Geoffrey Shugen Arnold

Mazu’s Mind is Buddha

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 5/22/2019

True Dharma Eye 278

How to avoid having a simple equation like “mind is Buddha” become a nest for generations of practitioners is reflected in this exchange between the great Dharma master Mazu and his student Daiman. We get enticed by the words and concepts like “mind is Buddha,” while we continue in our habits of grasping and dividing and perpetuating suffering in the world, until we do something different. Shugen Roshi offers this discourse during the ango’s Shuso Hossen sesshin.

Jukai Ceremony, Spring Ango 2019

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 5/12/2019

Shugen Roshi officiates the Spring Jukai ceremony at Zen Mountain Monastery in which the following six students received the sixteen Buddhist precepts: Tess Kisei (“Noble Vow”) Edmonds, Richard Seigen (“Sacred Eye”) Mocciaro, Ian Joren (“Pure Undivided Truth”) Falcon, Bruce Getsudo (“Way of the Moon”) Glick, Christine Zuimon (“Auspicious Gate”) Fowle, Ellery Seifu (“Sacred Wind”) Eskelin.  As part of the ceremony Shugen Roshi offers teachings on the moral and ethical teachings of Zen Buddhism, and the particular challenges we face in living with, and through, these vows.

Fusatsu: Practicing The Unity Of All Things

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 5/10/2019

Fusatsu 

This talk was given during the monthly Fusatsu Renewal of Vows ceremony. Shugen Roshi reminds us of the importance of examining our vows, our intentions, and asking what it means to practice them in all that we do. He leaves us with the question: how is the practice of a Bodhisattva the same as realizing emptiness? How are our daily lives interwoven with this?

Deshan Carried his Bowls

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 5/05/2019

Gateless Gate, Case 13

How do you direct your attention, how do you use your mind? A Zen koan, in the context of zazen in working with a teacher, can give you a way into the dharma, but each person must grapple with finding their way through. Shugen Roshi explores the spiritual energy of practice as the fuel which drives insight and compassion.

The Value Of Courage, Part 1

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 4/24/2019  

 

Shugen Roshi speaks about courage. What does it mean in our everyday lives? He begins with the Sutta of Bhikkhuni Uppalavanna, from the early teachings of the Buddha, who sits still in the midst of fear.  

The Value Of Courage, Part 2

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 4/27/2019  

 

Shugen Roshi continues his discourse on courage. The value of courage is one of the ten values of the Beyond Fear of Differences work. In this context he speaks about the aspects of courage being the ability to step forward, to be vulnerable, to tolerate discomfort, and to hold space for new ideas. In this part 2, Shugen Roshi elaborates on the seemingly small, genteel  phrase “to tolerate discomfort”. Examining its subtle details takes us into every area of our practice. And we see that it is actually very big indeed.

 

Vowing To Refrain From Unwholesome Action—the Value of Equity

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 4/14/2019

 

In this Sunday’s Dharma Discourse, Shugen Roshi summarizes and recaps the sessions of the Spring Ango Intensive retreat that focused on Dogen’s Shobogenzo Fascicle “Refrain From Unwholesome Action.” He brings this teaching to bear on the principle of Equity which include reparations for harm done in the ten values of Beyond Fear of Differences work, including both personal and cultural unwholesome action.

Ruiyan Calls “Master”

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 4/07/2019

Gateless Gate, Case 12  

Insight into the nature of reality, seeing things as they are, can begin when we look into the workings of our minds. The practice of zazen brings us into the realm of inquiry directly, and in this discourse Shugen Roshi offers his commentary on the koan Ruiyan Calls “Master.”  

Fusatsu: April 2019 ZMM

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 4/04/2019  

 

The second Fusatsu talk of the Spring Ango on Dogen’s fascicle “Refrain from Unwholesome Action.”  

Dharma Encounter

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 3/31/2019

 

First Dharma Encounter of the Spring Ango on Manifesting Buddha studying Dogen’s fascicle “Refrain from Unwholesome Action.”

Accountability and Mutual Responsibility

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 3/30/2019

 

This talk explores one of the core values established for cultivating the sangha’s “Beyond Fear of Differences” work: accountability to each other. Accountability ensures mutual responsibility for harmony, clear communication, and supporting one another well, and in this discourse Shugen Roshi relates this to the Bodhisattva precept: “Experience the intimacy of things—Do not defile the three treasures.”

Shantideva’s Mind Training

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 3/27/2019

 

The first talk of the Founding Sesshin, this dharma discourse explores Shantideva’s teaching on reclaiming our natural state of awareness and ease through training the mind, bringing the sincere effort of “guarding our minds” through being receptive and responsive to all that arises.

Medicine and Disease Heal Each Other

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Blue Cliff Record, Case 87

Zen Mountain Monastery, 3/24/2019

In this talk, Shugen Roshi uses Yunmen’s pithy teaching on medicine and sickness as a way of looking at the profound and challenging truths of non-attachment and non-duality. Although we may have many ideas about what these words mean, it is only through direct study and practice that we can really understand and embody them. This is the path to genuine compassion and relaxed freedom.

Beyond Fear of Differences Ten Values: Trust

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Center of New York City, 3/17/2019

 

Shugen Roshi explores one of the core values established for the “Beyond Fear of Differences” work: trust. To cultivate confidence in the Sangha’s working together with all our differences, trust is essential—not separate from compassion and love—on the path of liberation for all beings.

Fusatsu: Refrain From Unwholesome Action

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 3/14/2019

 

This Fusatsu talk invites us to reflect deeply on Dōgen’s teaching from the Spring Ango study fascicle: “Refrain from unwholesome action. Do wholesome action. Purify your own mind. This is the teaching of all buddhas.” Shugen Roshi explores how all actions (positive, negative, and neutral) are unborn, undefiled, and are reality manifest in various ways. Study of our thoughts, words, and actions with an undivided heart offers insight to understanding intentions, desires, and karma. Refraining from unwholesome action is how is “the power of practice immediately actualized” which Dōgen describes.

P’an Shan’s There is Nothing in the World

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Blue Cliff Record, Case 37

Zen Mountain Monastery, 3/10/2019

How do we meet the moment, as it is unfolding? To say that there is nothing in the three worlds (form, formless, desire) is to understand that no material world exists outside of mind. Mind itself is without any substance of its own, yet practice involves examining mind. This talk explores how this case and teaching can help us not be bound by anything — by identity, the past, nor intellectual inquiry.

Spring Ango Opening 2019 ZMM

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 3/3/2019

As we step into a new training period, Shugen Roshi reflects on “Manifesting Buddha,” the theme for this ango. He also talks about the work of confronting oppression, particularly the subtle kinds that we inflict upon those different from ourselves. This work is none other than the spiritual development of all buddhas and ancestors who sought to clarify their karma of negative emotions, self-grasping, and delusion.

 

A note about the below video: apologies for the low quality image at the start. It improves over the course of the talk.

 

 

 

Bodhidharma’s Skin, Flesh, Bones & Marrow

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

True Dharma Eye, Case 201

Zen Mountain Monastery, 02/24/2019

In the case, four of Bodhidharma’s disciples express their understanding in their own ways, and each answer contains the teacher’s whole being. All perspectives necessary, and none superior nor inferior, this talk earnestly invites us to consider the case as related to the time and place of Bodhidharma’s teaching and successors, as well our own. Aspiring toward an enlightened society that extends beyond these lives in which we find ourselves currently practicing, how will we manifest Buddha, now and into the future?

Changsha Advancing a Step (part 2/2)

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Book of Serenity, Case 79

Zen Center of New York City, 02/10/2019  

Changsha Advancing a Step (part 1/2)

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Book of Serenity, Case 79

Zen Center of New York City, 02/09/2019