Geoffrey Shugen Arnold

Awakening Justice

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Awakening Justice
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 1/17/2021

This week, the Monastery and MRO sangha celebrated the life and legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with a special Sunday service. We’ll be making Sunday’s Awakening Justice program available online next week. For now, you can view Shugen Roshi’s pre-recorded address for the occasion, or listen to the audio above.

Brave Together: A Conversation Panel

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Brave Together: A Conversation Panel
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On Thursday evening, we tuned in to Brave Together. This conversation panel was moderated by MRO sangha member Tanya Bonner and featured author Pamela Ayo Yetunde, co-editor of Black and Buddhist, and MRO sangha members Degna Chikei Levister and Yama Faye.

The four panelists took up questions related to how they encountered Buddhism and connected with the Dharma, and their experiences as Black practitioners entering different sangha communities. This lively discussion is followed by a brief Q&A.

Mind is Buddha

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Mind is Buddha
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 1/10/2021

Mumonkan (Gateless Gate) – Case 30: Mind is Buddha

Breathing Into Humility

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Breathing Into Humility
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 12/30/2020

Book of Serenity, Case 3: “The Invitation of the Ancestor to Eastern India”

“A raja invited the twenty-seventh Buddhist ancestor Prajnatara to a feast. The raja asked Prajnatara, “Why don’t you read scriptures?” The ancestor said, “This poor wayfarer doesn’t dwell in the realms of the body or mind when breathing in, doesn’t get involved in myriad circumstances when breathing out—I always reiterate such a scripture, hundreds, thousands, millions of scrolls.”

At the end of a difficult year, Shugen Roshi offers a thoughtful and compassionate teaching on wholehearted-continuous practice. Beginning with a story of the very first ZMM New Year’s Eve in 1980, Roshi goes on to examine what it means to not “dwell in the realms of the body or mind when breathing in.” Pointing out that we, as practitioners, can become attached to forms, even though our inherent nature is without restriction. Holding tightly to our conceptions, we might mistake the forms of practice for practice. Going deeper into the heart of being, we’re able to use the forms as structure and skillful means.

The Distance of Heaven and Earth

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Distance of Heaven and Earth
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 12/20/2020

 

Shakyamuni Buddha

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Shakyamuni Buddha
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 12/13/2020

The Transmission of the Light, Case #1

What is Solitude?

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
What is Solitude?
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 12/6/2020

The Blue Cliff Record, Case 26: “Baizhang’s Sitting Alone on Ta Hsiung Mountain”

What is Sanctuary?

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
What is Sanctuary?
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 11/29/2020

Book of Serenity, Case 4: “The World-Honored One Points to the Ground”

Mondo on Humility, Confidence, and Inspiration

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Mondo on Humility, Confidence, and Inspiration
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 11/22/2020

A question and answer session with Shugen Roshi,  the residents of Zen Mountain Monastery, and the larger sangha, who participated via zoom.

Shugen Roshi concludes his teachings from  The Thirty Seven Verses on the Practice of a Bodhisattva, with verse 37:

“To clear away the suffering of all infinite beings,
With superior knowledge free of concepts of the three spheres,
To dedicate the merit accumulated through these efforts to enlightenment
Is the practice of a Bodhisattva.”

Always Examine the State of your Mind

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Always Examine the State of your Mind
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 11/21/2020

Shugen Roshi continues his teachings from  The Thirty Seven Verses on the Practice of a Bodhisattva, with verse 36:

“In brief, wherever you are and whatever you do,
Always examine the state of your mind.
Cultivating mindfulness and awareness continuously,
To benefit others is the practice of a Bodhisattva.”

Seize the Weapon of the Antidote

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Seize the Weapon of the Antidote
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 11/19/2020

Shugen Roshi continues his teachings from  The Thirty Seven Verses on the Practice of a Bodhisattva, with verse 35:

“When emotions become habitual, they are hard to get rid of with antidotes.
Therefore, with mindfulness and vigilance, to seize the weapon of the antidote
And crush attachment and other negative emotions
The moment they arise is the practice of a bodhisattva”

Speaking to our hearts and minds, Shugen Roshi expounds on the afflictive emotions that can toss us into turmoil. Pointing to their inherent empty nature Roshi asks us to question where the power of emotions lies. Better still, we should ask who or what is giving our emotions so much strength. Using the teachings, Shugen shows that it is our distracted mind that gives rise to our conflict with emotion. This conflict is only strengthened in subconscious habitual patterns. Thus, seize the weapon of the antidote, skillfully practice with mindfulness and vigilance.

Harmonizing Inner and Outer

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Harmonizing Inner and Outer
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 11/15/2020

Shugen Roshi continues his teachings from  The Thirty Seven Verses on the Practice of a Bodhisattva, with verse 33 and 34:

“Offerings and respect may bring discord
And cause listening, reflection, and meditation to decline.
Therefore, to avoid attachment
To the homes of friends and benefactors is the practice of a bodhisattva.”

“Harsh words disturb the minds of others
And spoil our own bodhisattva practice.
Therefore, to give up rough speech,
Which others find unpleasant, is the practice of a bodhisattva.”

Freeing from Delusion

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Freeing from Delusion
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 11/8/2020

Shugen Roshi continues his teachings from  The Thirty Seven Verses on the Practice of a Bodhisattva, with verse 31 and 32:

“If I do not examine my own defects,
Though outwardly a Dharma practitioner, I may act contrary to the Dharma.
Therefore, continuously to examine my own faults
And give them up is the practice of a bodhisattva.”

“If, impelled by negative emotions, I relate the faults
Of other bodhisattvas, I will myself degenerate.
Therefore, to not talk about the faults of anyone
Who has entered the Mahayana is the practice of a bodhisattva.”

Love Thy Enemies

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Love Thy Enemies
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 11/1/2020

Shugen Roshi continues his teachings from  The Thirty Seven Verses on the Practice of a Bodhisattva, with verse 14:

“Even if someone says all sorts of derogatory things about me
And proclaims them throughout the universe,
In return, out of loving-kindness,
To extol that person’s qualities is the practice of a bodhisattva.”

Mondo on Metta Loving-Kindness Practice

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Mondo on Metta Loving-Kindness Practice
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 10/25/2020

Shugen Roshi begins this Mondo by offering listeners an overview of Metta loving-kindness practice. By highlight fundamental teachings on the practice, Shugen Roshi illuminates a path that students can take to nurture wisdom and compassion in their lives. This is followed by a rich question and answer session between Shugen Roshi, the residents of Zen Mountain Monastery, and the larger sangha, who participated via zoom.

Transforming Negative Actions on the Bodhisattva Path

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Transforming Negative Actions on the Bodhisattva Path
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 10/24/2020

Shugen Roshi continues his teachings from  The Thirty Seven Verses on the Practice of a Bodhisattva, with verse 13:

“If, in return for not the slightest wrong of mine, Someone were to cut off even my very head, Through the power of compassion to take all their negative actions Upon myself is the practice of a bodhisattva.”

Speaking to embodiment of the 13th verse, Shugen Roshi points to it’s non-dogmatic nature. As in the case with the precepts, this verse is meant to serve us and all beings. In doing so it can not be a rule to bind us, but instead a guide in moments of confusion. Thus the embodiment of the verse and our Bodhisattva path should always be sensitive to the time, place, and circumstance in which we find ourselves. By cultivating mindfulness through our practice, we are able to transform negative actions directed toward us into wisdom and compassion for all beings.

Giving Generously to Thieves

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Giving Generously to Thieves
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 10/22/2020

Shugen Roshi continues his teachings from  The Thirty Seven Verses on the Practice of a Bodhisattva, with verse 12:

“If someone driven by great desire Seizes all my wealth, or induces others to do so, To dedicate to them my body, possessions, And past, present, and future merit is the practice of a bodhisattva”

Speaking directly to the Bodhisattva way of life, verse 12, may inspire us to practice deeply or perhaps fill us with a defensive anger. Wherever we are, this verse is sure to invoke a stir within us. And regardless of wherever we think we are, Shugen shows that we can incorporate this teachings into our lives, and for our lives. He asks us to consider who steals from us? We may think of specific individuals in our lives, but time will rob us of our health. Natural disasters may rob us of our friends, homes, or wealth. And what do we do when these things are taken from us unfairly? To guide us, Shugen explores the profound nature of Dana, or giving. Even when we find it hard to give, when we have been wronged. We can give patience, we can give non-violence. By practicing where we are, we manifest the bodhisattva path.

Benefiting Others

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Benefiting Others
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 10/18/2020

From  “The Thirty Seven Verses on the Practice of a Bodhisattva“, verse 11, Benefiting Others.

All suffering comes from yearning for your own happiness.
The perfect Buddhas are born from the intention to benefit others.
Therefore, to truly exchange your own happiness
For the suffering of others is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

Fusatsu: Developing Bodhicitta

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Fusatsu: Developing Bodhicitta
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 10/15/2020

From  “The Thirty Seven Verses on the Practice of a Bodhisattva“, verse 10, Developing Bodhicitta.

“From beginningless time your mothers have cherished you,
If they now suffer, what good is your own happiness?
Therefore, in order to liberate limitless sentient beings,
Giving rise to bodhicitta is the practice of a Bodhisattva.”

Celebrating a Forty Year Archive of Sanity

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Celebrating a Forty Year Archive of Sanity
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 10/11/2020

Speaking at the conclusion to our 40th Anniversary Weekend, Shugen Roshi reflects on the past, present and future of this “archive of sanity.” At the heart of all that we do, he says, is our commitment to waking up using the wisdom teachings we have been entrusted with. “When our practice is merged with insight-realization, when it’s based in the dedication, the devotion to this never changing supreme state of realization, then all that we call Buddhism is present.”