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Dharmatalk: Case 96, Book of Equanimity: Kyuho Does Not Acknowledge (Part 1)

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Each thing is itself a miracle. Description: What is a koan? Why are they used in Zen training? In the story of each koan, we are the main character with an opportunity to become clearly aware of our core nature. In Case 96, following the death of Master Sekisô, Kyûhô questions the head monk to […]


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Dharmatalk:Already One: 2019 Spring Sesshin (Part 4 of 4)

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“…and the deepest level of communication is not communication, it’s communion.”  ~ Thomas Merton Description: This is the final talk of the Spring 2019 sesshin. It is a “key points” summary of the previous talks, beginning with a discussion of various zones of human healing and wisdom. Bodhidharma described two gates to the Zen path—entry by […]


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Dharmatalk: Case 95, Book of Equanimity: Rinzai Draws a Line (Part 2): 2019 Spring Sesshin (Part 3 of 4)

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Where have you come from?  ~ Rinzai. Description: This is the third talk of the Spring 2019 sesshin. It begins with further reflections on the process of settling into a multi-day retreat and explores the topic of doubt. This unfolds into the story of Rinzai and how he fully expressed the Dharma without any trace […]


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Dharmatalk: Case 95, Book of Equanimity: Rinzai Draws a Line (Part 1): 2019 Spring Sesshin (Part 2 of 4)

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“… You are the innate beauty of the whole cosmos, the whole of creation …” Description: This is the second talk of the Spring 2019 sesshin. To begin, methods to address difficulties that may arise when sitting for long periods are discussed. Case 95 is introduced through the lens of the Three Treasures: Buddha, Dharma […]


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Dharmatalk: Finding the Heart: 2019 Spring Sesshin (Part 1 of 4)

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“… the functioning of the heart with which I was born came into play in its purest form …” ~ Sôkô Morinaga Description: This is the first talk of the Spring 2019 sesshin. What kinds of growth and change does Zen practice engender and what are the ways Zen practice can bring them about? In response […]


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Dharmatalk: Awakening (Part 3 of 3)

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“… Each of us is an entire ferry of all beings …” Description: This is the third part of a discussion on enlightenment. How does the Zen tradition understand awakening? If awakening is not part of a particular kind of practice, it cannot be called “Buddhism.” Awakening cannot be understood conceptually–the mind can’t get it. […]


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Dharmatalk: Awakening (Part 2 of 3)

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“… There is no mind to be trained …”   Description: This is the second part of a discussion on enlightenment. It begins where the first part left off—the mindfulness movement. Often the term “awakening” is very misunderstood in some mainstream books about Buddhism. In the Zen tradition, what is awakening? It is not just […]


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Dharmatalk: Awakening (Part 1 of 3)

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“… All the depth that is in us needs time …” Description: This talk begins with some beautiful reflections on a recent talk by Stephen Jenkinson, author and storyteller. It is the first part of a discussion on enlightenment—how it is understood in Western practice and how it is understood by different traditions. The current […]


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Dharmatalk: Wisdom

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“… There is wisdom in developing personal well-being …” Description: This talk focuses on the term “wisdom.” There are different kinds of wisdom that human beings can discover. To begin this exploration, an overview of the five kinds of Zen practice is presented. This unfolds into a more contemporary interpretation, the four zones of practice. […]


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Dharmatalk: Case 5, The Blue Cliff Record: Seppo’s “Grain of Rice”

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“… Being silent and still is the heart of our practice …” Description: A koan is always talking about right now. In Case 5, Master Seppô is teaching an assembly and says, “When you pick up the whole great earth in your fingers, it’s the size of a grain of rice.” What kind of teaching […]


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