Other MRO Teachings

The Practice of True Reality

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Bear Gokan Bonebakker, Senior Monastic

Zen Mountain Monastery, 08/18/2019

A verse by Master Hongzhi is a direct encouragement to work with mind and the thoughts which generally occupy us. This helpful talk from monastic Gokan explores using these teachings to shift from habitual spinning into a practice that is not obscured by external causes and conditions, but is a practice of true reality.

Using the 24 Hours

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Valerie Meiju Linet, Senior Lay Student

Zen Center of New York City, 08/04/2019

How do we best use our minds throughout the day? Taking up an exchange between Zen master Joshu and a student, senior lay student Meiju explores the urgency we feel at not wasting our lives, or our time, as a place that often slips into disconnection from what is actually happening. How do we use the 24-hours without being used by them?

The Monster Within

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Yukon

Michael Yukon Grody, Senior Monastic

Zen Center of New York City, 07/28/2019

We all have the capacity to change for the better, and often face resistance to those very changes that could improve our lives and those of our communities and our world. What is underneath our resistance? Monastic Yukon asks, What do we feel apart from, how do we feel disconnected? From the natural world, and from each other? Understanding our minds and our intrinsic Buddha nature can bring out the sense of wholeness and compassion within us that we deeply want to know.

Buddhas come Whole

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Bear Gokan Bonebakker, Senior Monastic

Zen Mountain Monastery, 7/27/2019

Sesshin can provide us with many things: time and space to develop concentrated awareness; an enhanced appreciation for the value of sangha. It also has the power to show us our minds more keenly than at other times, particularly where we get stuck.
On the last day of Interdepedence Sesshin, Senior Monastic Gokan talks about the irritations that can arise, and do arise, in the container of a weeklong meditation intensive. Whether it’s an itch or a person triggering an habitual annoyance, where does it begin? And where exactly is the problem?

Pilgrim at Garuda Island

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ShoanDanica Shoan Ankele, Monastic

Zen Mountain Monastery, 07/26/2019

Flying garudas, tinkling bees and singing dakinis. Senior Monastic Shoan Ankele describes some of the practices taken up during the women’s wilderness retreat earlier this month. Seated on the banks of a sparkling Adirondack Lake, immanent details of the shoreline come into sharp focus. “Are we noticing this world?” Shoan asks. “When our mind quiets we can catch a glimpse. And the implications of a glimpse give us some sense of what’s possible. They reverberate.”

Mistakes in Practice, Practicing Mistakes

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Patrick Yunen Kelly, Senior Lay Student

Zen Mountain Monastery, 07/25/2019

 

Academic Study

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Patrick Yunen Kelly, Senior Lay Student

Zen Center of New York City, 07/21/2019

Please note the first few minutes of this audio are missing.

Factors of Awakening

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Bear Gokan Bonebakker, Senior Monastic

Zen Mountain Monastery, 7/14/2019

The Buddha’s early teachings in the sutras included mythical beings, the Nagas, as role models to help guide our practice into wholesome qualities and expansiveness. The Seven Factors of Awakening demonstrate these qualities of the Nagas, and as Gokan offers in this senior’s talk, and we can nourish ourselves with understanding the factors of mindfulness, investigation of dharmas, energy, rapture, calm, concentration and equanimity.

 

Minding the Gap

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Robert Rakusan Ricci, Senior Monastic

Zen Center of New York City, 7/14/2019

The Buddha taught to calm the agitations of the mind and so develop awareness and attention to the details of our lives, to mind the gaps and close the chasm between ignorance and our true nature, and all of reality. Using words of Master Dogen and the poet Leonard Cohen, senior monastic Rakusan brings us the ancient teachings into the light of our daily lives.

Illness and Medicine

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Prabu Gikon Vasan, Senior Lay Practitioner

Zen Mountain Monastery, 07/13/2019

What happens when someone on a spiritual path encounters difficulty, especially when the things that had maintained ones wellbeing are jeopardized or outright vanish? Turning to teachings of Zen Master Torei, senior lay student Gikon explores the wisdom of facing the conditions in our present reality, whatever it is, bringing all of our inner resources to light.

 

Working With The Hindrances

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Bear Gokan Bonebakker, Senior Monastic

Zen Center of New York City, 7/7/2019

 

In this talk, Senior Monastic Gokan explores some of the barriers along the Buddhist path and ways to work with them. He asks us to consider: What is a thought? Where does it come from, and what is it made of? When we release them, and what is it that’s left? How do we work skillfully with our minds and all that arises, both on and off the meditation cushion?

Where is the Other?

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Horace Kaishu Moody, Senior Lay Student

Zen Mountain Monastery, 06/28/2019 

Going in to the heart of the Bodhisattva precepts, this talk asks “what is other?” – much like we often ask in relationship with the world, “what is self?” How is this apparent self and other, in fact, not clearly separate at all? Sharing the grieving and remembrance of a cherished friend, or taking responsibility for our own thoughts and actions, can be inexplicable and wonderful when there is no separation of self and other.

Aging in the Now

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Rev. Trudi Jinpu Hirsch-Abramson

Zen Center of New York City, 6/23/2019

Rev. Jinpu offers her engaging stories about the practice of aging and living in the now. An ordained Buddhist priest and hospice chaplain, Jinpu has over twenty years of experience in practicing and teaching others to care for and celebrate all of life.

How Do You Know?

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ShoanDanica Shoan Ankele, Monastic

Zen Center of New York City, 06/16/2019

How do you know when practice is really working, and when its not? With teachings from the Diamond Sutra and Shakespeare, Shoan encourages connection with the elemental questions that lead us to practice, to return to them again, exploring some common ways we are derailed. Through the practice of zazen we can re-focus on direct experience of the breath, and learn how it is that we know when practice is working.

Lay Practice

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Patrick Yunen Kelly, Senior Lay Student

Zen Center of New York City, 05/26/2019  

Using teachings of Shantideva as a starting point, Yunen explores how lay practice can be a strong, vital, integrated part of training in Zen Buddhist practice, much as the Buddha intended in describing the the sangha as comprised of laypeople and monastics practicing together.

Remain Wide Open Like the Sky

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ShoanDanica Shoan Ankele, Monastic

Zen Mountain Monastery, 05/24/2019

 

If the truth fills the whole universe and nothing is hidden, why don’t I see it? How do I work with this “mind of afflictions” which is identical to “Buddha mind”? Mn. Shoan brings us encouraging words from the Mahamudra tradition to help us with our practice of manifesting Buddha.

Before the Thought, Right Intention

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Michelle Seigei Spark, Lay Senior

Zen Mountain Monastery, 5/23/2019

Being affected by and affecting others, in every interaction we can appreciate what we offer and what we receive. Lay student Seigei explores this awareness of intention, before the thought, and how with every action and in every moment we re-make the world.

Come Closer

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Yukon

Michael Yukon Grody, Senior Monastic

Zen Center of New York City, 4/28/2019

 

Yukon encourages us to move closer to the way things are, not the way we want them to be. This is easy to say but difficult to remember to do. We use the precepts to help guide us.

The Mind Is Already Peaceful

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Bear Gokan Bonebakker, Senior Monastic

Zen Mountain Monastery, 4/21/2019

 

We can be deceived by our moods and feelings into believing that they are us. Gokan shows us that by simply remembering to return to the moment we can see through our agitations to find our inherent peaceful Mind.

Cultivating Reverence

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Bear Gokan Bonebakker, Senior Monastic

Zen Center of New York City, 3/31/2019

 

Gokan takes up Dogen’s opening lines of the Ango fascicle, “Refrain from Unwholesome Action,” and asks what is refrain from? Gokan suggests we cultivate reverence.