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Dharmatalk: Case 79, Book of Equanimity: Chôsa Takes a Step (Part 2)

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“… To awaken is not enough; we have to get down from the pole to be acting as servants of the Dharma, out of love and service for all beings …”   Description: What would it be to have no story? The great masters lived detached from all stories, and the koans share the freedom this gave […]


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sweetly sorrowful joy

Dharmatalk: Case 79, Book of Equanimity: Chôsa Takes a Step (Part 1)

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“… A sweetly sorrowful joy is a hallmark of our practice deepening …”   Description: This talk begins with a bit of the history of the evolution of meditation practice in the West. This unfolds into an exploration of Case 79, where Master Chôsa comments on Master E. Master E has not fully broken through and […]


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Dharmatalk: Case 78, Book of Equanimity: Unmon’s “Rice Cake”

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“… Everything is a treasure …” Description: Koans are anecdotes from the lives of enlightened masters. The focus of this talk is a koan that conveys the mind of Master Unmon. In Case 78, a monk asks Unmon what it means to “go beyond Buddha and the ancestors” — a quote that the monk has read. […]


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love infinite

Dharmatalk: Case 77, Book of Equanimity: Kyozan: As His Profession Requires

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“… Infinite love is the whole story …” Description: What is a koan? This talk begins by addressing this question. Koans aid us in the investigation of what it is to be alive. This unfolds into a discussion of Case 77 and what it offers to us. There is a dance happening between Kyôzan and the […]


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girl loved beginningless

Dharmatalk: Case 76, Book of Equanimity: Shuzan’s Three Verses

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“… Your you-ness is what is utterly beloved, from beginningless beginning …”   Description: This talk begins with a discussion of the five hindrances: desire; aversion; sloth and torpor; restlessness and worry; doubt. It goes on to explain how our task is not so much to get rid of them as to be aware of them. […]


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awaken leaf tree

Dharmatalk: Koan Study: Why Bother?

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“… a glimpse of another order of things, in an experience of awakening from the “dream” of what we have taken our lives to be …” Description: This talk is about why and how we study koans. Practice often begins with mindfulness training, with the breath as our focus as well as other aspects of present-moment […]


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water jet pouring out

Dharmatalk: A Well That Has Not Been Dug

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In a well that has not been dug, water is rippling from a spring that does not flow; There, someone with no shadow or form is drawing the water. Description: This talk focuses on one of the first koans in the koan training: In a well that has not been dug, water is rippling from a […]


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Dharmatalk: Love is the Teaching

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It is empty, nameless, all-embracing love Description: The Blue Cliff Record is a classic collection of koans compiled by Setcho (Xuedou) in 1028. Each koan has a corresponding verse composed by Setcho, and the focus of this talk is Setcho’s beautiful verse to Case 2: In one there are many kinds. In two there are […]


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wonder not knowing yet knowing

Dharmatalk: Case 75, Book of Equanimity: Zuigan’s “Everlasting Truth” (Part 2)

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Description: This talk continues the discussion of Case 75 and the wonder of practice. Zuigan has asked Ganto if there is an unchanging, everlasting reality. This can be taken as the central question of a lifetime. Ganto tells him that “it” — the unchanging truth — has already changed. We can never experience the world […]


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Dharmatalk: Case 75, Book of Equanimity: Zuigan’s “Everlasting Truth” (Part 1)

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“… We’re facing, in all its magnitude and wonder, the fact of existing …”   Description: To live in accord with the Dharma offers an alternative to the world of knowing-getting-having. In Case 75, Zuigan has asked Master Ganto, “What is the intrinsic, everlasting truth?” Henry recounts the story of Ganto’s training, and clarifies some of the […]


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