Work Retreat Next Week

After a two-year gap, we’ll gather again for our four-day Chapin Mill Work Retreat, beginning with zazen on Tuesday evening, June 29, and ending just after lunch on Saturday, July 3. Join us if you can, for work or for sitting, for part of one day or for the entire retreat. There’s plenty of room if you want to stay overnight, and each evening sitting will include dokusan either with Roshi or with John-sensei.

If you do come, here are a few suggestions:

  • If you stay overnight, in addition to bringing your own toiletries, bring a bath towel and bed sheets (twin size), if you can. This will help minimize post-retreat cleanup for the staff.
  • For outdoor work, be prepared for sun exposure and tick prevention. Wear a hat, closed-toe boots or shoes, tall socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt. Use sunblock and a DEET-based insect repellent (we will have some available for you to use).
  • Also bring your own water bottle and work gloves, if you have a pair on hand (we do have a limited supply of extras). 
  • Closed-toe shoes should also be worn for indoor work, especially in the kitchen.

Call the Center or email if you’d like to pitch in.

Latest Dates from the Youth Program

Hello Youth Program families!

This summer we will be offering Sunday youth program on the following dates: June 27, July 11, and August 15, with additional dates to come. On these Sundays, you can drop off your children in the back garden of Arnold Park with a youth program volunteer at 8:25 am, and you can come meet them in the same spot at 10:20 am after the sitting. Our volunteer coordinators need you to RSVP by the preceding Friday so they can plan accordingly.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email Chris Maley at (you can RSVP to this address as well).   

Thanks! Hope to see you soon!

Happy Friday

Join us for our first in-person Happy Friday this Friday June 25 at 4:30 EDT. We use a round-robin format to share your news of the week and your weekend plans. Have questions, contact Dené Redding at We will meet at Matilda’s Coffee House & Kitchen, 696 University Avenue, where Starry Nite Cafe once lived.

Sangha Member in Crisis

Susan Culpepper, a longtime Sangha member who has attended many sesshins and previously served for years as one of our trustees, was recently diagnosed with esophageal cancer. On Monday she underwent eight hours of surgery, which went well enough. But she is now struggling in the ICU unit of her North Carolina hospital. Her daughter, Jessica, sent us this report last night:

Visiting hours close at 9 pm so I’m updating now from the ICU. But not much in the way of news today other than the triumph that she got through it. Susan has had ups and downs today, but she’s worked hard at healing. Everyone says that her struggles are not unusual for someone with the level of surgery she has endured. The doctors are changing her medications around, and I’m optimistic it will control her discomfort better. She still very much needs a near-constant family presence, and I’ll return first thing in the morning. Hopefully there will be good news.

Please continue to pray and send your loving healing energy, particularly for fortitude and patience as she endures this period of recovery, and for discernment and compassion for her caretakers.

At the Zen Center we have been doing chanting services for her. Ongoing news of her condition will be found at these two sites: and

Cards may be sent to 3202 Basalt Place, Davidson, NC 28036

Meal Train is here: It will be difficult for her now to take nourishment, but food can also be ordered for her, with gift cards, at this site:, where they’ve been willing to do some special orders for her.