PODCAST: No Big Deal

Posted on Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

Dharma Discourse by Konrad Ryushin Marchaj, Sensei

Photo of Konrad Ryushin Marchaj, Sensei

Ryushin Sensei discusses how true insight is not cloaked in fancy liturgy, accomplishments,  or actions. To see the truth of one’s life is to live as full human beings, unobstructed by our delusions. Only then can we be free of the ups and downs that throw us off track.

The koan in this collection is Chao Chou Lets Asses Cross, Lets Horses Cross, Case 52 of the Bluecliff Record. This discourse was given at Zen Mountain Monastery in January of 2011.

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PODCAST: Forgetting The Ox

Posted on Saturday, November 15th, 2014

Dharma Discourse by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei photo of Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei

In this talk, Shugen Sensei continues the teachings about the stages along the Path. The 7th stage of the Ox Herding Pictures is called Forgetting the Ox. After the 6th stage of riding the ox home, we might feel that we’ve accomplished something. We know, however, that living on the surface of things cannot be all there is, but where do we go from there? Forthright practice can lead to the manifestation of our true self–which is the great work of embodying wisdom and compassion.

The koan in this collection is “Changsha’s Returning to Mountains, Rivers, and the Great Earth,” case 16 of the True Dharma Eye. This discourse was given at the Zen Center of NYC on May 23rd, 2013.

 

 

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PODCAST: The Wisdom That Has No Teacher

Posted on Saturday, November 8th, 2014

Dharma Discourse by John Daido Loori, Roshi

Photo of John Daido Loori, Roshi

Realization isn’t about ideas, theories, or beliefs. It’s a direct, personal experience of reality. If we want to realize the Buddha’s teaching, we need to hear and see with the whole body and mind. When we’re truly intimate with sound and form, this very body is realized as the body of the buddha.

The koan in this talk is titled “Xiangyan’s Great Enlightenment,” which is case 17 of the True Dharma Eye. This discourse was given at Zen Mountain Monastery September of 2005.

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PODCAST: The Great Death

Posted on Saturday, November 1st, 2014

Dharma Discourse by Konrad Ryushin Marchaj, Sensei

Photo of Konrad Ryushin Marchaj, Sensei

In this talk, the biological end isn’t what’s meant by “The Great Death.” Instead, it asks, “what does it look like when someone dies completely in the midst of life?” One aspect is the release of anxiety, fear, or concern of what it will be like at our last breath. It is the realization of selflessness in the midst of life.

The koan in this collection is “Zhaozhou Asks About Death,” case 63 of the Book of Equanimity. This discourse was given December 1st 2013 at Zen Mountain Monastery.

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PODCAST: Riding The Ox Home

Posted on Saturday, October 25th, 2014

Dharma Discourse by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei photo of Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei

In this talk, Shugen Sensei continues the teachings about the stages along the Path. The 6th stage of the Ox Herding Pictures is called Riding the Ox Home. After the immense struggles of “wrestling” and “taming” (stages 4 & 5, respectively), the ox is now calm and pliant. However, there’s a problem: there is still an ox and you riding it. Indeed, another duality! We have a tendency to see things as practice and not practice; enlightenment and delusion; sacred and mundane. The conditioned mind grasps and has difficulty harmonizing, but in the dharma, we see there are no hinderances, no conflicts.

The koan in this collection is “Yunyan Sweeps the Ground,” case 21 of the Book of Serenity. This discourse was given at the Zen Center of NYC on May 19th, 2013.

 

 

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PODCAST: Being in the Mountains

Posted on Saturday, October 18th, 2014

Dharma Discourse by John Daido Loori, Roshi

Photo of John Daido Loori, Roshi

In Zen literature the mountain’s summit is commonly used as a metaphor for realization. Using this metaphor as a point of departure, Daido Roshi talks about form and emptiness, the nature of enlightenment, and freeing ourselves from hindrance.

The koan in this talk is Dongshan’s “Top of the Mountain,” Case 49 from the True Dharma Eye.

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PODCAST: Meet The Challenge

Posted on Friday, September 12th, 2014

Dharma Discourse by Konrad Ryushin Marchaj, Sensei

Photo of Konrad Ryushin Marchaj, Sensei

In practice, challenges are nothing but opportunities to help us see something about ourselves we were previously blind to. Working with a teacher can help us move through these obstacles, but ultimately, the only one who can realize complete freedom is each one of us.

The koan in this talk is “Pao Fu’s Summit of the Mystic Peak,” case 23 of the Blue Cliff Record. This discourse was given at Zen Mountain Monastery on February 26th, 2011.

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PODCAST: The Essential Matter

Posted on Friday, September 5th, 2014

Dharma Discourse by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei photo of Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei

Shugen Sensei says that we often turn away from the essential to the trivial, recalling a poem by Rumi, “we are sitting on the edge of a roof, drunk.” Due to this, Shugen Sensei implores us to move carefully.  This koan is not about, ‘everything I do is Zen.’ Instead, it is about the care of all beings.  The koan in this collection is “The Essential Matter” from The True Dharma Eye case 209. This discourse was given at the Zen Center of New York City, January 26th,  2014.

 

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PODCAST: Refining Zazen

Posted on Friday, August 15th, 2014

Dharma Discourse by John Daido Loori, Roshi

Photo of John Daido Loori, Roshi

The simple practice of zazen, when taken up sincerely and consistently, has the power to transform our lives. In this talk, Daido Roshi dispels some common misunderstandings about zazen and offers helpful guidance. From working through our baggage to truly letting go, he encourages us to surrender our ego trip and  trust the process.

The koan in this talk is “Nanyue Polishes a Tile,” Case 8 from the True Dharma Eye. It was given at ZMM on May 26, 2007.

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PODCAST: How to Be a Student

Posted on Friday, August 8th, 2014

Dharma Discourse by Konrad Ryushin Marchaj, Sensei

Photo of Konrad Ryushin Marchaj, Sensei

Master Dogen writes, “To study the way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self.” How do we study ourselves, our lives, our world, the questions of why and how? Do we refuse to study them? In practice, experience and explanations of experience become the same thing. How are we students?

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