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Dharma Talks, Events, Interviews & Other Media


Waking Up

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Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, Sensei

Zen Mountain Monastery, 6/15/2019

Following her retreat on the Fullness of Emptiness, visiting teacher Zenju Sensei shares with us her journey on the path of awakening. To Find out more about Zenju Sensei, visit her website at zenju.org

The Value of Humility


Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 6/09/2019

Concluding Shugen Roshi’s retreat on the Four Immeasurables, and in his series expanding upon the ten values necessary for Beyond Fear of Differences work, this discourse opens with an excerpt from Dogen’s Genjokoan as a way in to deeply understanding the value of humility in our lived practices of the Way.

My words, My suffering


Ron Hogen Green, Sensei

Zen Center of New York City, 6/9/2019

Starting from a section in the Diamond Sutra that examines the fact that truth is not found in letters, Hogen Sensei explores how zazen helps reveal answers to fundamental questions that cannot be found in scripture, words, or thoughts.

Ch’ien and her Soul are Separated


Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 6/02/2019

Gateless Gate, Case 35

This talk explores how we can each live undivided lives along true paths in union with the whole.

Baizhang’s Fox


Ron Hogen Green, Sensei

Zen Center of New York City, 6/2/2019

Book of Serenity, Case 8

In this commentary to a well-known koan, Hogen Sensei discusses the mechanics of karma, and the role of zazen and insight in seeing through, transforming, and being liberated from karma, all while in the midst of it. He presents the Mahayana perspective of “not ignoring cause and effect” by engaging in compassionate selfless action as the necessary complement of the Theravadan ideal of “being free from cause and effect”.

Yaoshan’s Discourse


Ron Hogen Green, Sensei

Zen Center of New York City, 6/1/2019

True Dharma Eye, Case 79

Hogen Sensei takes up the case of Yaoshan’s Discourse in Dogen’s Three Hundred Koan Shobogenzo to reflect on the importance of Zazen. This talk reviews two common misperceptions about zazen: “letting it all go” and bypassing what needs to be worked through, and also using Zazen as a meditation practice to dwell on thoughts and missing the opportunity to examine what is the “self”. Referring back to the “thundering silence” demonstrated by Yaoshan, Hogen Sensei offers encouragement that we are already on the path to realize suchness that is beyond speech by just sitting.

Lay Practice


Patrick Yunen Kelly, Senior Lay Student

Zen Center of New York City, 05/26/2019  

Using teachings of Shantideva as a starting point, Yunen explores how lay practice can be a strong, vital, integrated part of training in Zen Buddhist practice, much as the Buddha intended in describing the the sangha as comprised of laypeople and monastics practicing together.

The Child’s Expression is Entrusted To You


Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 5/25/2019

Taking up Dogen’s Fascicle Shoaku Makusa, Shugen Roshi explores how our open awareness is like a child’s expression of “refrain from unwholesome action, do wholesome action,” but in practice this seemingly easy instruction is quite difficult. Why? This is the heart of being human and facing the whole of reality of our lives. 

Remain Wide Open Like the Sky


ShoanDanica Shoan Ankele, Monastic

Zen Mountain Monastery, 05/24/2019


If the truth fills the whole universe and nothing is hidden, why don’t I see it? How do I work with this “mind of afflictions” which is identical to “Buddha mind”? Mn. Shoan brings us encouraging words from the Mahamudra tradition to help us with our practice of manifesting Buddha.

Before the Thought, Right Intention


Michelle Seigei Spark, Lay Senior

Zen Mountain Monastery, 5/23/2019

Being affected by and affecting others, in every interaction we can appreciate what we offer and what we receive. Lay student Seigei explores this awareness of intention, before the thought, and how with every action and in every moment we re-make the world.