Podcasts & More

Dharma Talks, Events, Interviews & Other Media

ALL PODCASTS

Bendōwa

·

Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 02/23/2020

From Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo

Shugen Roshi offered this discourse at the conclusion of the Bodhidharma Sesshin, exploring Dogen’s Bendowa, “The Wholehearted Practice of the Way.” How does our cognizant, thinking mind hold the inconceivable? Dogen examines the “wondrous art, supreme and unconditioned” of practice characterized by receptive samadhi. In this quiet sitting, when the mind is allowed to calm and remain free of the constant creation of ideas and words, the clutter of accumulations can fall away. “To study the world in a moment of sitting,” as Dogen says, we see more and more clearly that our states of mind directly affect and create our world.

Keeping Quiet

·

Ron Hogen Green, Sensei 

Zen Center of New York City, 02/23/2020

In approaching a Zen koan, Hogen Sensei encourages us to let go of our passion to acquire understanding by grasping for answers. Rather, if we can let teaching stories begin to move us without grasping, our whole life can begin to unfold more clearly. Toward this end he explores Pablo Neruda’s famous poem “Keeping Quiet” and a koan, “Stop the Distant Temple Bell,” as both bringing fuller awareness to our lives and to the fundamental questions which bring us to spiritual practice: what is this life of ours, and how can we engage it in the wholeness of our being?

Ching Ch’ing’s Sound of Raindrops

·

Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 02/16/2020

The Blue Cliff Record, Case 46

What is the fundamental nature of our experience of the world? Is it ‘out there’, or ‘in here’? In this discourse Shugen Roshi explores how zazen helps us to stop and see what is actually in front of us without becoming stuck or getting lost. Through calming the mind and recognizing our cycles of habit and reaction we can reach into the ground of reality, and in that awareness and clarity we can engage with what is imperative in our lives.

Yun Men’s Appropriate Statement

·

Ron Hogen Green, Sensei 

Zen Center of New York City, 02/16/2020

The Blue Cliff Record, Case 14

Where is the place where the absolute nature of reality meets the relative details of our lives? The place where each is identical to the other? The “teachings of a whole lifetime” referenced in this koan presented by Hogen Sensei comes down to the practice and realization of the Buddha, the “appropriate statement” perhaps when the self is seen and released and forgotten, when the absolute nature of reality is present in the relative aspects of our life, in every step of our practice.

Guarding Our Minds From Wild Elephants

·

Ron Hogen Green, Sensei 

Zen Center of New York City, 02/15/2020

 

Buddhist Studies, Session 9, Zen Mountain Monastery

·

Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 02/13/2020

In the final study session on the eightfold path, Shugen Roshi examines Right Concentration using the works of Piyadassi Thera and Bhikkhu Bodhi, teachers in the Theravadin tradition, who provide succinct descriptions of various stages and pitfalls encountered as practice matures and deepens. While these categorized and linear explanations are not typically part of Zen training, the states of mind they describe can be helpful to all meditators and illuminate how concentration functions in the Zen practices of koan study and shikantaza.

Great Faith, Great Doubt

·

Patrick Yunen Kelly, Senior Lay Student

Zen Center of New York City, 02/09/2020

Senior Lay Student Yunen invokes Mother Teresa’s struggles with the crisis of faith and the last words of Jesus, “My God, why have you forsaken me?” to explore Great Faith and Great Doubt in Zen practice. The encounter with darkness in spiritual life is not a problem that requires a solution, he says, for where there is emptiness and darkness, there is just emptiness and darkness. There is no need to turn away or disconnect: you do not need to be saved.

The Great Way Is Not Difficult

·

Bear Gokan Bonebakker, Senior Monastic

Zen Mountain Monastery, 02/09/2020

“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences,” is the opening line from the Faith Mind poem taken up by senior monastic Gokan. Exploring how picking and choosing hinders our practice, often masking our underlying fear of discomfort, he emphasizes the importance of learning to tolerate the very discomfort we fear. In turning towards a difficulty we can just let it be, and recognize our fears as nothing but ideas about ourselves that are an impediment to living in the Way. The real question becomes, Who are we when our minds are quiet?

The Dialogue of Manjusri and Wu Cho

·

Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 02/02/2020

The Blue Cliff Record, Case 35

“Right at this very moment seeing and hearing are not obscured…ordinary people and sages dwell together.” Presenting this koan from the Blue Cliff Record, Shugen Roshi explores the way our delusions create destruction and pain—an experience of poverty of spirit—and asks us to enter with a mind of not-knowing. When we experience our “self” as a temporary gathering place, we are freed. When our view is in harmony with the nature of things, our world is also in harmony; an ordinary life is nothing special but it is also more extraordinary than we think.

Buddhist Studies, Session 8, Zen Mountain Monastery

·

Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 01/30/2020

In this commentary and questions between Shugen Roshi and students, Right Mindfulness is addressed as a central component of the eightfold path. While the path might be seen as a progression or series of steps, it can more correctly be viewed as an interrelated whole within which each of the eight factors works with each of the others to support and inform practice of the Buddhadharma. What characterizes Right Mindfulness, and in what ways is it critical to practice? How can we practice skillfully and recognize those moments that are not Right Mindfulness?