PODCAST: Everywhere is Maitreya

Posted on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Dharma Discourse by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei

photo of Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei

Where does it all come from? The Buddhadharma teaches that all things are established from a non-abiding basis, but what does that mean, particularly for our day-to-day practice? Shugen Sensei draws on the teachings of Dogen Zenji and the Vimalakirti Sutra as he guides us in exploring the nature of mind and reality, the arising of wisdom and compassion.

The koan in this talk is “Fayan’s Substance and Name,” Case 74 from the Book of Serenity. It was given at Zen Mountain Monastery on June 22, 2012.

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PODCAST: At Ease with the Wandering Mind

Posted on Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

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

In this humorous talk, Sensei teaches us that the wandering mind is universal. These thoughts are the cause of our suffering, but also not the enemy. To go beyond them we need to be relaxed – yet determined – to clearly see the nature of our mind.

The koan in this talk is “Dayi Daoxin,” case 32 of the Transmission of the Light. This discourse was given at Zen Mountain Monastery on April 27, 2013.
 

 

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PODCAST: Manifesting Practice

Posted on Friday, February 27th, 2015

Dharma Discourse by John Daido Loori, Roshi

Photo of John Daido Loori, Roshi

This impassioned talk by Daido Roshi packs in quite a bit of teaching – he speaks about koan study, the five kinds of blindness, the different upaya or skillful means of Zen, and the critical importance of bringing our practice off the cushion and manifesting it in our life.

The koan in this talk is titled “Tanxia’s Have You Eaten Yet?,” which is case 76 of the Blue Cliff Record. This discourse was given at Zen Mountain Monastery.

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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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