Today was a Chipping Day!

A Long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…. or at least it feels that way. It was before the pandemic shut everything down. We have some of the trees surrounding the Zen Center trimmed and the resulting brush was piled along the boundary of the yard. The intention was to chip it all up but then last year happened. Anyway, it was a beautiful day today and we rented a big ole chipper and chipped up all that brush and made darn short work of it too! The results were great! Together action! What’s next on the list?

L – R Bill Robitzek, Ron Turcotte, John Schooley, Chris Bedard, Jay Seiler
In Action!
Chip Chip chipping away…

May We Gather – 49 Day Ceremony

Dear Sangha–
We write to inform you of an upcoming event on May 4th, a 49 day ceremony to commemorate Asian Americans murdered in the Atlanta mass shooting. A link to the event follows:

Kwan Um School of Zen Americas and Kwan Um Online Sangha are now listed on the May We Gather website as Ally Organizations.

If you have not already done so, I hope you will consider joining this commemoration and signing the support statement provided on-site. 
The escalating ethnic and racial violence in our nation is disconcerting. Recent events and our Sangha’s Asian heritage have demanded that we take a strong stance against violence to the Asian American and Pacific Island community. 

And unfortunately, as our Sangha members from other ethnic communities know, ethnic violence of all types has been casting a wide net. So we encourage all to gather for the May 4 event, and to remember Zen Master Seung Sahn’s teaching: if we make a strong effort to keep clear mind, moment to moment, then the tendency to sink into ignorance, fear, and violence towards others is greatly reduced               

In the dharma,
ZM Wu Kwang (Richard Shrobe)
KUSZa Zen Master

KUSZ Americas Director Position Opening

KUSZ Americas Director Position Opening
The Kwan Um School of Zen Americas seeks to fill the position of KUSZ Americas Director.  The current Director will be leaving at the beginning of June, and our plan is to have the new Director start in April or May to train alongside him for one or two months.   This is a challenging position that requires a wide range of administrative, organizational, and communications skills, and the ability to think on one’s feet and act independently. If you are a member of the Kwan Um School of Zen and think you have the qualifications and expereince, please review the job description below and consider applying. Although non-profit experience would be ideal, someone who has owned a small business or managed in a small organization would have the “jack of all trades” range of skills we are looking for.  The KUSZa offices are located at the Providence Zen Center in Cumberland RI.  Preference will be given to candidates who can come to the office in person a majority of the time, but arrangements that include working remotely some of the time will be considered.   
Resumes and questions should be sent to Paul Majchrzyk ( and Ames Colt (
Thank You,

Paul Majchrzyk, JDPSN
for the KUSZ Americas Executive Committee ******************************************

KUSZ Americas Director Job Description
February 1, 2021

POSITION SUMMARY: Serves as the executive director for the Americas region of the Kwan Um School of Zen (KUSZa) and, as such, is responsible for all administration including finances, event planning and management, precepts and other ceremonies, membership, development, and staff management. 

The KUSZa Director reports to the Executive Committee of the KUSZa Board of Trustees and supervises the KUSZa Membership and Bookkeeping staff. The Director works closely with Guiding Teachers, and with the leaders of KUSZa’s 38 Zen centers and groups, the management team of PZC, and the KUSZ International Initiative. 

SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE: The ideal candidate would offer demonstrable or comparable skills and experience in: 

  • Managing a nonprofit, religious organization
  • Event management (3-4 sangha gatherings annually at PZC)
  • Membership services and database management
  • Financial literacy: Knowledge of payment processing systems, budget management and reconciliation, and commonly-used financial reports (balance sheet, P&L, etc.) Familiarity with basic non-profit accounting
  • Staff, payroll, and vendor management 
  • Ideally, a strong grasp of the history, teachings, and practice and ceremonial forms of the Kwan Um School of Zen.
  • Written and oral communications skills
  • Technology: Apple computers and MS Office for Mac; Member Databases (knowledge of Donorworks [CDM+] a plus); PayPal; Quickbooks; Squarespace; MailChimp; Zoom

2021 Winter Kyol Che

Please register for Winter Kyol Che HERE.   

Kyol Che practice clarifies our direction, resulting in more harmonious relationship with all aspects of life.

This is particularly true of Winter Kyol Che 2021. Because it cannot be held in-person, we will instead hold three one-week retreats via Zoom.
9:30 am, Saturday, January 23rd through 3:30 pm Friday, January 29th. Led by Terry Cronin, JDPSN
9:30 am, Saturday, February 20th through 3:30 pm Friday, February 26th. Led by Zen Master Bon Hae, Judy Roitman.
9:30 am, Saturday, March 20th through 3:30 pm Friday, March 26th. Led by Zen Master Soeng Hyang, Barbara Rhodes.   
There will be four practice sessions daily:  
6 am to 8 am; 9:30 am to 11:30 am; 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm; and 6:30 pm to 8:15 pm.

Each week, there will be two Dharma Talks and three Interviews.
A week-long commitment is necessary to participate in interviews.If you wish to request accommodation for a different time zone (e.g. entering late or leaving early), please contact:

All are welcome to attend any of the practice sessions.  Those registered for a whole week will receive interviews.

49 Day Ceremony for Colin Fay.

Colin Fay
Colin at a precepts ceremony April 3, 2016 – Providence Zen Center

Please join us on Saturday, February 6 at 11 a.m. EDT for the 49 Day Ceremony for Colin Fay, Abbot Emeritus of the Nothern Light Zen Center, who passed away on December 19th. 

He knew and studied with Zen Master Seung Sahn at the Cambridge Zen Center. His passion for our practice led him to be a founding member of this sangha in 2002. His energy and generosity led to the creation of our dharma room in the basement of his Brunswick home, and later to the purchase and renovation of our center in Topsham. He encouraged many of us in our practice. His great Bodhisattva spirit, exemplified by his smile and joking around, will long be remembered by those he leaves behind. 

The  ceremony will take place on Zoom. If you wish to attend, please send us an email at so that we can send you the Zoom invite. 

Colin Fay, Abbot Emeritus

It is with great sadness that we tell you of the passing of Colin Fay, Abbot Emeritus of the Nothern Light Zen Center, on Saturday, December 19th. 

He knew and studied with Zen Master Seung Sahn at the Cambridge Zen Center. His passion for our practice led him to be a founding member of this sangha in 2002. His energy and generosity led to the creation of our dharma room in the basement of his Brunswick home, and later to the purchase and renovation of our center in Topsham. He encouraged many of us in our practice. His great Bodhisattva spirit, exemplified by his smile and joking around, will long be remembered by those he leaves behind. 

His lovely wife, Stephanie, sends us this message:
” I am thankful that we could all be with Colin at the end. He died peacefully, and we all got to say our goodbyes and share our thoughts and memories with him. After he died, we sat and shared tea with him, talking and crying. I’m asking those who loved him to brew a cup of tea and drink with Colin. “

We extend our deep condolences to his wife, Stephanie Holmes, and two daughters, Myla and Corinne. Further news will be forthcoming about any ceremonies to be performed in his honor. Go drink tea!

Happy Thanksgiving.

The eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth precepts encourage us to show homage to the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. This “special honor or respect shown publicly”, as homage can be defined, is of particular significance around this time of year. Each of the three jewels, taken in their broadest sense, points us towards all of creation and our relationships to it and each other. The Northern LIght Zen Center wishes you a joy-filled day with opportunities to be thankful for the Buddha in us all and in all creation. 

Join us with thanks!
— Northern Light Zen Center

Precepts Ceremony Online!

Save the Date! 

Kwan Um School of Zen Americas will hold an online Precepts Ceremony in place of our traditional Buddha’s Enlightenment Day gathering on Saturday, December 12, 4 PM EDT.

If you would like to take precepts during this ceremony, please visit here to fill out the precepts application. From the same webpage, please download the Precepts Application Handbook and read it carefully before applying. Applicants for 10 precepts should speak with their Guiding Teachers. 

Application Deadlines

Precepts applications must be submitted by Friday, November 27
Late applications may be accepted as late as Friday, December 5, but there will be a $25 late fee. No applications will be accepted after December 5. 

Questions? Please email:

If there are any questions regarding Precepts or any ceremony in Kwan Um, please email

Kwan Um School of Zen Americas announces four Inka Ceremonies to be held online this December.

Save the Date! 

Kwan Um School of Zen Americas announces four Inka Ceremonies to be held online this December.

The first ceremony will take place on Saturday, December 5, 4 PM EDT and will include two Inka candidates.

The second ceremony will take place on Sunday, December 13, 4 PM EDT.

These ceremonies will be held online via Zoom. Additional details about will be provided in the coming weeks.

These ceremonies are in addition to a KUSZ Precepts Ceremony scheduled to take place online on Saturday, December 12, 4 PM EDT.

Northern Light Zen Center Halloween Retreat.

October 31, One Day Retreat
202 Meadow Road Topsham Maine
(207) 835-1480

Halloween Day Retreat

The Northern Light Zen Center is pleased to announce a one day hybrid (zoom and live) retreat on Saturday, October 31, 2020. The basic retreat is scheduled from 8:00 to noon, but there is an option for further practice that day. 

The practice will involve alternating periods of sitting and walking meditation. Kong-An interviews are available with the Guiding Teacher.

In this time of COVID we are especially mindful of the health and well-being of our members. With this is mind, we are offering live participation at the zen center for a limited number of people so that social distancing can be maintained. IF YOU WISH TO PARTICIPATE LIVE, YOU MUST REGISTER IMMEDIATELY SO THAT WE CAN ASSESS THE SPACE IN THE DHARMA ROOM. All interviews will be conducted via zoom. If you have your own portable device (phone or laptop) and know how to use zoom, please bring it. If not, we will have an interview station set up so that you can have an interview with Terry. Let us know. 

The set time for the retreat is 8 to noon. Terry is willing to continue the retreat that day after a short lunch break if there are sufficient numbers of people who would like to practice an additional hour or two. LET US KNOW IF YOU WOULD LIKE THIS. 

RSVP required by the Wednesday before the retreat so we can plan accordingly.
Click here to ask questions or to register for the the retreat.

Terry Cronin, JDPSN started practicing Zen and Christian contemplation in 1980 while a  student at Yale Divinity School. Since 1986, he has trained in the Kwan Um School of Zen. He received inka from Zen Master Soeng Hyang in April, 2014 and is the Guiding Teacher at the Northern Light Zen Center. For the past 21 years he has worked in a variety  of roles  for hospice programs, currently serving as a hospice chaplain. He lives in  Maine and  has one adult son.