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Blue Cliff Record 62, Unmon’s Single Treasure

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Episode Description: As the winter solstice descends, Henry Shukman explores Unmon’s Single Treasure, Case 62 of the Blue Cliff Record. This puzzling koan helps us turn our habitual views upside down. Roshi Henry describes the great invitation of Zen which is to abandon our cherished opinions and find the single jewel that makes the “one […]


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Blue Cliff Record 75, Ukyu’s Blind Stick

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Episode Description: Continuing with the Blue Cliff Record, this talk explores Case 75, Ukyu’s Blind Stick. Find out what happens when Ukyu wields his stick. Roshi Henry discusses the background of this intriguing koan and ponders the nature of emptiness. We learn about the five types of Zen blindness and that all beings are blessed […]


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Hyakujo’s “Turning Word” from The Book of Equanimity

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Episode Description: Roshi Henry presents a case from the Book of Equanimity in which Master Hyakujo’s “turning word” about the law of causation releases an old man into authentic freedom. Hear a magical story about how a man receives healing, love and timeless understanding from a gentle whale. Using personal disclosure and koan explication, Henry […]


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Blue Cliff Record 70, 71, & 72, How does one Speak with Lips and Throat Closed?

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Episode Description: This talk combines three related Blue Cliff Record cases 70, 71, and 72. We meet Hyakujo, Isan, Goho and Ungan, who grapple with the nature of speech and ultimate understanding. Roshi Henry Shukman draws on his extensive literary background to relate koan structure with narrative storytelling, which includes references to character transformation in Tolstoy’s […]


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Blue Cliff Record 69, Nansen Draws a Circle

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Episode Description: This talk delineates the classic koan, Nansen Draws a Circle, Blue Cliff Record Case 69. Roshi Henry describes the brilliant craziness of this koan and draws on wisdom from Dogen’s Genjokoan. The talk explores both the substance and function of the “nameless fact” and concludes by describing Zen’s healing power. Image Credit:This Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons image […]


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Blue Cliff Record 68, Kyozan and Your Name

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Episode Description: Continuing with the Blue Cliff Record, Henry presents Case 68, Kyozan and Your Name. The talk explores the point of Zen and shows how each of us is born perfect and complete. Henry relates the experience of kensho or sudden realization and explores the idea of no separation, asking the question: Is there […]


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Blue Cliff Record 67, Fu Daishi Expounds the Sutra

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Episode Description: This compelling talk, given in our zendo under the light of the full moon, explores Case 67 of the Blue Cliff Record. In a hushed atmosphere, Roshi Henry talks about Fu Daishi’s surprising sutra presentation. We see that words and other symbols only point to reality, but are not the reality themselves. The […]


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Blue Cliff Record 66, Ganto and the Sword

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Episode Description: This talk explores Case 66 from the Blue Cliff Record, Ganto and the Sword. Roshi Henry Shukman guides us to open our hearts to the alternate dharma reality in which we naturally exist, a consciousness radically different from the “getting and spending” (as Wordsworth called it) of our consumerist lives. This talk also describes the Zen practice […]


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Rohatsu Sesshin 2014 Day 4 of 4

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The last talk of the sesshin again returns to Continuous Practice, taking us through discussions of Tennyson’s poem “Crossing the Bar,” sweatlodges, cults, faith and the Three Treasures. Image Credit: Above image from Mountain Cloud Image Archives Featured Image Credit: Stones, Meditation by memyselfaneye, CC0 Public Domain, from pixabay.com


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Rohatsu Sesshin 2014 Day 3 of 4

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The third talk of the sesshin focuses on “nothing to attain” and “allowing”, and includes beautiful and relevant stories of Tolstoy’s. Image Credit: Above image from Mountain Cloud Image Archives Featured Image Credit: Stones, Meditation by memyselfaneye, CC0 Public Domain, from pixabay.com


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