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To The New Year

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Ron Hogen Green, Sensei

 Zen Center of New York City, 1/13/2019

 

As we find ourselves in the new year, Hogen calls upon poet W. S. Merwin to investigate our asking ourselves the deeper questions. What does it mean to be still? What makes our practice real? How can we fully inhabit our own experience? How do we create a good day?

Mi Hu’s “Enlightenment or Not?”

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

The Book of Serenity, Case #62

Zen Mountain Monastery, 01/13/2019

The student in this koan asks, “Do people these days need Enlightenment or not?”  Shugen Roshi deeply investigates the many facets of this question, presenting a path which acknowledges the painful reality of suffering but remains based in unshakeable faith in the basic wholeness of every person. 

Jingqing’s “Buddhadharma at the New Year”

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

The True Dharma Eye, Case #39

Zen Mountain Monastery, 01/06/2019

Is there Buddhadharma in the new year? How could it be any different in the new year? Reflecting on the recent passing of his 91-year-old mother, Shugen Roshi speaks on how we prepare ourselves for transitions and what we can rely upon at moments of great change.

Listening To The Way

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Danica Shoan Ankele, Senior MonasticShoan

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

“Seeking answers with closed ears is like trying to touch the ocean bottom with a pole.”  Opening with a poem by Ryokan, a 17th century Zen master, Shoan encourages us to stop creating, let go of our fixed ideas, and practice attentively listening to ourselves, to others, and to our world.

 

A New Year’s Invitation

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Mountain Monastery, 12/31/2018

 

This talk was given during our annual New Year’s Eve renewal of vows ceremony. In it, Hojin Sensei urges us to use this new beginning as a chance to recommit to our practice and our lives, courageously acknowledging both our greed, anger, and ignorance and our generosity, wisdom and compassion.

Nuts and Bolts

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Yukon

Michael Yukon Grody, Senior Monastic

Zen Center of New York City, 12/30/2018

A Single Excellent Night, Part 2

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Bear Gokan Bonebakker, Senior Monastic

Zen Mountain Monastery, 12/30/2018

 

In the second of two talks on a Pali teaching about the urgency of practicing the present moment, Gokan reflects on the tendency to imagine the future, whether with excitement or dread, rather than truly dwelling where we find ourselves. He urges us to remember that our fantasies of the future are only mental fabrications – our life is happening right now.

Not Leaving the Monastery

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Vanessa Zuisei Goddard, Sensei

Zen Mountain Monastery, 12/29/2018

 

“What I saw or heard or felt came not but from myself — and there I found myself more truly and more strange.” Zuisei Sensei speaks from the heart about her own spiritual journey and her ongoing commitment to practice as she steps further into lay life.

A Perfect Offering

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Prabu Gikon Vasan, Senior Lay Practitioner

Zen Mountain Monastery, 12/28/2018

 

Gikon uses the opening prayer from Shantideva’s “Way of the Bodhisattva” to draw our attention to the many moments of offering which punctuate the liturgy of sesshin, urging us to take up this practice wholeheartedly even in moments where we may feel we have nothing to give.

Shantideva’s Four Methods of Guidance (Part 2)

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Center of New York City, 12/23/2018

 

Because the self does not exclude anything, it’s boundless – this is non-greed. Based in this we can bring forth more naturally loving words and beneficial actions. By taking up this practice we begin to directly experience self and other merging and falling away.