Mondo on the Jataka Tales: Hairy Kassapa

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Ron Hogen Green, Sensei

 Zen Center of New York City, 10/31/2018


Hogen Sensei leads the last of three group study sessions on the Jataka Tales, legends about the previous lives of the Buddha found in the Pali Canon. Here he takes up the story of Kassapa, an ascetic whose almost abandons his commitment to non-harming in order to marry the king’s beautiful daughter, Candavati. The discussion focuses on gender, desire, objectification, and what it means to study texts from cultural contexts different than our own.

Buddha as Robber, Teacher as Thief: Mondo on the Jataka Tales

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Ron Hogen Green, Sensei

 Zen Center of New York City, 10/18/2018


In the second of three sessions looking at the Jataka Tales, Hogen Sensei leads a group study of one of the Buddha’s past lives in which, oddly enough, he was the leader of a gang. What can learn from this tale about our own choices in life? What can we learn about the long road of karma?

Mondo on the Jataka Tales

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Vanessa Zuisei Goddard, Sensei

Zen Mountain Monastery, 10/17/2018


Zuisei Sensei leads an in-depth examination of selected Jataka Tales, stories of the Buddha’s previous lives. The discussion touches on the role of female characters, the workings of karma, and the power of religious narrative.

Mondo on Buddha Ancestors

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 10/4/2018


Shugen Roshi leads a discussion of the recorded lives and past lives of the Buddha’s first disciples, touching on the nature of religious narrative, Buddhist philosophies of karma and rebirth, and the importance of studying the ancestors.

Unfortunately, a few minutes of this talk could not be recorded due to technical difficulties.