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Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. at Zen Mountain Monastery

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 01/19/2020

Invoking the life and words of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Shugen Roshi celebrates his teachings on the power of the love and its manifestation in the Beloved Community. Sangha is an example of this united effort to live as an expression of love, and the life of practice requires our sincere engagement and action. Dr. King believed in the “practical realism” of love, a power which is always available and can be lived every day. Understanding the interrelated structure of reality from a Christian perspective, he said, “Your suffering is my suffering,” echoing the Bodhisattva’s interdependent vow to put an end to the suffering of all beings.

Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. at ZCNYC

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Center of New York City, 01/19/2020

Please note: the audio near the end of this podcast is of variable quality.

Ceaseless Practice

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Center of New York City, 01/18/2020

 

Buddhist Studies, Session 7, Zen Mountain Monastery

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Right Effort, Zen Mountain Monastery, 01/16/2020

This discussion of the Eightfold Path takes up the concept of Right Effort. Shugen Roshi’s introduction and the questions from the sangha offer rich perspectives on how to engage practice in ways that are an antidote to apathy, boredom and dullness. Joyful effort, energy, Ki and humor are discussed, noting right effort as a wholesome state of consciousness directing us toward awakening in all areas of life.

Yanyang’s “Thing”

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Book of Serenity, Case 57

Zen Mountain Monastery, 01/12/2020

The path is letting go—and letting go—and letting go still more. When we have let go of every single thing we let go of the very idea of letting go. Shugen Roshi speaks of the profound “putting down” in which wisdom and compassion arise together. He cites Vimalakirti: “Ultimately if interested in the Dharma, take no interest in any thing.” Not to be confused with isolation or turning away from anything, but to realize ones true nature within the spaciousness of mind which contains all things.

Jukai Ceremony, Winter 2020, ZCNYC

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Center of New York City, 01/12/2020

 

On Sunday, January 12, Hojin Sensei officiated a winter Jukai ceremony at Fire Lotus Temple in which three students received the sixteen Buddhist precepts.  As part of the ceremony Hojin Sensei offered teachings on the moral and ethical teachings of Zen Buddhism, and the particular challenges we face in living with, and through, these vows.

After a week of training, including hand sewing a rakusu and receiving the ancestral lineage charts, the three new Jukai students received the following dharma names: Jean Ann Oji Wertz (“Compassionate, Loving Response”); David Genwa Nelson (“Eye of Harmony”); Simon Sekku Harrison (“Touching Sky-like Nature”).

 

Learning To Love What Is Not For Our Keeping

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Yukon

Michael Yukon Grody, Senior Monastic

Zen Center of New York City, 01/05/2020

Senior monastic Yukon invokes Thomas Merton on the 50th anniversary of his death, drawing on his insights into the place of monastic life in the modern world. Merton said, “In a world of noise, confusion and conflict, is is necessary that there be a place of silence, inner discipline and peace.” Silence and stillness in our practice is what nurtures the arising of compassion which needs no justification outside itself.

Daitsu Chisho

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

The Gateless Gate, Case 9

Zen Mountain Monastery, 01/05/2020

At the conclusion of an introduction to Zen Practice Weekend, Shugen Roshi examines a koan originally drawn from the Lotus Sutra. In this teaching story, how are we to understand attainment or the absence of attainment? The Way is originally perfect and all pervading, always present – and yet we experience a sense of distance, a gap. It is within this gap that practice occurs.

Fusatsu, New Years Eve, 2020

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 12/31/2019

In a Renewal of Vows for the new year, Shugen Roshi explores the Buddhadharma as a path of peace which can direct us to cease from harm and practice good. Our basic impulse is toward good, but this needs to be practiced and cultivated in order to be brought forth. The taking of vows is an act of courage that helps us rise to the challenge of being happy and free even in the midst of conflict.

Dongshan’s “Not-Buddha”

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

True Dharma Eye, Case 72

Zen Mountain Monastery, 12/30/2019

Shugen Roshi examines Dongshan’s koan of “Not-Buddha,” encouraging us to go beyond the status quo of suffering. When we can see Samsara as not inevitable, we are beginning to go beyond our powerlessness and take up the burden of not knowing what happens next. The Way is free from success or failure, and we can open our hearts and minds by trusting that the treasure store is open even when our habit-minds think otherwise.