Cape Cod Zen Center  

The Kwan Um School of Zen      Korean Buddhist Chogye Order

Cape Cod Zen Center

May 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.


May and future CCZC Events – 1) tentatively (details to be released in May), a Dharma Talk on Thursday, May 28th; 2) otherwise - to be determined


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: Spring comes, and the flowers bloom by themselves. A thriving Zoom Thursday evening practice has been quite successful – both as practice and for keeping us in touch with each other; thanks, Mark, for setting that up!

Yours in the Dharma, Jim (PR person)


Teachers’ Teachings


During time of illness: “Let your don’t know be soft and aware. If fear arises, breathe it into your vow and it will shift the fear into love.”           Zen Master Soeng Hyang

Practicing With Change And Upheaval   by Zen Master Dae Bong

We are entering a new decade in 2020. In this world, many changes are happening at exponential speed. As natural process goes, the good comes with the bad. We see both laudable feats in science and technology, at the same time more frequent and unpredictable climate related disasters and now Covid-19, all over the world, which cause much suffering. Political and economic upheavals are appearing in more places. Many things are changing, changing, changing, nonstop. In the future, maybe bigger problems will appear. But a bad situation is a good situation; a good situation is a bad situation. So our growing bad situation can help us find the Great Way.
Buddha taught us more than just how to get a good life. When we see the suffering in and around us, we must raise a big question: What is this? What is life? What am I? Now is the perfect time to reach deep into our heart and mind, and wake up. Wake up to our true nature, to the infinite potential we have inside of us to help others. Nurture the true seed we have inside. Here are words from Zen Master Seung Sahn to encourage us:
“End of this world means beginning of the world. You must understand that, ok? Many people want good taste, good time, good feeling. That’s only desire, no? When fruits grow, first they have a very good color, but are not exactly ripe yet. When it ripens, a little color disappears. Then it is very sweet, very sweet. It has a good taste. But more time, then it becomes rotten. When rotten, then the correct seed appears. Many people want good taste, but this fruit, this world, its taste doesn’t matter, ok? All completely rotten, then the seed goes into the ground, then again comes up, and again becomes fruit. So, don’t only want good taste. Taste doesn’t matter, understand? Your thinking, your situation, your body, everything will soon become rotten. When your situation, your body, and everything is rotten, but inside your center is strong, then your correct seed appears. If you find your seed, you will not die. Your seed has no life, no death. So we must find our true seed, then only help this world.

May all beings wake up to our Buddha nature and just do it in 2020.


"If your center is not strong then emotion controls you. Your emotions will control you, also other people’s emotions will control you. If your center is strong you can quickly digest your emotions and other peoples’ emotions. Then you can function in a way that is beneficial. If we eat food and don’t digest it then it sits in our stomach and becomes rotten. Then the whole body has a problem. If you have some thinking or emotion and cannot digest it than your life become a problem. If you digest food then it becomes energy, then you can do many things. If you digest your emotion or thinking that also becomes fresh energy. You can do anything. You can’t do this just by thinking about it. So practice is very important."           Zen Master Dae Bong


Do you want to improve the world? I don't think it can be done.

The world is sacred. It can't be improved. If you tamper with it, you'll ruin it. If you treat it like an object, you'll lose it.

There is a time for being ahead, a time for being behind; a time for being in motion, a time for being at rest; a time for being vigorous, a time for being exhausted; a time for being safe, a time for being in danger.

The Master sees things as they are, without trying to control them. She lets them go their own way, and resides at the center of the circle.

 - Verse 29 of the Tao Te Ching, Translated by Stephen Mitchell


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 Editor: Bodhisattva Teacher Jim Calvin


Cape Cod Zen Center

169 North Main Street, South Yarmouth, MA 02664 •


“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”         J.R.R. Tolkien