Archive | Dharma & Teachings

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Video – Zen is the Mind of Beauty, Henry Shukman

Henry reads a selection of writing and discusses the four jhanas – deep states of meditation absorption that make us recognize the wonder of existence. He then answers some questions remaining from the Why Koans? retreat. Visit our YouTube Channel for more Zen Talks from Mountain Cloud Zen Center Featured image: Anemone by matthewsjackie,  from Pixabay.com

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Video – Enough, Valerie Forstman

Valerie looks at the traditions within the converging week of Passover and Easter. For this April Fool’a Day talk, she explores sufficiency, holy fools, Roso, silence in prison practice, fractions, infinity and much more — all which point to one reality. Still moved by the previous week’s retreat, Why Koans? Valerie offers more from the […]

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Why Koans? Talk Four, Henry Shukman

Koans are targeting my sense of me. Aiming directly at the heart of who I think I am. In this fourth and final talk from the Why Koans? retreat, Henry delves more deeply into the meaning and use of koans. He returns to Roso Facing the Wall, talks about the two primary Zen schools, Rinzai […]

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Why Koans? Talk Three, Henry Shukman

Each moment of our life is like the koan. We study this piece of life; in the controlled setting we can see more of what it really is. When we let go of all our assumptions and preconceptions we find this piece is much more than we could every have imagined. In this third talk […]

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Daily Sitting and the First Noble Truth

Everything  that comes up in our sitting is helping us. Zazen is a great blessing. What arises in zazen is always a path to healing. When Buddha gave his very first teaching, he began it with the “First Noble Truth:” that existence is dukkha –suffering, unease, restlessness, dissatisfactoriness. But he didn’t mean something along the lines of: […]

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Why Koans? Talk Two, Henry Shukman

…it’s a matter of pointing to the human heart mind and finding that you are this great awakening. Its a matter of seeing your own heart mind, your experience of this moment now.  In this second talk from the Why Koans? retreat Henry continues exploring the path of gradual awakening (Mindfulness training) and the path […]

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Why Koans? Talk One, Henry Shukman

The sudden awakening sees all distinctions as a partial view – then suddenly a different view shows itself… the gradual way expands the circle of us and them and the sudden path sees that there never was us and them.  Watch the first talk from our March Why Koans? retreat, led by Henry Shukman. Henry describes […]

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Video – Dawning of the New Moon: Beginner’s Mind, Valerie Forstman

Valerie examines beginner’s mind and explores the question”what is Zen?” during our March one-day Introduction to Meditation retreat. Suzuki Roshi – a Japanese Zen master who brought Zen teaching to America in the mid 20th century – said: Beginner’s mind is the mind of compassion. As Zen practitioners we turn this compassion toward ourselves. Valerie […]

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