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the way

Dharmatalk: Spreading the Love

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“… The Way is always waiting to show itself in every single moment …” Description: Beginning with some reflections on the book American Veda, this talk unfolds into a discussion of the Zen poem “Shin Jin Mei,” written by Sosan. The first line reads “The Great Way is not difficult for those who do not […]


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Dharmatalk (Guest): Ruben Habito: Zen Eye on Good Friday

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“… And suddenly the darkness turned into a bright and luminous light …” Description: In this brief Zen talk on Easter weekend 2020, Ruben Roshi walks us through a famous Zen koan from the “Gateless Gate”, transposing the characters to the Montepulciano region of Italy, and brings us to the wordless “wine of astonishment” that awakening […]


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Dharmatalk: One Infinite Gratitude

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“… Zen practice offers stillness and silence …” “…dissolving the great Gordian knot of self …” Description: Gratitude for Buddha, Dharma and Sangha unites all the divergent streams of Buddhism. This talk touches on Transcendental Meditation and The Beatles, Emerson and Thoreau, and Swami Vivekananda. Zen practice offers stillness and silence and the potential for […]


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Dharmatalk: Case 98, Book of Equanimity: Tozan’s “Intimate with It” (Part 2 of 2)

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“Zen is a template for letting go …” Description: This talk revisits the three bodies of Buddha and maps them onto the various approaches to Zen practice, including mindfulness. The Dharma-body is the subject of every koan; each one communicates the true fact of existence. Tôzan’s answer to the monk’s question in Case 98 does […]


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Dharmatalk: Case 98, Book of Equanimity: Tozan’s “Intimate with It” (Part 1 of 2)

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“… the single, infinite, empty fact that is always, powerfully, right here, now …” I am always most intimate with it. ~Tôzan Description: This talk begins by addressing the difference between concentration leading to emptiness practice, and mindfulness meditation. In Case 98, a monk asks Tôzan about the three bodies of Buddha. Tôzan’s beautiful, nonconceptual […]


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Dharmatalk: Case 97, Book of Equanimity: Emperor Doko’s Helmet Hood

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“Any sense experience is boundless and empty.” Description: This inspiring talk explores the beautiful simplicity of Case 97. Emperor Dôkô says, “I have attained the treasure of the Central Plain.” His teacher, Master Kôke, asks the emperor to show it to him. What is this boundless treasure that cannot be quantified? It is always right […]


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Dharmatalk: Case 96, Book of Equanimity: Kyuho Does Not Acknowledge (Part 2 of 2)

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The fact of being is an utter mystery. Description: The focal point of this multifaceted talk is the seven-line verse by Master Sekisô in Case 96. Practice gives us a framework for seeking. What is to be found? In order to give us a taste of what Sekisô is conveying about the great mystery of […]


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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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