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Mazu’s Mind is Buddha

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 5/22/2019

True Dharma Eye 278

How to avoid having a simple equation like “mind is Buddha” become a nest for generations of practitioners is reflected in this exchange between the great Dharma master Mazu and his student Daiman. We get enticed by the words and concepts like “mind is Buddha,” while we continue in our habits of grasping and dividing and perpetuating suffering in the world, until we do something different. Shugen Roshi offers this discourse during the ango’s Shuso Hossen sesshin.

The Never Ending Wave

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Ron Hogen Green, Sensei

Zen Mountain Monastery, 5/19/2019

Book of Equanimity, Case 8

Riding the waves of life is not a problem, in fact it can be joyful, even with karma playing out as it will. Hogen Sensei explores the workings of karma as never the result of one single action but an interplay between choices and situations, some of which we can see and others that we cannot. Even an enlightened being, however, should not ignore cause and effect, and neither should we.

 

Art and Dharma: Waking up to Wonder

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Center of New York City, 05/19/2019

 

Hojin Sensei explores art as an extension of Dharma and how it helps us keep the world fresh, new, and wondrous. Referencing visual artists, poets, and novelists, she considers how art can interrupt conditioned ways of viewing the world to allow us to live more fully.  

Jukai Ceremony, Spring Ango 2019

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 5/12/2019

Shugen Roshi officiates the Spring Jukai ceremony at Zen Mountain Monastery in which the following six students received the sixteen Buddhist precepts: Tess Kisei (“Noble Vow”) Edmonds, Richard Seigen (“Sacred Eye”) Mocciaro, Ian Joren (“Pure Undivided Truth”) Falcon, Bruce Getsudo (“Way of the Moon”) Glick, Christine Zuimon (“Auspicious Gate”) Fowle, Ellery Seifu (“Sacred Wind”) Eskelin.  As part of the ceremony Shugen Roshi offers teachings on the moral and ethical teachings of Zen Buddhism, and the particular challenges we face in living with, and through, these vows.

Meeting Great Ancestor Liu Tiemo

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Center of New York City, 05/12/2019

 

After invoking all mothers, Hojin Sensei turns to Iron Grindstone Liu, a formidable female teacher from the Zen tradition. Taking up an encounter between the Grindstone and her teacher, Guishan, Hojin implores us to consider—where is the true feast? Where is it ever, other than right here, right now?  

The Unthinkable One You Do Not Know

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Center of New York City, 05/11/2019

 

Hojin Sensei in this dharma talk begins with a poem from Thomas Merton that encourages us to be silent and listen. She asks: Can we do this? How do we do this? Our lives are both listening and responding, and deep quiet of zazen practice can compliment and help balance our usual busy, active, responsive lives.

Fusatsu: Practicing The Unity Of All Things

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 5/10/2019

Fusatsu 

This talk was given during the monthly Fusatsu Renewal of Vows ceremony. Shugen Roshi reminds us of the importance of examining our vows, our intentions, and asking what it means to practice them in all that we do. He leaves us with the question: how is the practice of a Bodhisattva the same as realizing emptiness? How are our daily lives interwoven with this?

Fusatsu: The Role of Intention In Practice

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Center of New York City, 05/09/2019

Fusatsu

How does intention affect karma? Is intention the same as karma? Do we always have a choice? No choice? Some choice? Seeing intention can be very difficult. In this Fusatsu talk, Hojin Sensei explores the role of intention in our practice, framed by the theme of this Ango: Do wholesome action, refrain from unwholesome action, illuminate the mind.

 

Deshan Carried his Bowls

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 5/05/2019

Gateless Gate, Case 13

How do you direct your attention, how do you use your mind? A Zen koan, in the context of zazen in working with a teacher, can give you a way into the dharma, but each person must grapple with finding their way through. Shugen Roshi explores the spiritual energy of practice as the fuel which drives insight and compassion.

Vimalakirti’s Silence

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Ron Hogen Green, Sensei

Zen Center of New York City, 5/5/2019

Blue Cliff Record, Case 84

Hogen Sensei takes up the koan on Vimalakirti’s silence to examine non-duality. When asked about non-duality, what did Vimalakirti say? What would you say? If you answer with silence, you’re missing it.