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Hitting the Target

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Hitting the Target
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, New York, Sunday 08/14/2022

From the Book of Serenity, Case 16 – Magu Shakes His Staff

Why do we practice mindfulness, why do we develop concentration, why do we do meditation? These and other aspects of practice… What do they bring us to? Shugen Roshi asks us to look carefully about what we think we’re after; what are we aiming for? For instance, how do we manifest compassion, living in a world of good and evil, without creating more entanglements, without getting caught in the realm of right and wrong?

 

Find Your Way In, Just Now

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Find Your Way In, Just Now
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, New York, Sunday 08/07/2022

From Master Wu-men’s Gateless Gate, Case 8 – Hsi-chung Makes Carts

The Buddha realized, and taught, that it is our sense of self, our sense of our individual person within, that is the source of everything we create that causes distress and confusion and unhappiness. Salvation from this dukkha is not about finding a way out of it but about finding a way into it. If we want to actually free ourselves we have to practice freeing ourselves right now, just now.

The Woman of Taishan

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Woman of Taishan
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, New York, Sunday 07/31/2022

Our own beliefs, conventional wisdom, our enculturated consciousness; these encompass the paths we follow in life. As practitioners of The Way, Shugen Roshi encourages us to look carefully into and through this conditioning and see that what we’re moving towards is already here.

Concluding his talk, Shugen Roshi offers a poem in tribute to the Woman of Taishan:
On the road to Mount Taishan a Tea Dragon serves illness and medicine for the well-being of the thirsty traveler. Please don’t be deceived by her humble appearance. She has the power to change a life in an instant. Don’t feel the need to adorn her humble appearance. She is majestic and noble, just as she is. Can you hear? Oh, person of the way, which road will you take to the great and calling mountain?

(The Woman of Taishan appears in a koan in both The Book of Serenity, Case 10, and The Gateless Gate, Case 31.)

 

Conventional Wisdom

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Conventional Wisdom
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, New York, Saturday 07/30/2022

What is our understanding of Conventional Wisdom, or Relative Truth in Buddhist parlance, as it makes up what we call “the self”? Shugen Roshi brings in the writing of Marcus Borg, the American Christian Theologian, and examines what we are doing when we undertake the extensive project of “studying the self.”

 

Untangle Yourself

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Untangle Yourself
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Danica Shoan Ankele, Senior Monastic and Dharma Holder

Zen Mountain Monastery, New York, Friday 07/29/2022

From the the Sutra of Hui-Neng (The Platform Sutra of the 6th Ancestor), Hui-Neng himself describes his realization: “I thought there was an I who sees and hears. That was a great mistake. It’s only a sound perceived with a mind resting in no place. Now I understand there is no birth or death. This wide open state of mind is my original mind. The mountains, the rivers, the sun and the moon are all me.” Shoan brings up this fundamental teaching of “no-self”… OK. So, there is no self. And yet here I am. How do we hold these “two truths”? And our sense of identity… How does it come to us? And why does it often become such a seemingly unresolvable entanglement? Shoan encourages us to be mindful and patient and to hold our stories loosely.

Walk Through the Gate, Unafraid

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Walk Through the Gate, Unafraid
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Linda Shinji Hoffman, Senior Lay Student

Zen Mountain Monastery, New York, Thursday 07/28/2022

Lay senior Shinji Hoffman draws on her experience as a farmer to help explain the Buddha’s teaching on the twelve-link chain of dependent origination, the teaching that everything arises due to causes and conditions. How can we use this teaching to transform our karma? How do we stop causing suffering for ourselves and others? Shinji gives examples of how to shift our deep negative habits at the chain link of feeling.

 

The Three Messengers

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Three Messengers
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Robert Rakusan Ricci, Senior Monastic

Zen Mountain Monastery, New York, Wednesday 07/27/2022

The three messengers: old age, sickness, and death. Why do we call them messengers? What do they tell us? Do we listen? And how do we respond? In this poetic offering, Rakusan talks about how he holds his personal encounters and experience of the three messengers in light of Master Dogen’s teachings (…to study the Buddha Way is to study the self, to study the self is to forget the self….) along with the wisdom of Leonard Cohen (“Who by Fire”). Rakusan gently admonishes us to heed the call of the three messengers and give voice to our Bodhisattva vows.

 

Caring for Self and Other as One

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Caring for Self and Other as One
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Bear Gokan Bonebakker, Senior Monastic and Dharma Holder

Zen Mountain Monastery, New York, Sunday 07/24/2022

How do we truly take care of each other? How do we truly take care of ourselves? How do we do both at the same time? Is there a difference? How do we soften any opposition that might arise? Gokan shares his own experiences and mindfulness practices while exploring these questions.

 

How Do We Regard Living Beings?

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
How Do We Regard Living Beings?
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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

Zen Center of New York City, Fire Lotus Temple, Sunday 07/17/2022

Hojin Sensei speaks on Chapter 7 from the Vimalakirti Sutra entitled “The Goddess.” In this chapter, Manjushri asks Vimalakirti , “How should we regard living beings?” Hojin Sensei offers insight into the harm done through the oppression of particular human embodiments. She shares teachings on how to honor all aspects of ourselves and others: sameness and difference as one reality.

 

The Empty Boat

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The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Empty Boat
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Danica Shoan Ankele, Senior Monastic and Dharma Holder

Zen Mountain Monastery, New York, Sunday 07/17/2022

Shoan reflects on what it is that we’re doing and why it matters. How does “looking inward”, rather than just outward, help us navigate our life? Shoan brings in three “boat parables” to illustrate. From Master Dogen’s Genjokoan, Charlotte Joko Beck’s “Everyday Zen”, and a poem by 17th century Chinese nun Jingnou in “Daughters of Emptiness”.