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Fierce Compassion, Dharma Talk by Valerie Forstman

Valerie’s dharma talk probes Case 23 from the Blue Cliff Record, Hofuku and Chokei on an Outing. Hofuku says “This very moment is awakening. Exactly,” responds Chokei, “but it’s regrettable.” This talk was recorded on October 8, 2020 in our virtual zendo. Find this and many other talks and discussions on the Mountain Cloud You […]

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Dharmatalk: The Zone of Phenomena

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“… The principle of zen is: body and mind fall away …” Description: Ongoing series on basic Buddhism. Having reached the fourth aspect of mindfulness, which is the seventh fold of the Noble Eightfold Path, which is itself the fourth of the Four Noble Truths, we find that dharma gates are indeed countless. Buddha gave this, […]


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Message from Henry: Maps

Early 16th century maps of the Americas confidently show a somewhat circular landmass with a lake in the middle, called Lago Manoa, on the shore of which stands the capital city of the continent, El Dorado. There are even street plans of the Golden City.  These maps reveal what the cartographers didn’t know – vast […]

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Poetry by CM Brown

Mountain Cloud Zen Center Sitting on the ground. The howl of the coyotes. No thing. No sitting.   Zazen At the Zen Center in Sante Fe sit in silence, eating our breakfast of oatmeal and fruit. The shapes of tables, the shapes of eyes and arms, the shapes of the chevrons carved into the backs of […]

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Dharmatalk: Dharmas within Dharmas

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“… We observe the unfolding of our awareness like a butterfly … opening up its wings …” “… Let the breath show itself to your awareness …” Description: Ongoing series on basic Buddhism. In our exploration of the Four Noble Truths, we have seen how the Buddha keeps re-slicing the pie, going into the nature of our […]


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Original Love 3: Absorption, Sitting with First Koans – Virtual Meditation Retreat, October 22-25

Join us for Original Love 3: Absorption, Sitting with First Koans, the third in a series of virtual online meditation retreats, co-led by Henry Shukman and Valerie Forstman In this retreat we explore approaches to samadhi and dissolving boundaries as we sit with some early koans, such as “what is this,” “who am I,” and […]

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Henry

Message from Henry: Thought Banners

Thoughts are little banners waving in the old city, trying to get your attention and draw you back. One day you’ll go, but not yet. The city doesn’t really need you now. Let yourself rest where you are, in a deeper rest, a deeper belonging. Don’t be pulled back to the old city just yet. […]

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Dharmatalk: The Four Foundations of Mindfulness

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“… Letting it be as it is, we have to drop the wish that it be otherwise …” Description: Ongoing series on basic Buddhism. To achieve concentration in practice, one must have established the four foundations of mindfulness. Having ardent alertness, clearly comprehending all that arises within and around the body, its feelings, the mind, and […]


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Message from Henry: Zen Death

To awaken is to see through it all. It is to see that real nature. But then what? The Zen death. If you’ve been through it, you know you have, even if you can’t say much about it. The consequences are clear. It happens at a moment in time. Yet, it is always this moment, […]

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