Cape Cod Zen Center  

The Kwan Um School of Zen      Korean Buddhist Chogye Order

Cape Cod Zen Center

August 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.

Upcoming CCZC Events – 1) a Zoom Dharma Talk on July 30th; 2) a Zoom movie, with discussion, on Thursday, August 27th; movie to be announced; and 3) participation in a Northern Light Zen Center Zoom Retreat on Saturday, August 29th (details forthcoming).

The Plymouth Zen Group (PZG)

The Plymouth Zen Group (PZG), because of Coronavirus (COVID-19), has suspended practice until further notice. Please visit our PZG web site for information and updates. 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: August comes, summer days getting shorter. Our thriving CCZC Zoom Thursday evening practice continues to be successful – both as practice and for keeping us in touch with each other. We will begin having Zoom kong an interviews, once a month. It has been a special bonus that our Guiding Teacher Terry Cronin JDPSN and Zen Master Bon Haeng have joined Zoom sessions - teaching. 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, including the Northern Light Zen Center Zoom retreat on Saturday, August 29th. We continue to have over 1,000 visits per month to our web site.

Yours in the Dharma, Jim (PR person)

Teachers’ Teachings

When the Line Between Life and Death Fades Away by Zen Master Soeng Hyang

Student: Last year my father died. That was very difficult.

Zen Master Soeng Hyang: I want to ask you, did you chant or use this practice at all after his death?

Student: Yes, I did. I chanted Ji Jang Bosal...

ZMSH: Did you find that helpful?

Student: I think that was the beginning of dealing with my grief; Ji Jang Bosal was all that I could think of to do.

ZMSH: The fact that you said, "That was all I could do, was Ji Jang Bosal," at least it was something! We can say, "At least it's something," but it really is something when we really do it! If we have that person in our consciousness and do this repetition, there can be an incredible increase in intuition about the whole relationship. This is someone you knew, cared about, and had a lot of questions about. Death of a loved one is not cut and dried. Many questions appear: "Is he peaceful? Is he not peaceful? Was I a good son? Was he a good father? Could we have done more?" But this is really beyond life and death. Chanting Ji Jang Bosal after someone passes away helps open your heart so that the line of demarcation between life and death fades, and what's left is intuition and intimacy. Then it's not just about you and your loved one.

Enlightenment   by Zen Master Dae Kwang

Enlightenment is not special; It means just let go, just now. So we call that “Don’t Know." Don’t Know means not attached to thinking. Actually the simplest thing in the world is getting enlightenment. You just think it's complicated so you never do it. That’s just your thinking. Let go of the thinking and that’s it. It's not complicated. That’s why the Buddha said in the Diamond Sutra, "nothing marks a Buddha." Meaning the Buddha has no characteristics. The Buddha also said, “there is no formula for getting enlightenment." That means enlightenment is not dependent on this technique. The technique is just pointing towards something. And all of this comes from the fact that you are already “It.”

Regarding the Coronavirus pandemic, wearing masks, social distancing, etc.: clearly and mindfully perceive your situation; follow your Direction and follow your situation; and help all beings and save all beings from suffering.

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 •

And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.