KAIHAN                         Winter 2001
North Carolina Zen Center                                     919-542-7411
283 Quartz Hill Road                                               NCZENCENTER@prodigy.net
Pittsboro, NC 27312-6592                                     http://www2.emji.net/~nczen


Regular Practice at Brooks Branch Zendo on Ironwood Road

Thursday from 7 to 9 PM    Sunday from 10 to noon followed by tea until one.
Tuesday from 6 to 6:45 AM

Schedule

March 15-18, Brooks Branch Zendo Work week-end, a twenty-five dollar per day donation is suggested.
April 1-8, There will be a full week sesshin at Brooks Branch if ten people commit to attending by mailing a check to the Center by March  8 . Part time sitters will also be accepted. If insufficient people are interested in the long sit there will be a week-end April 5-8. The fee will be twenty-five dollars/day for either event.  
April 8 we will have a ceremony for Buddha's birthday at the 10 AM sit.
May 24
6:00 PM - May 28 12:00, Flattop, VA, Contact Bill Stephens : 804-973-5435, 4460 Advance Mills Rd, Earlysville, VA, 22936 or pinetree@adelphia.net
June 28 - July 2, Southern Dharma Retreat Center, 828-622-7112, 1661 West Rd., Hot Springs, NC 28743; sdharma@main.nc.us  SDRC has asked us to encourage people to attend this get together if we wish to schedule a full 7 days for 2002.

The Bath House

  The board is still exploring contractor options for constructing the bath house because the bid received was beyond our budget.

Board Resignation

  Philip Castevens has resigned from the board of directors.  We thank him for his service as a member as well as for taking on the responsibilities of the secretary.  The board is looking for a new member.

The Kitchen

 The provisional inspection was passed and the Center is now connected to the power company by more than a thin wire laid out across the road. The gas tank has been buried and lines run into the stove. The bathroom and heat are all functioning. The trim is up, painting almost finished, and cabinet cases installed.
 Susanna Stewart has taken on a number of tasks during the completion: tiling the bathroom vanity, researching cabinet and fixture possibilities, and doing a major clean out and sorting. Charles Schulz spent a week at the center accomplishing ten thousand things for which we are grateful.
 Part of the tradition of takuhatsu is an acknowledgement of the non-separation of giver, gift, and gifted; an awareness of the opportunities we all create for each other to experience our non-separated self.
Thank you all.

New Yearıs Eve

 The gathering at Brooks Branch to bring in the New Year was a roaring success thanks to the efforts of Barbara Gordon and Doug Lorie. She was able to organize our coming together and the festive decorating of the Zendo while he fed us in more than common splendor. Twenty-four people circled up in the hall under the radiant new sconces that Gary Wheaton had recently completed to enjoy the food. It was followed by sitting until the gongs for the coming year and, for world peace,  three repetitions of the Heart Sutra.
 Afterward there was champagne, a treasure chest of cookies, some even wheatless and vegan, and dancing.

Blue Ridge Zen Group

 Bill Teido Stephens was recognized as an osho in a ceremony at Brooks Branch on December 10th. His dharma name has been expanded with Byo Cho which translates as Flat Top, the mountain where his zendo is located. He has also contributed much time and energy to the Blue Ridge Zen Group in Charlottesville, VA. Their web site is http://home.adelphia.net/~brzen/
 In reply to a request for some biographical background about his Zen career he wrote; ³It's like we are all wading in a river, gradually going deeper until we discover that it is over our heads.  Your feet can't touch bottom and the river is carrying you on.  You don't know where you are going, but the river is ancient and knows its course.  When people shout "What is the river like?", we can only say "Come in, if you want to.  The water's fine!"   Or  maybe we should say "Stay out, if you want to save your self!"

Happy News

 Sandy recently received the following from Smita Pakhale and Varhese DeVassy:
³Hope you remember us. We had joined you on the flat top mountain for a week end. We are in Toronto now. We are doing fine. We had a baby girl on Oct 17th. She is doing fine. We named her 'Anuttara'. It is a Pali language term from Buddhist literature. It means 'Unsurpassed', 'Second to none'.²
 And from Stefano Ponte and Lisa Richey:
 ³Arianna May was born yesterday (Feb. 8th) at 7:21 pm on her motherıs birthday under the full moon! She weighed 3 kilos was 51 cm long and has fair skin and a full head of light brown curly hair and a few tiny baby dreadlocks. The labor and delivery were simply MIRACULOUS -- after dancing through a few contractions with her big sister Sasha, Arianna arrived about one hour after her disbelieving parents and geographically-challenged taxi driver found their way to the "deliveries unit" of Gentofte Hospital, Copenhagen. We are all home now and feeling fine. Stefanoıs mom is providing us with much-needed doses of pasta, well-ironed clothes, and trips to the park for Sasha so some of us can rest.
 We are all at home for a while reconfiguring our lives around the new arrival and trying to figure out how to operate the baby pram apparatus. Thank you for all your good thoughts.²
Contributions
 Mary & Allen Whitham, Mary Lee Adler, Jennifer Armstrong, C. T. Mansfield, Enko Heynekamp, Walter Pharr, Ed Ryan, Rita & Edgar Kann, Kay Lizee, Deb Baldwin, Jim Cameron & Kathleen Jardine, Donovan Zimmerman, Lea Clayton, Frances Burns, John Fitzgerald, Linda Campany, Philip & Cindy Castevens, Efrain Ramirez, Barbara Gordon, Be Gardiner, John Iler, Bill & Eileen Stephens, Joe Kenlan, Anne Burns, Cynthia & Robert Kraus, Douglass Rankin & Will Ruggles, Robert Walker and Jerry Humphreys have all made cash contributions since the last Kaihan.
 We also gratefully acknowledge Philip Castevensıs gift of an '84 Chevy pickup!  Those of you who were able to gather for the first work event at Brooks Branch, the framing of the chant hall, will remember this as the little tan truck with the big load of 2x6ıs that lurched in on Sunday afternoon with enough lumber to finish the last wall.

The Three Bites Meal Chants

IKUI   DAN  I  SAI  AKU.                                                                The first bite destroys all evil.
NIKUI   SHU  I  SAI  ZEN.                                                               The second bite affirms all good.  
SAN KUI DO SHO   SHUJO.                                                          The third bite saves all beings.
KAI  GU  JO  BUTSU  DO.                                                             All alike attain the Buddha Way.

Memberships

The Center now has begun incurring major ongoing expenses. Our estimates are that yearly there will be a thousand dollar electricity bill which includes heat and air conditioning and five hundred dollars each for gas, phone, and insurance. The total of twenty-five hundred will also, we hope, cover less expensive incidentals such as toilet paper, tea, and incense.  This is a request for another form of support: fifty dollar annual memberships. If fifty people decide  to support the ongoing center by joining this year it will not only pay those expenses but also provide evidence to grant dispensing organizations that there is a base of support for and interest in the activities of the Center.


                            Owls                            

    Boiling crabs-- the iron lid.                                                                                                                               
    Screech owls-- pitch darkness.                                                                                                                                                                   
    How quietly, leaves fall.                                                                                                             
    Through the branches--                                                                                                   
    How steady, the sounds of the creek.                                                                                                                        
    There--                                                                                                       
    the open lamp                 
   There-                                                                                         
    the heart opens
    like this bright
    autumn   
    moon.

    ~John Iler~

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