 for 4 classes. Please contact Jinxiu at (919) 484-7524 or Jxznc@aol.com to register or for more information.

The 2018 Board Members

We are happy to announce that the 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. We offer our deep gratitude to Steve Pickett for serving as Member-at-Large the past two years, and to Shawn Johnson for serving as Member-at-Large this past year – thank you very much for your service.


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

Richmond Zen Group

Josho Sensei plans to visit the Richmond Zen Group on Wednesday evenings, January 17, and February 14, at 7:00. She will be available for individual meetings and will give a Dharma Talk.

Wilmington Zen Group

Josho Sensei plans to visit the Wilmington Zen Group on Wednesday evening, January 10, to sit zazen and give a Dharma Talk. For information contact Elizabeth at 910-762-7465 or elizdarrow@gmail.com.

New Library Books

These books have been recently added to the Members’ Library.

The Vow-Powered Life by Jan Chozen Bays
Milwaukee Zen Center: 30 Years of Reflection by Akiyama, O'Connor and Karnegis Endless Path by Rafe Martin
Buddhist Faith and Sudden Enlightenment by Sun Bae Park
From Chinese Chan to Japanese Zen by Steven Heine
The Diamond Sutra Transforming the Way We Perceive the World by Mu Soeng
Buddhist Nuns, Monks, and Other Wordly Matters by Gregory Schopen
The Zen Poetry of Dogen translated by Steven Heine

Also recently received were a collection of Japanese Garden books, including among other titles: The New Zen Garden: Designing Quiet Spaces by Joseph Cali and A Japanese Touch For Your Garden by Kiyoshi Seike and Masanobu Kudo.

The library catalogue is online at http://tinyurl.com/chzclibrary or http://tinyurl.com/chzcpubcat.

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 on-line 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.

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   Page updated 11/24/17