Jody Hojin Kimmel

Fusatsu: Humility and Reverence

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Mountain Monastery, 05/15/2020

We each create the entire world in every moment; every thought, word and action goes into the stream. The majesty of creation gives us everything we need; so how might humility and reverence be qualities of being we might want to cultivate, and aspire to? Awe, wonder and a little fear help us wake up to the vastness of the path, offers Hojin Sensei, and help nourish our continuous good practice of discovery within the precepts.

Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. at ZCNYC

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Center of New York City, 01/19/2020

Hojin Sensei remembers the life and teaching of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Still with so much to teach us, he can be with us now in our ways of life, our actions and our speech. What did he see within himself that led him down a path of compassion and love, interdependence and nonviolence? Dr. King said, “I felt an inescapable urge to serve society, a responsibility which I could not escape,” which Hojin Sensei sees in this the mind of the bodhisattva who that feels there is no other way, who sees the immense suffering of people and is led to do something in response. Dr. King’s words remind us, “We are all tied together in a single garment of destiny.”

Please note: the audio near the end of this podcast is of variable quality.

 

Ceaseless Practice

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Center of New York City, 01/18/2020

The path of ceaseless practice is always proceeding and is not different from enlightenment. Hojin Sensei takes up the teachings of Gyoji, from Dogen’s Shobogenzo, noting that awakening is not a goal-oriented activity. She says, There is an end-point or destination, no “final clarification.” There is just an end of ignorance of our own true nature and the beginning of what it is to live. There may be an end of not knowing who we are, but this is also a beginning, and at its heart is ceaseless peace, wisdom and benevolence.

Jukai Ceremony, Winter 2020, ZCNYC

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Center of New York City, 01/12/2020

 

On Sunday, January 12, Hojin Sensei officiated a winter Jukai ceremony at Fire Lotus Temple in which three students received the sixteen Buddhist precepts.  As part of the ceremony Hojin Sensei offered teachings on the moral and ethical teachings of Zen Buddhism, and the particular challenges we face in living with, and through, these vows.

After a week of training, including hand sewing a rakusu and receiving the ancestral lineage charts, the three new Jukai students received the following dharma names: Jean Ann Oji Wertz (“Compassionate, Loving Response”); David Genwa Nelson (“Eye of Harmony”); Simon Sekku Harrison (“Touching Sky-like Nature”).

 

When A Question Is Lit

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Mountain Monastery, 12/22/2019

Hojin Sensei examines the nature of inquiry, exploring how diligent practice arises from the basic questions about who we are and the nature of dharma, or reality, itself. With a lyric from Bob Dylan, “A question in our nerves is lit,” she delves into the deep inquiry that requires asking what we sincerely care about, where nothing can be assumed to be true. Faith and insight evolves as a direct result of our own whole-hearted inquiry.

The Power Of Inquiry

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Center of New York City, 12/15/2019

This podcast is similar to the talk Hojin Sensei gave later on 12/22/2019, at Zen Mountain Monastery.  That talk was titled: When A Question Is Lit.

 

Advice of the Caterpillar

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Center of New York City, 11/10/2019

“Who are you?” said the caterpillar to Alice. Using  Alice in Wonderland, Hojin Sensei teaches us that inquiry is one of the best means we can use to lessen our rigidity, the hardness of our conditioning, and turn it into curiosity. Practice invites us to step outside of the assumed reality, relaxing our fixed perceptions, even as we encounter the discomfort of change, so we can encounter the fluidity of life where “Even mountains are moving.” With inquiry we begin to see and know the non-separation at the ground of being, the interdependence of all life.

Fusatsu: Taking Good Care

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Mountain Monastery, 11/06/2019

“Taking care is the energetic cherishing of what we regard as good,” says Hojin Sensei in her introduction to the ceremony of Fusatsu, or Renewal of Vows. To live a life of taking care requires that we recognize that there is no time to waste, and then bringing an ethical orientation from the Buddhist precepts to every activity of our lives.

Awakening at the Heart

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Mountain Monastery, 10/25/2019

From Master Hongzhi’s “Cultivating the Empty Field.”

Hojin Sensei delves into Hongzhi’s poetic dharma instructions for awakening, still fresh. This practice of inquiry reveals how we come to be, creating ‘self’ and all the places where we become dis-embodied. We can learn to move freely within the wholeness and illumination which is our awakening at heart, undivided, revealing to ourselves the ebb and flow of all phenomena.

Reluctant Bodhisattva

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Center of New York City,  09/22/2019

Within our connections to each other we sometimes falter. This very human endeavor to be of benefit is also where we find our reluctance, the great “no way” of the Great Way. This is the place where we actually can awaken great compassion, arising even when we’re struggling—or find ourselves in what feels like a hot hell realm—there is wisdom and light within our aspiration that we might not find in any other situation.

Take Good Care

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Center of New York City,  09/21/2019

At the global Climate Strike, young people expressed their urgency for taking care of our earth in all that we do. In the Dhammapada, teachings on caring are emphasized, and Buddha also encouraged in his last words to the sangha, taking care. Hojin Sensei explores how we do or don’t take good care, in our own minds and with each other, encouraging us to look deeply into the ways that we can show our care.

Not Mixing up Buddhism

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Mountain Monastery, 09/15/2019

As the concluding dharma talk of the Wild Grasses women’s sesshin, Hojin Sensei offers this koan exploring the clarity that puts to rest notions of good and bad, higher and lower, and the many identities with which the Dharma is realized and manifest in the world.

No Reference Point – Wild Grasses Women’s Sesshin

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Mountain Monastery, 09/13/2019

Dharma talk from the Wild Grasses Women’s Sesshin

Please note –  the audio at the start is of variable quality but improves during the talk.  

Mondo: Sangha Gathering

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Ron Hogen Green, Sensei & Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Center of New York City, 08/25/2019

Please note –  the audio at the start is poor quality but improves during the mondo.

Co-directors of ZCNYC lead a sangha discussion about current events at the Temple, on-going repairs to the building, staff and monastic contributions, volunteer and residency opportunities as well as upcoming retreats and teachings in the Mountains & Rivers Order of Zen Buddhism.

Born as the Earth

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Center of New York City, 08/11/2019

Taking up a commentary from Koans of the Way of Reality, Hojin asks, “where do you find your self?” How do we realize ourselves as the entire world? Within all that we’re holding together and in our hearts and minds, returning to this great earth is returning again to our natural mind, our “Buddha nature,” and our great capacity, even in the most challenging of times.

Grounding in Groundlessness

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Mountain Monastery, 07/24/2019

In this talk from Interdependence Sesshin, Hojin Sensei employs the concept of immo—or “that which is”—from Master Dogen’s fascicle of the same name. Being tripped up by the ground beneath our feet (or a situation that we meet) we depend on that same ground to get back up. And we also depend upon the empty space, our full potential. When you stumble and fall, Sensei suggests, don’t be so quick to jump back up again. You may just find hidden gems, including the ground itself.

Keeping Quiet

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Mountain Monastery, 07/21/2019

 

Attention Attending

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Mountain Monastery, 06/27/2019

 

Quoting an old Zen story, a student asks what is the basis of great wisdom and the teacher answers “Attention!” Hojin Sensei speaks about the student’s struggle to understand and see what is profound and subtle in this instruction, attention attention attention!  How can whole-hearted and simple attention help us to work skillfully with what is directly in front of us? 

Art and Dharma: Waking up to Wonder

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Center of New York City, 05/19/2019

 

Hojin Sensei explores art as an extension of Dharma and how it helps us keep the world fresh, new, and wondrous. Referencing visual artists, poets, and novelists, she considers how art can interrupt conditioned ways of viewing the world to allow us to live more fully.  

Meeting Great Ancestor Liu Tiemo

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Center of New York City, 05/12/2019

 

After invoking all mothers, Hojin Sensei turns to Iron Grindstone Liu, a formidable female teacher from the Zen tradition. Taking up an encounter between the Grindstone and her teacher, Guishan, Hojin implores us to consider—where is the true feast? Where is it ever, other than right here, right now?