North Carolina Zen Center
283 Quartz Hill Road
Pittsboro, NC 27312-6592
Brooks Branch Zendo
on Ironwood Road Recovery Report
Thursday from 7 to 9 PM
Sunday from 10 to noon followed by tea until one.
The spring Zen Weekend will be April 14-16 at Brooks Branch. Those interested in attending should send a $35 deposit at least two weeks in advance. Total cost for the event is $75 dollars. Note that although there will be work periods, this is not a "work weekend."
Linda Campany’s ankle, crushed in a December collision with a cement truck, is healing very well. She is limping slightly, but otherwise functioning normally. We are thankful for her speedy recovery!
Buildings’ ProgressA vigorous group – Be Gardiner, Linda Campany, Bill Stephens, Barbara Gordon, Brad & John Page, John Fitzgerald and John Iler, gathered at Brooks Branch in mid-December to work on a number of projects. Some finished off the interior trim painting on the chant hall (currently serving as our zendo) while Brad his son John and several helpers made great progress on Linda’s cabin. It was a proud Linda firing off a nail gun to fasten down the plywood subfloor. A final group was able to install all the windows and hang all the exterior doors and begin the interior stud walls of the kitchen building.
Later Sandy and Joe Kenlan worked when no one else could to finish the walls so the electrician and plumber could assess their jobs.
Early in March the electrician did his rough in and a contracted crew began the soffit work.
Meanwhile Brad and his son have returned several times to work on Linda¹s cabin. They even worked during the cold of the New Year¹s weekend. Unfortunately, in March, while working solo on shingling the roof, Brad fell. He. and we, are fortunate that he was not seriously hurt.
Amelia Bare and her husband Be were able to arrive several days early for the work weekend of March 24-26. They finished the exterior trim he and Sandy had started as well as "sharked" and patched the exterior walls so they would be ready for stucco. Joe Kenlan, Gary Wheaton, Barbara Gordon, Bill Stephens, Philip Castevens, Jennifer Armstrong, Lynn Hicks, Woody Setzer, Jason and Sandy filled out the crew for the weekend. On Friday, the exterior walls were completely stuccoed by a dynamic eight-person crew which Joe coordinated. The next day the crew broke up to paint, do trim, clean up the site, and finish shingling the cabin. Along with savory meals by Barbara, there was the joy of a hot shower. Thanks go to Peter Holzman for the donation of an "on demand" water heater and to the Cameron/Jardines for use of their well.
Woven through all of this is Gary’s creative progress on the now raftered teahouse.
The time and labor freely given by so many persons is gratefully acknowledged with four deep bows.
If anyone is interested in producing wall sconces for the chant hall please contact Sandy. The design is not yet definite but the thought is to make covers for the existing fixtures out of a combination of wood and paper (or something translucent.)
A group sat until midnight on the last night of the old year/century/millennium and listened to the 108 gong soundings that began the new. Then, after hugs all around, they toasted the New Present with wine and sake and then rose to dance. Chant hall becomes dance hall.
We need a computer of Pentium speed that works with MS Word, Access, Excel and Outlook. If you can donate a new one or are looking for a place that can benefit from the one you’re replacing, please contact Sandy.
April 14 - 16 - Zen weekend at Brooks Branch.
Sandy¹s Sesshin Schedule
April-27 - 30 - Nashville Zen Group - Bill Compton, 1221 6th Ave., Nashville, TN 37208 or Lisa Ernst: 615-371-5441, firstname.lastname@example.org
May 12 - 14 -beginners' weekend, Southern Dharma, 1661 West Rd., Hot Springs, NC 28743. Phone: 828-622-7112. email@example.com
May 26 - 29 - Flattop Zendo: Bill Stephens : 804-973-5435 firstname.lastname@example.org
June 30 - July 4 - Zen Gathering at Southern Dharma. Note that Southern Dharma is not charging the regular $50 per night fee for room and board for this gathering, but is offering it on a dana basis – participants donate what they can to both Southern Dharma and the teacher.
If you wish to receive Kaihan by e-mail, and save paper, envelope and stamp, please send us your address. Note that the Zen Center’s new address is NCZENCENTER@prodigy.net
Building Fund Donations can bring you a gift. Remember that the amount of the donation listed for these items is a suggestion.
Bumper Sticker "I’D RATHER BE DRIVING" with Zen steering wheel (enso) - $5
100% beeswax, hand-dipped, tapered candles, from local hives (including ours) – a delightful, clean fragrance - $10.00 a pair
SANDY SAYS – a handmade booklet compiled by local Zen students – $25
As always, we are thankful for cash contributions. Since the last Kaihan those who have supported this Sangha in that way are: Tripp Robinson, Douglass Rankin & Will Ruggles, Ed Ryan, Tom Moss, Edgar & Rita Kann, Steve Larson, Woody Setzer & Carol Prokop, Tressa Berman, Keye McCulloch, Cathleen Moore, Philip Castevens, Jim Cameron & Kathleen Jardine, Dina & B. J. O’Brien, Hakuun-ji, Oscar Moreno, Nora Haenn, Richard Bradbury, Nora Safron, Barbara Gordon, Jessica Cohen, Be Gardiner, and Joe Kenlan.
I like Dogen’s advice, "To study Buddha Dharma is to study self." Even as you read this, focus intently on the present activity of self. Each moment you are an original and true self; never before was it just like this.
You may find the Six Senses Breath practice useful for experiencing this. Taking the list of the six senses from the Heart Sutra, "no eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, mind", on an exhale, say "Eyes!" On the inhale, simply experience self as the visual world. On the next exhale, say "Ears!" and, on the inhale, enter the world of sound. Continue through the other senses. "Mind!" in this case refers to the sense organ for thought, emotion, intuition, and such. Then start over, going back to "Eyes!" The exhalation is an expanding activity of the self. The inhalation is contracting. In the silence of the inhale, though we aren’t thinking of anything, we are still cognizant, so our intent focus can notice the activity of the selfless self.
When sitting quietly, you might not experience much in the Taste realm, unless you are chewing gum or sucking an umeboshi pit. But at meals, on the exhales say "Tongue!" and on the inhales just taste.
Surely it will become clear why the Heart Sutra says, "no eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, mind."
Behind the house
greening fields billow
to the blushing hills.
Near the steps
a purple crocus cups
the shrinking sun.
I am at home
far away, woods murmur.
Dry leaves lift and lie again.
Windflowers nod beside the stream.
I want to be home.
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