What we're about

Welcome Visitors and Newcomers ........ The Charlotte Zen Meditation Society, in existence since about 1990, is a group of Soto Zen lay practitioners who gather weekly for sitting and walking meditation, readings, and discussion of the practice of Zen as originally brought from China to Japan, developed, and taught by Eihei Dogen Zenji in the Thirteenth Century C.E. ...

PLEASE NOTE: In accordance with Meetup site current guidance, as well as local and state government officials during the COVID-19 Pandemic, the CZMS Meditation Meetups will be meeting ONLINE ONLY until further notice

Please read further for more information regarding Soto Zen, and also please feel free to contact us through the group with any questions, as well as review the details of upcoming events, where you can peruse the meeting schedule and the format of meditation and sutras:

Soto Zen is the predominant form of Zen practice in the U.S. today. You are welcome to join us every Sunday night for sitting (Zazen) and walking (Kinhin) meditation practice followed by a Dharma reading and group discussion.. See the next scheduled meetup for details of this Sunday night's sitting. You are encouraged to read this message board post (http://www.meetup.com/Charlotte-Zen-Meditation-Society/messages/boards/thread/7462290). There is lots of good information at these pages regarding the practice of Soto Zen and our particular style of meditation.

People of all beliefs are welcome. If you are interested in learning about our practice here are some links:

What are Zen and Zazen about? (http://buddhism.about.com/od/chanandzenbuddhism/a/zen101_2.htm)

What is the foundation of Buddhism? (http://buddhism.about.com/od/thefournobletruths/a/fournobletruths.htm)

Here are the common sitting positions. (http://www.bodhizendo.org/zazen.htm) You want to sit upright in a stable, alert, and comfortable position. You may use a cushion or a chair. There may be some discomfort with sitting, but sitting should never be painful. If it becomes painful it is important to change position. With practice you will find a position that is comfortable for you. If leg numbness occurs take care when beginning to walk so you do not trip. I recommend that beginners use a chair.

If you are new to the group we would appreciate if you take this short poll (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1aVGxhNHMNKSlY-TJFCA9pZJeRunawFzSpfuqfMpM_Uk/viewform?pli=1) after attending your first event. We use this feedback to improve the group.

Our address is: Harmony House 726 East Boulevard Charlotte, NC 28203 (Corner of Lennox Ave. and East Blvd. - park and enter at rear of building - take stairs to the very top floor where the zendo is located) Reverend Teijo Munnich, Disciple and Dharma-Heir of Dainin Katagiri Roshi, is Dharma Teacher for the Charlotte Zen Meditation Society, as well as Founder and Dharma Teacher for Zen Center of Asheville, and Founder and Abbess of Great Tree Zen Temple in Alexander, NC. ( website - http://www.greattreetemple.org/index.html ) Rev. Munnich received formal training at Hokyoji (Catching the Moon Zen Mountain Center) in Minnesota, at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in California, and at Hosshinji in Obama, Japan. Teijo lives near Asheville, visits us occasionally and is typically not able to be present at our Sunday night sittings due to considerations of time and distance.

Upcoming events (5)

[ONLINE] Charlotte Zen Meditation Society Meetup

Online event

You are welcome to join us ONLINE and in spirit at 6:45 PM for Seated Meditation, Walking Meditation, and reading & discussion of the teachings of the Buddha. CZMS Sunday night specific ZOOM log on : https://zoom.us/j/5232119427?pwd=NVFNTk9WaVZpWk0ycUIvZkNyTTVvZz09 or use the ZOOM app, meeting number[masked] To all newcomers - We look forward to meeting as many of you as possible at our next Sunday evening sitting! You are encouraged to have a look at the following video: Introduction to Zen Meditation, The Still Point (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9b4FbGlVSE) on You Tube for lots of good information about Soto Zen. For our Dharma discussion we are currently studying the zen book "Living By Vow" (A Practical Introduction to Eight Essential Zen Chants and Texts), by Shohaku Okumura. If you are a newcomer, we also recommend you read through the "about" section of CZMS for more information as well as youtube videos and links to help familiarize yourself with this practice, in order to be more comfortable in engaging in the meetup, since in person guidance won't be possible during the ONLINE only meeting requirements :) The following sitting Schedule is ONLINE and should be conducted by the attendee at home, while logged on to ZOOM or if you prefer, log on at 8:15 for the Dharma Talk (please feel free to contact us or post to the group or message an organizer for help in preparation if needed) 6:30-6:45 PM - Stretch and prepare your area for Zazen and Kinhin 6:50 PM - 1st Bell rings (1 chime) - 10 minutes until Zazen - Begin to be seated and prepare for first Seated Meditation (Zazen) 6:55 - 2nd Bell rings (2 chimes) - 5 minutes until Zazen - This is the signal for everyone to be in the Zendo and final preparations/stretched and ready for Zazen TO ENTER ZAZEN: stand in front of cushion or meditation space facing the wall and bow (respect for your practice). Then, turn clockwise toward the center of the zendo or area and bow (respect for others' practice). Then kneel, sit on cushion while still facing into the zendo, and while kneeling or sitting turn clock wise back to facing wall. Center your self, take a deep cleansing breath, then gassho toward the wall (commitment to begin zazen). 7:00 - Bell rings (3 chimes) to begin first Seated Meditation (Zazen) 7:00- 7:30 Zazen 7:30 - Bell rings (2 Chimes) to begin Walking Meditation (Kinhin) 7:30 7:40 - Walking Meditation (Kinhin) 7:40 - Bell rings (1 chime) to begin 2nd Zazen 7:40 - 8:10 - Second Seated Meditation (Zazen) 8:10 - Bell rings (3 chimes) to end Zazen At this time, Zazen has ended and 4 bells close out the session. For the 1st bell, this acknowledges to all the closing of the sitting - everyone is standing in Shashu (left hand in a soft fist with thumb tucked in, Right hand covering left held around center of chest/sternum ) at the end of their cushion facing inward toward the center of the zendo. When this first bell rings, everyone stays in Shashu "at attention" (if in formal session, teacher begins to leave the zendo) 2nd Second Bell - bow in shashu to center of Zendo 3rd Bell - turn toward the alter and standing bow in Gassho to the Buddha 4th Bell - turn back to original position at end of cushion in shashu and bow 8:10 - 8:15 - Break 8:15 - Log on to Dharma Discussion (if not already on) 8:20 - Opening Sutra and begin Dharma Discussion: Leader : "Gatha on opening the Sutra" All: "The Dharma is deep and lovely, we now have a chance to see it, study it, and practice it. I vow to realize it's true meaning" 8:20 - 9:00 - Dharma Reading, reflection and discussion of "Living By Vow" by Shohaku Okumura 9:00 PM - Closing Sutra (Bodhisattva Vow) This is chanted altogether through three times upon closing the Dharma Discussion: "Sentient beings are numberless, I vow to save them. Desires are inexhaustible, I vow to put an end to them. The Dharmas are boundless, I vow to master them. The Buddha Way is unsurpassable, I vow to attain it."

[ONLINE] Charlotte Zen Half Day Sitting

Online event

Please Join us ONLINE for a Half Day Sit on March 22nd. This is a great way to deepen and further your practice. We will be joining Reverend Chimyo Atkinson of Great Tree Zen Temple via online ZOOM session. You may join the zoom meeting for the entire meditation and Dharma talks, or only part or just the Dharma discussions, your choice. https://zoom.us/j/5232119427?pwd=NVFNTk9WaVZpWk0ycUIvZkNyTTVvZz09 12:00 Log in/Stretch/Orientation/Prepare for Zazen 12:30 - 1:00 Zazen 1:00 - 1:10 Kinhin 1:10 - 1:40 Zazen 1:40 - 2:00 Break 2:00 - 2:30 Zazen 2:30 - 2:40 Kinhin 2:40 - 3:10 Zazen 3:10 - 3:30 Break 3:30 - 4:30 Dharma Talk and Discussion 4:30 - 4:50 Break 4:50 - 5:20 Zazen 5:20 - 5:30 Kinhin 5:30 - 6:00 Zazen 6-00 - 7:00 Dinner Break 7:00 - 7:30 Zazen 7:30 - 8:30 Dharma Talk and Discussion

Charlotte Zen Meditation Society Meetup

Harmony House

You are welcome to join us in the Zendo at Harmony House at 6:45 PM for Seated Meditation, Walking Meditation, and reading & discussion of the teachings of the Buddha. Also, it is fine to attend only part of the session if that is your preference. To all newcomers - We look forward to meeting as many of you as possible at our next Sunday evening sitting! For newcomers, the beginner orientation is from 6:45 PM to 7:30 PM. Please come in to Harmony House, remove your shoes and join us in the parlor for orientation to help introduce you to the Soto Zen style (instructions are also posted on the door to help guide). Also, newcomers are encouraged to have a look at the following video: Introduction to Zen Meditation, The Still Point (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9b4FbGlVSE) on You Tube for lots of good information about Soto Zen. For our Dharma discussion we are currently studying the zen book "Living By Vow" (A Practical Introduction to Eight Essential Zen Chants and Texts), by Shohaku Okumura. Please join us after the sitting at 8:15 for our Dharma discussion. 6:30-6:45 PM - Doors open. 6:50 PM - 1st Bell rings (1 chime) - 10 minutes until Zazen - Begin to be seated and prepare for first Seated Meditation (Zazen) 6:55 - 2nd Bell rings (2 chimes) - 5 minutes until Zazen - This is the signal for everyone to be in the Zendo and final preparations/stretched and ready for Zazen 7:00 - Bell rings (3 chimes) to begin first Seated Meditation (Zazen) 7:00- 7:30 Zazen 7:30 - Bell rings (2 Chimes) to begin Walking Meditation (Kinhin) 7:30 7:40 - Walking Meditation (Kinhin) 7:40 - Bell rings (1 chime) to begin 2nd Zazen 7:40 - 8:10 - Second Seated Meditation (Zazen) 8:10 - Bell rings (3 chimes) to end Zazen 8:10 - 8:15 - Break 8:15 - Gather in a discussion circle in the Zendo and announcements 8:20 - Opening Sutra and begin Dharma Discussion 8:20 - 9:00 - Dharma Reading, reflection and discussion of "Living By Vow" by Shohaku Okumura 9:00 PM - Closing - Chanting Bodhisattva Vow

Charlotte Zen Meditation Society Meetup

Harmony House

You are welcome to join us in the Zendo at Harmony House at 6:45 PM for Seated Meditation, Walking Meditation, and reading & discussion of the teachings of the Buddha. Also, it is fine to attend only part of the session if that is your preference. To all newcomers - We look forward to meeting as many of you as possible at our next Sunday evening sitting! For newcomers, the beginner orientation is from 6:45 PM to 7:30 PM. Please come in to Harmony House, remove your shoes and join us in the parlor for orientation to help introduce you to the Soto Zen style (instructions are also posted on the door to help guide). Also, newcomers are encouraged to have a look at the following video: Introduction to Zen Meditation, The Still Point (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9b4FbGlVSE) on You Tube for lots of good information about Soto Zen. For our Dharma discussion we are currently studying the zen book "Living By Vow" (A Practical Introduction to Eight Essential Zen Chants and Texts), by Shohaku Okumura. Please join us after the sitting at 8:15 for our Dharma discussion. 6:30-6:45 PM - Doors open. 6:50 PM - 1st Bell rings (1 chime) - 10 minutes until Zazen - Begin to be seated and prepare for first Seated Meditation (Zazen) 6:55 - 2nd Bell rings (2 chimes) - 5 minutes until Zazen - This is the signal for everyone to be in the Zendo and final preparations/stretched and ready for Zazen 7:00 - Bell rings (3 chimes) to begin first Seated Meditation (Zazen) 7:00- 7:30 Zazen 7:30 - Bell rings (2 Chimes) to begin Walking Meditation (Kinhin) 7:30 7:40 - Walking Meditation (Kinhin) 7:40 - Bell rings (1 chime) to begin 2nd Zazen 7:40 - 8:10 - Second Seated Meditation (Zazen) 8:10 - Bell rings (3 chimes) to end Zazen 8:10 - 8:15 - Break 8:15 - Gather in a discussion circle in the Zendo and announcements 8:20 - Opening Sutra and begin Dharma Discussion 8:20 - 9:00 - Dharma Reading, reflection and discussion of "Living By Vow" by Shohaku Okumura 9:00 PM - Closing - Chanting Bodhisattva Vow

Past events (599)

[ONLINE] Charlotte Zen Meditation Society Meetup

Online event

Photos (92)