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Dharma Talks, Events, Interviews & Other Media


Shantideva’s Four Methods of Guidance (Part 1)


Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi   

Zen Center of New York City, 12/22/2018


Buddhism teaches that living a human life is both fragile and extremely powerful. What are the practices we, as aspiring bodhisattvas, can use to guide ourselves through this precious life? In the first of two talks by Shugen Roshi on Shantideva’s Four Methods of Guidance, he takes up generous giving and loving speech: practices of gentle attention to ourselves and others which have the power to transform our lives.

The Happiness of All Beings


Patrick Yunen Kelly, Senior Lay Student

Zen Center of New York City, 12/16/2018

Happiness is pervasive: it doesn’t increase or decrease. Our mind, meanwhile, experiences happiness and unhappiness, sometimes with great intensity. If happiness is our real condition, what is it that we look for from practice? 

Master Dongshan Is Unwell

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi   

The Book Of Equanimity, Case #94

Zen Mountain Monastery, 12/16/2018

Until the end of his life, the Buddha continued to encounter Mara, the insidious voice which tries to undermine the faith of the practitioner. Here, Shugen Roshi speaks of the need to continually meet Mara’s voice with tenderness and courage, emphasizing that no length of practice or depth of realization silences Mara – nor should it.

Awaken Awakening

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Mountain Monastery, 12/9/2018


The Buddha once said: “Those who see dharma, see me. Those who see me, see dharma. Truly seeing dharma, one sees me. seeing me, one truly sees dharma.” In this talk, Hojin Sensei tells the story of the life of the Buddha as a model of dharma practice, and discusses how we can see the Buddha’s life in our own.

The Buddha’s Enlightenment

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi   

The Transmission of the Light, Case #1

Zen Mountain Monastery, 12/9/2018

In this talk, given following our annual vigil to celebrate the Buddha’s enlightenment, Shugen Roshi evokes the Shakyamuni’s profound humanity and exceptional faith, emphasizing that we show our reverence for the Buddha and his teachings by actualizing them in our own place and time, our own bodies and minds.

The Power Of Trembling

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Center of New York City, 12/2/2018


Starting with the story of Master Zhaozhou Congshen’s encounter with an old woman, Hojin examines fear and dread, its omnipresence in the life of the Buddha and our own lives, and the importance of allowing oneself to truly experience fear.

A Single Excellent Night

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Bear Gokan Bonebakker, Senior Monastic

Zen Mountain Monastery, 12/2/2018


Gokan uses an early teaching of the Buddha to speak about the role of the past in our practice and the need to see the way in which our past shapes our present while still being able to let that go and rest in this moment. We apologize that the first few minutes of this talk were not recorded.

The Practice of Giving Thanks


Jeanne Seisen Lewis, Senior Lay Student

Zen Center of New York City, 11/25/2018


Seisen, a senior lay practitioner in the Mountains and Rivers Order, uses her own experience of practicing gratitude over the years to speak about how offering thanks inexhaustibly highlights the complete interdependence of all things.



Guishan’s Gift

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

The True Dharma Eye, Case #56

Zen Mountain Monastery, 11/25/2018

Particularly during the holiday season, the virtue of generosity is frequently and casually invoked. But how do we actually practice true giving and true receiving? Shugen Roshi describes giving in harmony with receiving, not looking for something in return – a generosity which is deeply authentic even when only great effort can bring it forth.