Abundant Advantage: Talk 2 from the January Intro to Meditation Retreat, Valerie Forstman

Wander into the center of the circle of wonder, right where you sit. In accordance with this saying, let us practice.

Valerie explores the dharma hall discourse that Dogen gave to his monks in 1241, The Advantage of New Years. Valerie describes the tradition of a dharma talk (or teisho which means presentation of the shout). To use Vimilikirti’s language, Zen practice is entering the gate of not-two? How is this entrance achieved, and how is it described? This mystery – what is relayed in Zen does not rely on words. Valerie says there is no need to listen to the talk with the discursive mind. No need to worry about remembering. Allow whatever strikes you to resonate. No figuring it out, only experience.

Watch the video here…

After reading the text, Valerie delves into Dogen’s talk, The Advantage of New Years, which consists of a number of dharma dialogues meant to represent the reality of this awakening world. The earnest question repeatedly asked is I want to know who I truly am – how can I enter the way? Just to ask is to put your feet on the path, enter there.

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Image: Deep Heart Enso by Janine Ibbotson,
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