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Guishan’s Active Consiousness

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 6/26/2019

Book of Serenity, Case 37

Citing Dogen’s fascicle on Thusness and passages from the Lankavatara Sutra, Shugen Roshi explores being true to oneself and true to the dharma in sacred mountain training. The question for practitioners is: what is it to whole-heartedly live, and how do we take that up in each moment? This encounter between Guishan and Yangshan is one of many koans using a call and response to explore the deeper intimacy between teacher and student and within the student’s own mind of inquiry. 

T’ien P’ing’s Travels on Foot

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 6/23/2019

Blue Cliff Record, Case 98

How does working with a koan help to illuminate ones mind, to clarify the nature of suffering and bring peace to the world? In this discourse Shugen Roshi explores how a student can work with a koan in the context of zazen and with the guidance of teachers, and how any aspect of our lives can become a lived koan, in formal training and in everyday life.

Aging in the Now

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Rev. Trudi Jinpu Hirsch-Abramson

Zen Center of New York City, 6/23/2019

Rev. Jinpu offers her engaging stories about the practice of aging and living in the now. An ordained Buddhist priest and hospice chaplain, Jinpu has over twenty years of experience in practicing and teaching others to care for and celebrate all of life.

Waking Up

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Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, Sensei

Zen Mountain Monastery, 6/16/2019

Following her retreat on the Fullness of Emptiness, visiting teacher Zenju Sensei shares with us her path of awakening to what is already within us. She says “We awaken through the challenges of our embodiments in terms of race, class, gender and so on. We awaken through challenges of everyday life. We awaken through what disrupts our lives.” 

To learn more about Zenju Sensei’s writings, poetry and teachings, visit zenju.org

How Do You Know?

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ShoanDanica Shoan Ankele, Monastic

Zen Center of New York City, 06/16/2019

How do you know when practice is really working, and when its not? With teachings from the Diamond Sutra and Shakespeare, Shoan encourages connection with the elemental questions that lead us to practice, to return to them again, exploring some common ways we are derailed. Through the practice of zazen we can re-focus on direct experience of the breath, and learn how it is that we know when practice is working.

The Value of Humility

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 6/09/2019

Concluding a retreat on the Four Immeasurables, this discourse by Shugen Roshi explores an excerpt from Dogen’s Genjokoan to help us deeply understanding the value of humility in bringing forth true confidence. This talk is one of a series on the ten core values which form the basis of the Beyond Fear of Differences work.

My words, My suffering

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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

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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

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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 explores the role of zazen and insight in seeing through, transforming, and being liberated from karma while being in its midst. What would it mean to “be free from cause and effect”? And what are the implications of “not ignoring cause and effect”? Whether we’re talking about issues of concentrated power or the subtle play of our minds, there is always space for compassionate action.

Yaoshan’s Discourse

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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.