Posted inIntro to Zen Talks, Introduction to Zen, MC Podcasts

Introductory Talk #1: The Origin of Zen Buddhism

November 17, 2017

“… Zen Buddhism is focused primarily on meditative practice—“it’s about the sitting.” …”

Description: This talk begins with the story of the Buddha, which means, “awakened one.” He began his life as a prince, Siddhartha Gautama (Shakyamuni), and became Buddha after six and a half years of practice. After encountering an old man, a sick man, a corpse and, finally, a spiritual seeker, the young prince became determined to resolve the problem of suffering. Once immersed in a life of self-indulgence, he began to embrace a life of extreme self-neglect as an ascetic practitioner; until, on the verge of death, he has a childhood memory which prompts him to nourish himself and sit down under a tree to meditate. He would stay there until he found peace. After six days, he saw the morning star, Venus, twinkling in the sky and had a great awakening. He said, “How marvelous, I and all beings and the whole great earth have simultaneously attained the Way.” The talk continues with a discussion of the origin and meaning of the word, zen. Zen Buddhism is focused primarily on meditative practice—“it’s about the sitting.” At a center like Mountain Cloud, the three treasures of Zen are available to all. These are: Buddha, following in the Buddha’s footsteps; dharma, the teachings; sangha, a community of practitioners.

Image: Miyojima Gate, from

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