Ango Intensive: The Bodies of Buddha
with Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi
October 20 - 23, 2022
In Dogen’s Shobogenzo fascicle, The Moon, he writes: Shakyamuni Buddha said, ‘Buddha’s true dharma body as it is, is open sky. In response to things, forms appear. Thus is the moon in water.’
Master Linji also taught: There is a true person of no rank, going in and out of the senses.
What is the true person that appears in response to things within your own body and mind? The Buddha was enlightened to the reality of no intrinsic, independent self: the true dharma body, the body of emptiness. Yet, in accord with karmic actions and conditions, forms appear. These forms appear as each human being, every living thing, and all of creation. When we don’t see and understand these true bodies as they are and how we perceive them, then false views, attachments and suffering are created. Our current age is an all-too-vivid testimony to how this leads to much conflict within and between the many beings of our world: black, brown and white bodies; female, male and non-binary bodies; young and old, rich and poor; sentient and insentient beings.
In this intensive, we’ll study the true dharma body, as it is taught and experienced in the Buddhist path. We’ll explore the profound implications of the phrase, In response to things, forms appear, through the teaching of dependent origination. And we’ll examine and discuss how this manifests as wisdom and compassion in our lives and upon our great Earth, both as suffering and as liberation: as greed, anger and delusion, and as wisdom, compassion and enlightenment.
Through meditation, teachings and discussions, we’ll aim to bring forth greater insight, patience, generosity and compassion towards making real Dogen’s teaching:
Buddha’s true dharma body is the “as it is” of open sky. This open sky is the “as it is” of buddha’s true dharma body. Because it is buddha’s true dharma body, the entire earth, the entire universe, all phenomena, and all appearances are open sky. Hundreds of grasses and myriad forms—each appearing as it is—are nothing but buddha’s true dharma body, thusness of the moon in water.
**Thursday arrival required for this retreat. For the online-only registration click here**
As with all in-person retreats at the Monastery, participants are required to follow the current protocol for keeping everyone safe (this link is updated frequently so check back). Review the current protocol requirements before registering, and if you have further questions, please contact the registrar.
Financial concerns should not prevent you from attending a program at the Monastery. If you can’t afford the program fee, you can see these options.
Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi is the Head of the Mountains and Rivers Order and Abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery. Shugen entered full-time residential training in 1986 after studying mathematics and receiving a degree in classical music. He received dharma transmission from John Daido Loori, Roshi in 1997. His teachings on Zen, social justice and environmental stewardship have appeared in various Buddhist journals, and The Best Buddhist Writing 2009 (Shambhala Publications). His book of poetry, O, Beautiful End, a collection of Zen memorial poems, was published in 2012.
Learn more about Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi