The Kwan Um School of Zen      Korean Buddhist Chogye Order
Cape Cod Zen Center

July 2020 Newsletter


Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Cape Cod Zen Center has temporarily closed its doors. At this point, the duration of closure has not been determined. We will post on our web site  when we are open again.


July CCZC Events – 1) a (Zoom) Dharma Talk in late July – to be announced.


The Plymouth Zen Group (PZG)

The Plymouth Zen Group (PZG), because of Coronavirus (COVID-19), has suspended practice until further notice. The Plymouth Zen Group web site is:


Our School - The Kwan Um School of Zen web site is


Kwan Um School Online –  (a great “stay at home social isolation” resource – practice, interviews, retreats, etc.!)


Abbot Emeritus Corner: July comes, early sunrise, late sunset, days getting shorter. A thriving CCZC Zoom Thursday evening practice continues to be successful – both as practice and for keeping us in touch with each other. We encourage you to consider taking Precepts (even if we are unsure when the next Precepts Ceremony will be); if interested, talk with Ann, Mark or Craig. We also encourage you to sit retreats with our Guiding Teacher Terry JDPSN. 

Yours in the Dharma, Jim (PR person)


Teachers’ Teachings


Don’t be afraid of sickness. At times everybody is afraid of what will happen to their body. However, the only difference between human beings when it comes to death is: go early, go late. So again, what is a human being? You must find this! Then when you die, your direction will be clear.              Zen Master Seung Sahn


Great Faith, Great Courage, Great Doubt by Zen Master Bon Hae

If you come to the Zen Center, nobody asks what you believe, and nobody tells you what to believe. We tell you our practice forms: how to meditate, how to chant and so on. What you believe is your own business.
When I was growing up, my Orthodox Jewish relatives didn't ask what I believed or tell me what to believe either. They told me to go to services, to keep kosher and to observe the Sabbath.
More important than belief is practice, and more essential to practice are what in Zen are called great faith, great courage and great doubt.
Great faith doesn't mean faith in something, or faith that things will turn out your way. Faith needs no object. It's living life in the way your foot meets the ground in walking. Your foot never wonders if the ground is there for it.
Great courage means not giving up. Changing course is no problem, but you have to keep going. Great courage doesn't have to be dramatic either. Every time you do something that's a little difficult or a little unpleasant, and do it without complaining, and do it until you're finished, that's great courage, right there.
Great doubt is most important. People think religion is about belief, but it isn't. What am I? What is this universe? What should I do? These are not questions that can be answered once and for all. Don't evade them. Find a spiritual practice that helps you look at them steadily, and then practice with great faith and courage.
Belief comes and goes. Even if you believe in God your whole life, your idea of God is always changing. But spiritual practice is not dependent on belief, and it can last a lifetime.



Every moment we have this: If you just do it, if you just follow your everyday life with an open mind, with an awakened mind, and just react to this moment, then there is no place for suffering. Even if this moment is pain, if you just go through this pain with this mind then this is not suffering. Suffering means we do not accept our life, and we don’t follow our everyday life, our life in this moment. But we follow our dream life. We want something else. We are not happy with what we have. Sometimes there is pain, sometimes there is relief, but you know this moment [hits the floor with Zen stick] no matter how big your pain is, it is not a problem. The problem is when you think “Oh, I must suffer another half an hour of this place.” This is suffering. Or “I already have this pain for three days, this is suffering.” But if you put down this thinking and just experience your pain, there is no suffering in it. But that is not easy, because suffering is our habit, so we fairly easily follow this habit. This “I want what I don’t have, I don’t want what I have.” So I am not happy with what I have. If there is pain, that is what I have, that is my life.   Igor Piniński JDPSN


CCZC Guiding Teacher: Dharma Master Terry Cronin JDPSN

CCZC Co-Abbots: Senior Dharma Teacher Ann Miller and Senior Dharma Teacher Mark Vermilya

PZG Abbot: Senior Dharma Teacher Craig Richards; PZG phone 781-733-9361

CCZC Abbot Emeritus and Newsletter Person: Bodhisattva Teacher Jim Calvin

Cape Cod Zen Center

169 North Main Street, South Yarmouth, MA 02664 •

In the midst of darkness, light persists.       Mahatma Gandhi


 Cape Cod Zen Center