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

View the CHZC Google Calendar of Events.
Download the November-December 2022 CHZC Newsletter in PDF format.
Sign up for email updates via the Chapel Hill Zen Center Email Announcement List.

Chapel Hill Zen Center is open for in-person zazen on
Sunday mornings at 9 and 9:40 AM, on
Tuesday evenings at 7 and 7:40 PM and on
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at 6 and 6:50 AM.
Please see announcement details below for more information.

PLEASE NOTE: Sunday, November 27 will be our last Sunday morning Zoom zazen together.
Zoom zazen will continue to be offered Monday through Friday mornings at 6 and 6:50AM;
and on Monday and Friday afternoons at 1PM.
If you are able, please join us for in-person zazen Sunday mornings at 9AM at Zen Center.

Rohatsu Sesshin

Led by Josho Pat Phelan Roshi

Friday, December 9 to Wednesday, December 14

How to include more parts of ourselves in our practice.

Sesshin is an intimate way to practice with ourselves and others. We begin sesshin together, we sit together, walk together, eat together, and work together. Our practice is supported by the entire universe and each of us is supporting everyone else. Sesshin will begin at 7 PM on Friday evening with orientation and job assignments. In order to help all of us settle into the schedule and our zazen practice, please arrive on time for orientation on Friday night.

Following orientation, silence will be observed. The zendo will be open by 4 PM on Friday. It is possible to sit part of the sesshin, but please come to orientation on Friday night, and commit to sitting for at least two days. When registering, clearly explain what part of sesshin you would like to attend. The sesshin day will include zazen, beginning at 6 AM, kinhin, a Dharma talk, work period, and meals which may or may not use the oryoki form, and dokusan, an individual meeting with Josho Sensei, will be available. The day will end around 9:30 PM.

Fees are $40 per day for Participating Members, and $50 per day for others. However if you are able to offer more, it would be very helpful; the additional funds can be considered a tax-exempt donation. There will also be an opportunity to offer a donation to the teacher. It is our intention that no one be turned away for financial reasons, and scholarships are available. If you would like to request a scholarship, please contact John at john@jollyoso.com. In the past, contributions received for scholarships were very helpful in allowing people to attend sesshin here and at the San Francisco Zen Center. Please return your registration form by November 30, with a $40 deposit.

Download the
Rohatsu Sesshin Registration Form

You are welcome to sleep at the Zen Center, and there may be some space available in members' homes nearby. Please bring a portable bed or pad for the floor, a sleeping bag, pillow, a towel and wash cloth, slip-on shoes, work clothes, and layered clothing. Opportunities for bathing are limited. For more information, please contact Zenki at info@chzc.org. The Zen Center emergency phone is (919) 933-0776.

Sangha News

Dharma Transmission
The Zen Center will be closed December 22 - January 3. During this time, Josho Roshi will be giving Dharma Transmission to Kuden Paul Boyle, Jakuko Mo Ferrell, and Zenki Kathleen Batson. This will complete their training as a Soto Zen Priest, and will be a wonderful occasion.

Josho Pat Phelan will have knee replacement surgery at the end of January. For about 6-8 weeks after this, Zenki Kathleen Batson will be overseeing all the programming at the Center while Josho is recuperating. Zenki can be reached at chzc.zenki@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 at chzc.zenki@gmail.com.

Recovery Meeting

by Zoom Tuesday Evenings at 7 PM
The Zen Recovery Program is planning to resume in-person meetings at the Zen Center soon. In the meantime, for the Zoom link or for questions, please email: ZenAndRecovery@gmail.com.

We start with a 20 minute meditation, followed by a reading about the connection between Buddhist principles and recovery, then there is an opportunity to share. We conclude with a five-minute meditation. We are a small group and open to everyone. There is no requirement to disclose your recovery status or have any knowledge of Buddhism. Most people who attend are part of a 12-Step Fellowship, and we often discuss the Steps, but our meeting is not affiliated with any other group. This is a link to the essays that inspired our meeting here in Chapel Hill: www.sfzc.org/files/buddhism_12steps.

Living with Impermanence

by Zoom Once a Month
Living with Impermanence is an informal discussion group that shares how we experience impermanence in our lives including life changes, illness, aging and death. We usually begin with participants sharing what they are currently thinking of or dealing with. Discussions then usually emerge spontaneously to raised concerns. Silence is frequently a response after someone shares and we trust in that silence. On occasion we've set an agenda in advance to study a topic of interest.

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.

Eco-Dharma Group

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. Please contact Chris at ccensullo@yahoo.com or Zenki at chzc.zenki@gmail.com to be added to the CHZC Eco-Dharma mailing list.

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.

Inter-Faith Council for Social Services

The IFC is looking for volunteers including receptionists and Community Market (formerly known as the Food Pantry) staff (a 3-hour shift, flexible schedule), and volunteers to assist staff with linking people to options such as social services ("Community Navigation"). It is also hiring kitchen staff. More details on their website: www.ifcweb.org.

We also have an updated list of current needs since the IFC has seen quite an increase in numbers recently at both lunch and dinner times, 60-70 for lunch and up to 40 for dinner.

The Community Market most needed items are baked beans, dry or canned pinto beans, pork and beans, peanut and other nut butters, canned chicken, ramen, spaghetti, Mac and Cheese, other pastas, hearty soups such as Progresso, canned vegetables (except corn and green beans, which are in good supply), spaghetti sauce, canned tomato sauce & paste, canned diced & whole tomatoes, canned fruit, cooking oils & fats, butter, grits, oats—including instant packets, baking & cake mixes, cereals, juice both bottles & boxes, coffee, tea, canned milk, powdered milk packets, jelly and other condiments. Personal hygiene items are also need including soap, small tissue packs, toothpaste, toilet paper, shampoo, lotion and moisturizing creams, deodorant, razors, size 4 and 5 children's diapers. For questions, please contact Maura High at maurahigh@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 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.

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.

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.

2022 Board of Directors

The Chapel Hill Zen Center Board of Directors for 2022 are: John Paredes, President; Alex Fine, Vice President; Tripp Spivey, Treasurer; Chris Censullo, Secretary; Al-Nisa Berry and Craig Adamski, Members-at-Large, Josho Pat Phelan ex officio.

Winter Holidays

Join us for in-person zazen Sunday morning at 9AM, November 27.

The Zen Center will be closed from Thursday, December 22, through Monday, January 2. In-person zazen will resume on Tuesday night, January 3.

Outdoor Half-day Sitting Saturday

December 3, 6 AM to 12:15 PM

There will be an Outdoor Half-day Sitting on Saturday, December 3, from 6 AM to 12:15 PM. Please bring a bag breakfast which you can either keep at your place or store in the annex refrigerator. Coffee and tea will be available on the back deck. Masks are required when indoors and when in close proximity to others on the back deck. For more information or to sign up, please email Zenki at chzc.zenki@gmail.com or Chris at ccensullo@yahoo.com. It is not necessary to participate for the entire event. If you would like to join us for only a portion of the morning, please let us know when signing up. Also, if you plan to sit at 6 AM, please bring a flashlight since it is dark out at that time.

Dharma Talks

Sunday, December 11, 10:30 AM
Josho Pat Phelan Roshi, in person at the Zen Center

Tuesday, January 3, 7:45 PM
Kuden Paul Boyle, in person at the Zen Center

Study Group

Study Group will not meet for the remainder of November and in December. We will resume in January 2023, picking up where we left off on page 77.

Thursday nights, 6:45 to 8 PM.

We are reading Jakusho Kwong's new book, Mind Sky, Zen Teaching on Living and Dying. Kwong Roshi was a disciple of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, and he is founder of Sonoma Mountain Zen Center.

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

In-Person Zazen

Sunday mornings at 9 AM
Tuesday evenings at 7 PM and
Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 6 AM

Those who are vaccinated, including at least one booster, and who can wear an N95 or KN95 mask while indoors are welcome to attend zazen in person.

We will continue to post schedule updates via the CHZC email mailing list, here on the CHZC website, and on the CHZC Facebook page.

Zoom Zazen

Monday and Friday afternoons, 1 to 1:40 PM
Monday through Friday mornings at 6 and 6:50 AM
Sunday mornings at 9 and 9:50 AM

The CHZC continues to offer zazen via Zoom. You are welcome to join both periods of zazen or either one. All times EST.

Sunday, November 27
will be our last Sunday morning Zoom zazen together. Zoom zazen will continue to be offered Monday to Friday. If you are able, please join us for in-person zazen Sunday mornings at 9AM at Zen Center.

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

Dress Guidelines for Zoom Zazen

To support our practice together during zazen and Dharma Talks, please wear respectful clothing. Pants and skirts that come below the knee are appropriate. If you are wearing Buddha's robe, the rakusu, please wear long pants or skirts, rather than shorts. Please do not wear pajamas, bath robes, hoods, or bring refreshments, especially to Dharma Talks — please treat Zoom practice events with respect as you would in the Zendo.

Your presence and bearing in this way can support all of us in feeling connected and not slipping into a casual attitude toward our practice or the teaching efforts of others.

Five Minute Talks

The Facebook page for Soto Zen Buddhism North America has a number of Five Minute Talks by Soto Zen Teachers from all over America. See: www.facebook.com/SotoZenBuddhismNorthAmerica. Look under the "Videos" section to find them.

Practicing at Home: Ryaku Fusatsu —
The Bodhisattva Ceremony

Celebrating 100 Years of Soto Zen in the US

In November, the North American Soto Zen Buddhist Association will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Soto Zen in the US, at Zenshuji Temple in Los Angeles, with a 5-day program of zazen, study, ceremonies and Dharma Talks that will culminate with 100 people receiving the 16 Bodhisattva Precepts. Josho will be one of 50 priests participating and supporting these ceremonies.

New Years Eve Zoom Program

Saturday, December 31

On Saturday evening, December 31, there will be two periods of zazen by Zoom, at 8 and 8:50 PM, followed by the Bodhisattva Ceremony at 9:30 PM. Everyone is welcome.

Joining the New Year's Eve Zoom Program
Via computer: www.zoom.us/j/85659804526
Via phone: (646) 558-8656
Meeting ID: 856 5980 4526

Organizing Against Racism

The local organization Organizing Against Racism is holding virtual workshops with Racial Equity Institute instructors. For more information, see www.oaralliance.org, and for workshop schedules see www.racialequityinstitute.com. Over several years, some of us have taken this two-day workshop and have found it very informative and beneficial.

Scholarships for Racial Equity Workshops
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 John Paredes at john@jollyoso.com. 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.

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.

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.

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:

  • Seeing with the Eye of Dhamma by Buddhadasa Bikkhu
  • The Essential Tao, Chuang Tzu tr. Thomas Cleary
  • A Buddha from Korea: The Zen Teachings of T'aego tr. J. C. Cleary
  • Inside Vasubandhu's Yogacara by Ben Connelly
  • Readings of Dogen's Treasury of the True Dharma Eye by Steven Heine
  • The Selected Poems of Tu Fu tr. David Hinton
  • Whole Hearted by Koshin Paley Ellison
  • A Bird in Flight Leaves No Trace by Huang Po
  • Seeking Sakyamuni by Richard Jaffe
  • Twenty Jataka Tales by Noor Inayat Khan
  • Death by Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross
  • Mind Sky by Jakusho Kwong
  • Fragrant Palm Leaves by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • At Personal Risk by Marilyn R, Peterson
  • Selected Poems of Su Tung-p'o tr. Burton Watson
  • Heaven My Blanket, Earth My Pillow by Wan-Li Yang
  • Sutra and Bible: Faith and the Japanese American World War II Incarceration ed. Duncan Williams and Emily Anderson

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

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.

CHZC Newsletter in PDF Format

Download the November-December 2022 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

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.