Dongshan’s Five Ranks – Part 2 of 3

The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Dongshan's Five Ranks - Part 2 of 3

Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, New York, Saturday Afternoon 07/24/2021

From Master Dongshan’s Five Ranks

Shugen Roshi teaches that the “Five Ranks” describing stages of realization in Zen Buddhism can seem remote and abstract, but in essence they address the question of how to live fully in the world, peacefully and joyfully, without conflict. They are aspects of the interrelationship of our relative, moment to moment existence, and the absolute nature of reality, and so are never far away at all.

Here, in Part 2, Shugen Roshi takes up the Third Rank: “Coming from within the Real”. Habitually, we experience the World as objects including ourselves and others. All forms seem different and we mistakenly see ourselves as distinct from everything else. How can we shift this perception and see the interdependence of all things? Roshi talks about the importance of zazen in settling into this realization.

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