“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.
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.
“Concentration nurtured with virtue is of great fruit, great reward. Discernment nurtured with concentration is of great fruit, great reward. The mind nurtured with discernment is rightly released.” In this talk from November’s Shuso Hossen Sesshin, Shugen Roshi delves into this simple yet profound teaching from the Pali Canon. Ethical action, meditation and insight rely on and support each other, he notes, forming a unified path which can address the many aspects of our humanity.
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?
The True Dharma Eye: Master Dogen’s Three Hundred Koans (Shinji Shobogenzo), Case 163
Zen Mountain Monastery, 8/24/2018
Shugen Roshi explores the path of practice through “home.” There are the many homes that serve as the seat of our ever changing identity and the home that we return to. Roshi addresses the delusion of alienation from this “eternal home” and offers a look at a life of honest practice as the wide path of returning to it.