Geoffrey Shugen Arnold

Ch’ing-yuan

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Transmission of Light, Case 35

 Zen Mountain Monastery, 10/13/2019

Two Monastics Rolled Up the Bamboo Blinds

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Gateless Gate, Case 26

 Zen Mountain Monastery, 10/06/2019

Fall Ango 2019, Buddhist Studies, Session 2, Zen Mountain Monastery

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 10/03/2019

 

Dharma Encounter September 2019

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Dharma Encounter

Zen Mountain Monastery, 09/29/2019

Shugen Roshi presents the sangha with the question, how do we find our liberation within our day-to-day reality, the world of phenomena? How do the teachings of the dharma, of mountains and rivers, give us this opportunity to turn the light around so we can see our own minds with clarity? Share in this lively dialogue between Roshi and ango participants at the conclusion of the Mountains and Rivers sesshin.

Changsha’s “Returning to Mountains, Rivers, and the Great Earth”

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

True Dharma Eye, Case 16

Zen Mountain Monastery, 09/28/2019

How do you turn the mountains, rivers and the great earth, and return to the self? How do we see into our own delusion, anger, resentment, and by gaining clarity also find our freedom?

Valley Sounds, Mountain Colors

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Fascicle from the Treasury of the True Dharma Eye

Zen Mountain Monastery, 09/26/2019

Master Dogen’s teachings lend themselves to our own search for meaning, for relevance, for connection with others and for an end to alienation. These ancient Zen teachings have an enduring relevance to our lives, and Roshi explores how engaging practice can open up realms of generosity, healing and wellbeing, especially when we empower ourselves and engage them.

Fayan’s “Eye of the Way”

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

True Dharma Eye, Case 111

Zen Mountain Monastery, 09/22/2019

What is it that obstructs the way of wisdom; what is it that causes our distress? Two aspects of seeing in the language of the dharma are seeing into absolute, unconditioned reality and seeing into the relative reality of our day to day lives. Both are present as essential aspects of us, of human nature, so how do we tap into our innate wisdom when facing the imperatives of climate crisis, of institutionalized oppression and racism, and injustice of all kinds? We have the capacity to transform our responses in the world, and to shift the dynamic, through our dedication and commitment.

Fusatsu: A Vow Is A Living Thing

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 09/19/2019

A talk offered during the Renewal of Vows explores the dynamic give-and-take within spiritual practice and how that pivots on our intentions, on our caring, within the upheaval and changes of our lives, day in and day out.

Bajiao’s Question and Answer

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

True Dharma Eye, Case 259

Zen Mountain Monastery, 09/08/2019

All “conditioned existence” is not in a state of peace, which is another way of saying the first of the Four Noble Truths as taught by the Buddha, that all life suffers. In this discourse Shugen Roshi explores the way that this suffering is manifest and continued, or brought to an end through the process of practice, of awareness and non-grasping.

Fall Ango 2019, Buddhist Studies, Session 1, Zen Mountain Monastery

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 09/05/2019

Shugen Roshi explores the Four Noble Truths with the sangha at Zen Mountain Monastery.

 

Fall Ango Opening, Zen Mountain Monastery, 2019

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 09/01/2019

 

Ruiyan’s “Constant Principle”

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Book of Serenity, Case 75

Zen Mountain Monastery, 08/25/2019

Amid the flow of a lifetime many changes occur, so how do we navigate both change and commitment, and how do we hold our vows in the face of things and influences that affect us deeply? Shugen Roshi uses this koan to explore how the Dharma can help expand our limited views of success and failure, right and wrong, while staying true to the essence of vow and commitment on the Bodhisattva path.

Beholding the Mind

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

From The Record of Master Bodhidharma: the Breakthrough Sermon

Zen Mountain Monastery, 08/23/2019

Zen has been called a “short cut method” to enlightenment and in that regard this practice of beholding the mind might seem easy. But when called to let go of every shred of identity-clinging we create, the path seems much longer, if not impossible. Insight can be sudden but realization takes all the effort we can manage to manifest insight in the world of differentiation: practicing kindness when feeling selfish, finding equanimity in the midst of conflict, all require beholding the vast and boundless corners of mind.

Yunmen Composes a Verse

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

True Dharma Eye, Case 261

Zen Center of New York City, 08/18/2019

Poetry when used as a Zen art serves to bring seekers to realization; although they may beautifully reveal and turn the phenomenal world, all Dharma teachings in these poems point to the great reality, to Buddha nature, right here and right now. Using the example of Yunmen guiding a student in this koan, Shugen Roshi encourages us to take heed and use our time on this earth to good use, being of true benefit to both self and other.

The Diamond Cutter Scriptures Scornful Revilement

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Blue Cliff Record, Case 97

 Zen Mountain Monastery, 08/11/2019

Causes and conditions give rise to all things; so how does karma transform? How can the Buddhadharma help us understand our own potential, and our responsibility; how we can transform our own suffering, and that which we encounter in our world? In this discourse Shugen Roshi explores working with our mind’s ability to encounter extreme views and still stay present and engaged in the activity of change.

Meeting a True Person on The Way

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Master Wumen, Gateless Gate, Case 36

 Zen Mountain Monastery, 08/04/2019

The Buddha, sometimes called the Great Physician, addressed the fundamental illness of delusion, healing himself and establishing a path to help us all to that great healing. The Bodhisattva sees through the fog of delusion and lives to be of benefit to all beings, and so we grapple with our world to recognize delusion and to meet each other within great suffering, with great compassion.

Guishan’s “Great Capacity, Great Function”

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

True Dharma Eye, Case 279

 Zen Mountain Monastery, 07/28/2019

Our capacity is boundless, but how do we put one foot in front of the other again and again on a long spiritual path? Letting go of fixed patterns and habits is a process; freeing ourselves and others from great suffering takes time and commitment. Our potential, Shugen Roshi reminds us, comes alive from our willingness to practice and encounter things as they are, without shutting down or turning away. And we don’t do this alone, but with the support and guidance and wisdom of others.

Fayan Points to a Blind

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 7/7/2019

Book of Serenity, Case 27

How is it when a vow is made without clarity of our true intentions, or who will be impacted, or the results of our actions? How do we revisit, again and again, that commitment or vow and make it “more perfect”? This ancient Dharma teaching from Master Fayan and the pledge behind our own Independence Day vows—the Constitution of the US—both reflect and create our world, and our place in it.

Ordinary Mind is the Way

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 6/30/2019

Gateless Gate, Case 19

Zhouzou asks Master Nanquan, “What is the way?” and is instructed, “Ordinary mind is the way.” What are we to make of this, where clearly there is more below the surface to be reckoned with? This talk is third in a series on sacred mountain training, this time looking at living and practicing within the world of distractions, contradictions and trouble.  Shugen Roshi cites the tenth Ox-herding verses to describe the mystery and groundedness of ordinary mind:

Barefooted and naked of breast,
I mingle with the people
of the world.
My clothes are ragged and dust-laden,
and I am ever blissful.
I use no magic to extend my life;
Now, before me, the dead trees
become alive.

Zhaozhou’s Mu

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 6/29/2019

Gateless Gate, Case 1

A student asked the master, “Does even a dog have buddha nature or not?”
The master replied, “Not.”
For a thousand years or so, this exchange between two practitioners of ancient China has been a perplexing poison/medicine to Zen students—shriveling the ego’s defenses and uncovering the fertile ground below. In many schools, it is the first koan one is assigned. In some schools, it is the only koan to be ever assigned. It is “the great barrier gate of wise ones and sages.” And despite all the mythologizing and cultural/historical distance, as Shugen Roshi points out in this talk from Summer Solstice Sesshin, for each person who takes it up, it always boils down to one intimate moment.