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Novice Ordination for Kien Martin

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Novice Ordination for Kien Martin
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 4/18/2021

Halfway through ango, Shugen Roshi officiated this novice monastic ordination for Jeffrey Kien Martin. Kien is currently the Monastery cook (among other responsibilities), but his involvement with the Monastery goes back two and a half decades. Now, as he takes on the robes of a novice, Kien will further explore the monastic vows and train in the role of a monastic, though it’s worth noting that one does not formally commit to those vows until full ordination, leaving the discernment process open to further clarification. Those lifetime vows are: simplicity, service, selflessness, stability, and following the path of the Buddha. See photos and find a link to the video here.

Buddha Speech

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Buddha Speech
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 4/11/2021

The Blue Cliff Record, Case 95 – Ch’ang Ch’ing’s “Three Poisons”

Picking up where he left off from a previous Fusatsu talk on Right Speech (“Learning How to Speak” – 4/8/21), Shugen Roshi investigates storied examples of practitioners using language to express the ordinary and the extraordinary. Master Dogen says, “Words are neither different nor not different from our fundamental nature. But if a person becomes attached to words and their everyday meaning, they can become attached to views.” We tend to use words very casually, but language has power and views can imprison.

 

Fusatsu: Learning How to Speak

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Fusatsu: Learning How to Speak
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 4/8/2021

 

Unborn, Undying

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Unborn, Undying
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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Mountain Monastery, 4/4/2021

As we celebrate the Buddha’s Birthday today, Hojin Sensei offers a teaching from Zen Master Bankei: “What I teach everyone, in these talks of mine, is the unborn buddha mind of unlimited wisdom. Nothing else. Everyone is endowed with this buddha mind, only they don’t know it.” Sensei looks at the subtle ways “the unborn buddha mind” manifests in and through all of us and she reminds us that we are all living Buddhas.

 

Collective Liberation

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Collective Liberation
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Ann Gleig and Joy Brennan
3/19/21

The strands of thought linking Buddhist liberation from suffering and the aims of social justice are aligned with the Buddha’s realization that “I and all beings at once enter enlightenment,” affirming the interdependent nature of reality. Yet despite our best intentions, why do deeply embedded habit formations—and inherent bias— continue to arise and perpetuate suffering? This harmful trend exists in primarily white, cis-gender dharma communities where BIPOC and LGBTQ practitioners can feel marginalized, unless and until this trend is directly addressed and disrupted. Healing is possible, but first must come an understanding of how the mind perpetuates suffering. How do these strands of conditioned mind, and our intentions and capacity for realization, interrelate?

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Dharma Encounter

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Dharma Encounter
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 3/28/2021

Dharma Encounter

Master Dogen, in his fascicle “The Ten Directions,” comments on the Buddha’s words on form and emptiness: “In the ten directions means I just know the essence. So does Shakyamuni Buddha. It is I form, know form, this form, all form, ten directions form, Saha Land form, Shakyamuni Buddha form.” Shugen Roshi asks the sangha during this Dharma Encounter: How do you reconcile, on one hand, the essential, absolute nature of reality and, on the other hand, our everyday dualistic world?

(Note: 3 minutes are missing at the 45 minute mark.)

Letting Go of the Mental Map

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Letting Go of the Mental Map
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 3/27/2021

The True Dharma Eye, Case 11 – Zhaozhou’s “Losing the Mind in Confusion”

In the same way that we use physical maps, mental maps help us to navigate our everyday experiences. Risking being stuck and bonded to cherished opinions, trying to force reality to fit the maps, we can remember to practice right understanding and use our skills such as humility to find ourselves.

This Dharma is for You

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
This Dharma is for You
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Danica Shoan Ankele, Senior Monastic

Zen Mountain Monastery, 3/26/2021

Through the teachings of Buddhist ancestors from different schools of Buddhism, monastic Shoan invokes Bodhidharma, Prajnatara and Dogen Zenji, and explores how we understand that realization is an experience—a direct pointing to the human mind—aligned with the sutras and teachings but not limited by our ideas about them.

There is Only One Dharma

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
There is Only One Dharma
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Ron Hogen Green, Sensei

Broadcasted via zoom, 3/25/2021

The Blue Cliff Record, case 59: Zhaozhou’s “Why not Quote it Fully?”

Hogen Sensei takes up this koan from the Blue Cliff Record along with related lines from the Faith Mind Poem, and offers another version: “The real way is not difficult, it only abhors choice and attachment”, and asks: Where is the path of freedom in the midst of the choices we make everyday?

Master Dogen’s “Ten Directions” Part 1

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Master Dogen's "Ten Directions" Part 1
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 3/24/2021

From Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo Fascicle 60 – Ten Directions.

“Shakyamuni Buddha said to the assembly, ‘In the Buddha Land of the ten directions, there is only the dharma of the One Vehicle.’ The ten directions spoken of here have taken up the Buddha Land and made it what it is. Thus, without taking it up, there can be no Buddha Land. Because it is the Buddha Land, the Buddha is its host.”

What is a Buddha Field? Where is the Buddha Land? This is not abstract, as Dogen, Vimalakirti and the Lotus Sutra attest. Shugen Roshi explains that by practicing skillfully in the midst of suffering—with our patience, generosity, awareness, morality, resolve—by taking responsibility for our life right here in each moment, the Buddha Field becomes joyfully alive. When we realize self and other as one, the Buddha Land is where we are.