Other MRO Teachings

Listen There is Something You Need to Hear

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Bear Gokan Bonebakker, Senior Monastic

Zen Center of New York City, 2/17/2019

Entering via the Buddha’s consistent offering of the noble eightfold path as route to liberation, this talk deepens understandings of helpful view, intention, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness and concentration by encouraging us to always keep looking and listening, as the universe itself is always teaching truth at any given moment. We have to listen to find practice for ourselves by training in these skillful aspects of morality, concentration and insight. Direct experience is always true, but requires repeatedly verifying such for ourselves, as we don’t know how deep it really goes. How can liberation permeate our lives, settling agitation, and thus seeing clearly?

Do Not Squander Your Life

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ShoanDanica Shoan Ankele, Monastic

Zen Mountain Monastery, 01/27/2019

 

What is squandering? This talk invites us to connect to our personal senses of the crux of what it means to live spiritually,  working with our minds to uncover the intrinsic wholeness so often obscured in this very life. How can we use hindrances themselves as a points of entry for discovering a natural mind-state, thus re-connecting to the essence of truth? Forget trying to achieve in practice. Just show up and practice your life. Your one precious life.

Right View, Right Seeing

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Michelle Seigei Spark, Lay Senior

Zen Mountain Monastery, 01/25/2019

This talk looks to basic Buddhist teachings as a foundation for entering practice, citing ‘right view’ as the first step in the eight-fold path. Drawing upon Pali and Tibetan teachings, as well as insights of direct experience, personally examining the four noble truths allows us to return to spaciousness and to trust our ability to love. 

 

A Single Excellent Night, Part 3

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Bear Gokan Bonebakker, Senior Monastic

Zen Mountain Monastery, 01/24/2019

 

In the third of his talks on a Pali teaching about the urgency of practicing the present moment, Gokan reflects on aspects of his first two talks inquiring into our tendencies to dwell in either reviving the past or in future hopes, with citations including the Gospel of Thomas.

Listening To The Way

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Danica Shoan Ankele, Senior MonasticShoan

Zen Center of New York City, 1/6/2019

“Seeking answers with closed ears is like trying to touch the ocean bottom with a pole.”  Opening with a poem by Ryokan, a 17th century Zen master, Shoan encourages us to stop creating, let go of our fixed ideas, and practice attentively listening to ourselves, to others, and to our world.

 

Nuts and Bolts

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Yukon

Michael Yukon Grody, Senior Monastic

Zen Center of New York City, 12/30/2018

A Single Excellent Night, Part 2

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Bear Gokan Bonebakker, Senior Monastic

Zen Mountain Monastery, 12/30/2018

 

In the second of two talks on a Pali teaching about the urgency of practicing the present moment, Gokan reflects on the tendency to imagine the future, whether with excitement or dread, rather than truly dwelling where we find ourselves. He urges us to remember that our fantasies of the future are only mental fabrications – our life is happening right now.

A Perfect Offering

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Prabu Gikon Vasan, Senior Lay Practitioner

Zen Mountain Monastery, 12/28/2018

 

Gikon uses the opening prayer from Shantideva’s “Way of the Bodhisattva” to draw our attention to the many moments of offering which punctuate the liturgy of sesshin, urging us to take up this practice wholeheartedly even in moments where we may feel we have nothing to give.

The Happiness of All Beings

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Patrick Yunen Kelly, Senior Lay Student

Zen Center of New York City, 12/16/2018

Happiness is pervasive: it doesn’t increase or decrease. Our mind, meanwhile, experiences happiness and unhappiness, sometimes with great intensity. If happiness is our real condition, what is it that we look for from practice? 

A Single Excellent Night

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Bear Gokan Bonebakker, Senior Monastic

Zen Mountain Monastery, 12/2/2018

 

Gokan uses an early teaching of the Buddha to speak about the role of the past in our practice and the need to see the way in which our past shapes our present while still being able to let that go and rest in this moment. We apologize that the first few minutes of this talk were not recorded.

The Practice of Giving Thanks

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Jeanne Seisen Lewis, Senior Lay Student

Zen Center of New York City, 11/25/2018

 

Seisen, a senior lay practitioner in the Mountains and Rivers Order, uses her own experience of practicing gratitude over the years to speak about how offering thanks inexhaustibly highlights the complete interdependence of all things.

 

 

Shuso Hossen Ceremony for Kerstin Seishin Maile

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Kerstin Seishin Maile, Senior Lay Student

The True Dharma Eye, Case #212

Zen Mountain Monastery, 11/18/2018

Seishin, a seasoned practitioner in the Mountains and Rivers Order, offers her first talk and engages the sangha in dharma encounter as part of her transition into the role of a senior student.  We apologize for the low quality of this recording.

No Time To Waste

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Prabu Gikon Vasan, Senior Lay Practitioner

Zen Center of New York City, 11/18/2018

 

Gikon uses the teachings of early Theravada nuns, in particular the experience of Kisa Gautami, to examine the meaning of true freedom, and relates their struggles our modern day experiences of meeting barriers and attachments.

Calling In The Ancestors

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Danica Shoan Ankele, Senior MonasticShoan

Zen Mountain Monastery, 11/15/18

 

In this talk, Shoan evokes the pervasive presence of the ancestors in our practice of zazen, oryoki, and liturgy. She cites the writings of women ancestors across space and time, speaking to the mystical truth-seeking heart of every religious tradition.

To Be Cultivated and Not To Be Cultivated

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Bear Gokan Bonebakker, Senior Monastic

Zen Center of New York City, 11/11/2018

 

Drawing on the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, Chan Master Sheng-Yen, and IMS Teacher Joseph Goldstein, Gokan offers insight into how we stop creating evil, practice good, and actualize good for others. How does zazen help us to do that, to stay in our own experience? And how do zazen and the precepts give each other life?

From the Archives: A Vow of Service

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Bernard Tetsugen Glassman, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 10/26/1991

 

This is an excerpt of a retreat given by Bernie Tetsugen Glassman at Zen Mountain Monastery on October 26. 1991. Bernie Roshi, who passed away this past Sunday, was Taizan Maezumi Roshi’s first dharma heir at Zen Center of Los Angeles and played a key role in John Daido Loori’s founding of Zen Mountain Monastery. Here he discusses how to help people while still empowering them and the role of social action in Buddhist practice.  Bernie, as he humbly preferred to be known, pioneered the concept of street retreats, bringing hundreds of people to live as and among the homeless in order to get a glimpse of their reality and thereby cultivate compassion for those that our society often overlooks. He also led many Bearing Witness retreats, a mainstay of the Zen Peacemakers Order, bringing groups to sites of historic genocide and practicing the three tenets of Zen Peacemakers: not knowing (including not setting an agenda for one’s experience), bearing witness (not turning away), and taking action (within the framework of the Buddhist precepts). To learn more about Bernie Roshi’s life and accomplishments, visit ZenPeacemakers.org and please consider offering your support to that wonderful organization.

Humility and Vulnerability

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YukonMichael Yukon Grody, Monastic

Zen Center of New York City, 10/28/2018

 

Body Wisdom: the Miracle of Aliveness

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Michael Chizen Brown, Senior Lay Practitioner

Zen Mountain Monastery, 10/25/2018

 

Chizen. a senior lay practitioner in the Mountains and Rivers Order, reminds us that we are neither separate from our own bodies nor from the great earth itself.

The Inner Tyrant

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Bear Gokan Bonebakker, Senior Monastic

Zen Mountain Monastery, 10/25/2018

 

“Take care of your mind”, Gokan urges in this talk, encouraging us to treat the voice of our insecurities with kindness.

Cynicism and Warmth

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Judy Lief

 Zen Mountain Monastery, 10/21/2018

 

Judy Lief, a teacher in the Shambhala lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, concludes a retreat on the lojong slogans by speaking about the importance of a tender heart in practice and in action.