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absolute unity of all shukman

Dharmatalk: Excess of Happiness

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“… as an affirmation of the absolute unity of all …” “… How can there be suffering if there is no one who suffers? …” Description: In this further exploration of the Heart Sutra from the 2019 Winter Sesshin, we look at the section that says: “No ignorance, and therefore no ending of ignorance; no old age […]


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love energy universe

Dharmatalk: A Heart Retreat

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“… sutra is conveying the great love and fundamental energy that pervades throughout the universe …” “… Hating our suffering and fighting against it will inevitably make it worse …” Description: This third talk given during the Winter Sesshin of 2019 considers how all of the senses and sense objects that are named in the Heart Sutra […]


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this here mirage shukman

Dharmatalk: A Goad for Training

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“… This being here like this is a marvellous arising of a mirage …” Description: This talk, the second one given during the 2019 Rohatsu Sesshin, further discusses the group of lines from the Heart Sutra that starts, “No eye, ear, nose,” etc. The sutra breaks down our entire perception of reality by the sense organs, […]


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this moment

Dharmatalk: Firsthand Experience

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“… Practice is always, only about this moment …” Description: The first talk given during the Winter Rohatsu sesshin of 2019 continues an ongoing exploration of the Heart Sutra by looking, in particular, at the line: “No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind.” Allowing this negating assertion to infuse our practice, we may find ourselves able […]


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heart sutra not knowing is intimate

Dharmatalk: Negation as Strategy

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“… The Heart Sutra puts forth the radical assertion that knowing is delusion, and not knowing is most intimate …” “… This is not a morning talk on Zen …” Description: The word “no” gets repeated over many times throughout the Heart Sutra. This talk examines why negation is such a core element of Mahayana Buddhism. […]


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we our mind experience all same shukman

Dharmatalk: The Wisdom before Knowing

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“… We, our mind, the world we experience with our mind; are all the same …” Description: In this first talk given during the Fall 2019 sesshin, we continue our former discussion about the Heart Sutra by looking at how Prajna Paramita is “neither stained nor pure,” and is “neither born nor dies.” The text is […]


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Falling Autumn Leaves

Dharmatalk: The Land of Neither, Nor

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“… we need only learn how to let go of our body, mind, feelings, senses and consciousness as naturally as leaves letting go their stems and falling to the ground in autumn …” “… Emptiness is the most marvelous fullness …” Description: The Prajna Paramita teachings of Buddhism in some cases may comprise up to 100,000 verses […]


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Lotus flower

Dharmatalk: No Other

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“… Just come and sit, and let the flower of your heart open …”   Description: This talk explores the second two sentences of the Heart Sutra: “Form is no other than emptiness; emptiness no other than form…” The text is written this way to remind us not to think of emptiness as something other than […]


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selfless giving love

Dharmatalk: The Loving Fount of All

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“… dwelling in perfect wisdom, we too may begin to discover the eternally selflessly giving love that nourishes all of creation …” “… True giving must mean relinquishing control …” Description: The first line of the Heart Sutra invokes the bodhisattva Kanzeon, her name “Avalokiteshvara,” who represents infinite, boundless love and well-wishing for all beings. His/her name […]


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beyond knowing buddha

Dharmatalk: Great Mother Prajna Paramita

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“… Real knowing is not-knowing …” Description: This talk explores the meanings of the word “Prajna.” Commonly translated as wisdom, the word etymologically comes from pra-jna. “Jna” is a root word meaning “know” (related both to the English know and to gnosis). The prefix pra can be an intensifier, suggesting “supreme” knowing, but can also be […]


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