Dharma Talks are offered on Sunday mornings by teachers or senior students. These talks are designed to present some element of a dharmic theme in a way that is accessible to a public audience. Each of our teachers has a different dharma “voice,” sharing their understanding for the benefit of all in a way that is unique to them.  More formal than a teisho (a talk given during a sesshin), and less structured than a class or lecture, Dharma Talks bring a personal, human element to the articulation of zen topics.

Recent Dharma Talks

Date Title & Details Speaker Listen Download
01/22/2023
How to Be Sick

The Buddha spoke of a list of four aspects of suffering that humans are subject to: birth, sickness, old age, and death. Genko draws on her recent experience with Covid, as well as earlier experiences with illness to examine suffering and how to work with it.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Genko Rainwater
01/15/2023
Repent

This is our season for studying the Precepts. An important and early part of preparing for the Precepts is examining the meaning of repentance. Many of us struggle with feelings of guilt, shame and unworthiness. Buddhist repentance allows us to acknowledge the mistakes of the past without injuring the self of the present, and leads us to real liberation.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
01/08/2023
Measuring Merit

Many people encounter a self that compares and critiques our spiritual capacity and worthiness. Sometimes it’s easy to see the frailty of that self and the tenuousness of its influence. But it can also be very disruptive and painful. Kakumyo talks about how Buddhism practices with this kind of distortion and doubt.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
12/11/2022
Shuso Hossen

The Dharma Talk was replaced by Shuso Hossen, for Sonja Rinsho Aikens.

Categories: Dharma Talks

No Dharma Talk
12/04/2022
Actually, You Can Do Everything You Need To Do Right Where You Are

What do we need to do? What is wise action when we feel stuck, tormented, or otherwise lost in our dukkha in our various life situations? Gyoshi received the advice that’s the title of this talk near the beginning of his Zen practice many years ago. He’s still learning how it informs his practice and will share with you some of the nuances that have emerged for him. We’ll be dipping into many of the foundational teachings as well as a few very old stories as we explore this together.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Mike Gyoshi Kaplan
11/27/2022
Form and Vow

Dogen prescribed exactly how to sit down, how to walk, how to wash your face and brush your teeth, offer incense, and eat a meal. What is the purpose of our prescribed forms? We will explore our many different reactions to these rituals of Zen.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
11/20/2022
That is Not Your Mind!

Guest teacher Bob Rosenbaum of Meadowmind Sangha gave the dharma talk. He discusses how all our sensations, feelings, thoughts and even the “real world” we take for granted are delusions — and the gates of liberation. This talk introduces the Surangama Sutra‘s teaching of the Matrix of the Thus Come One, unlimited by “is” and “is not.”

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
11/13/2022
Thank You and I’m Sorry

Genko explores the Dharma of these and other frequent polite expressions. When are they necessary? To what extent are they sincere and to what extent are they superficial or uttered for other reasons? What are some cultural assumptions we make about these? And, just to keep it interesting, what about the politics of Thanksgiving Day celebrations?

Categories: Dharma Talks

Genko Rainwater
11/06/2022
Founders – Lineage

Kakumyo fills in for Jiko on Founders Day and talks about our Lineage and why it’s important.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
10/23/2022
Bodhidharma’s Original Dharma Body

The body we have is no different from the original Dharma Body. Using excerpts from Bodhidharma’s Blood Stream Sermon, Zen Master Nie will explore the personal and practice insights that come from exploring this teaching.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Rebecca Nie
10/09/2022
Untangling Karma

Byakuren’s approach to trauma integrates deep spirituality with directly facing your pain. She explores the establishment of a healing container for a traumatized emotional body by deeply entering our narratives, recognizing these formative conditions and healing the root causes of our suffering.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Byakuren Judith Ragir
10/02/2022
Walking Innocent

Interdependence and layers of causation have come up a lot recently. Kakumyo will explores these themes and how they relate to the activity of witnessing our self and being witnessed.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
09/25/2022
Dharma Rain

Jyoshin looks at two verse summaries from the Lotus Sutra that talk about Dharma Rain. This recording only includes the last 20 minutes of the talk.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Jyoshin Clay
09/18/2022
The Gift of Practice

As we become more aware of the workings of mind, our sense of who we are, our responsibility, and what our practice is keeps changing. Kakumyo explores this by taking a look at two paramitas and Dogen’s Eight Realizations to see how they interweave.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
09/11/2022
Paths of Practice

As we settle into Ango and witness the public ceremonies of one person becoming an ordained priest and another entering postulancy toward that same path, Genko looks at some of the different ways we practice. Each of our lives is different, and each of us has our own unique path. And yet, when we come together, we create something that supports all of us in our practice.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Genko Rainwater
09/04/2022
Three Minds

We discuss the Three Minds of practice and how many Buddhists it takes to screw in a light bulb.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
08/14/2022
Almost Here, Almost Gone

Jyoshin describes the liminal space of this time of year.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Jyoshin Clay
08/21/2022
Brittleness and Beauty

There’s a deep-seated yearning we all tap into that guides how we live our life. It’s vulnerable to let its voice be prominent, and it takes skill to be able to listen to it consistently. One of the misses we make is we substitute rules and procedures for this subtle guidance. Kakumyo explores this edge in practice.  

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
08/07/2022
The Dharma of Desire

Desire is one of the root causes of suffering in Buddhism. Using the teaching of the buddha, we will look at how desire entangles us and how to unravel its grip. Releasing our mind and body from the confusion desire creates, we open to wisdom and compassion.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Flying Fish Murphy
07/31/2022
Archetypes

Sometimes we find ourselves in stereotyped roles with another person, responding to another as though we are parent, child, hero, or villain. Why do enter into archetypal roles and how do we work with these in practice?

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
07/24/2022
Things I Learned in Prison

Recently over breakfast, several residents expressed interest in learning more about what goes on in our prison groups. The conditions there suggest new and different ways to approach familiar teachings. Genko shares some of the learning/teaching opportunities from Dharma Rain’s prison program.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Genko Rainwater
07/17/2022
Remarkable and Unexpected

Kyogen used to quote his teacher, Roshi Kennett, as saying “you chase enlightenment until it catches you.” There is both an active, effortful, element to this phrase as well as an its-not-all-up-to-you-entirely element. What happens when, after throwing ourselves wholeheartedly into practice, something remarkable and unexpected occurs?

Categories: Dharma Talks

Jyoshin Clay
07/10/2022
Being Shuso

The shuso role is a visible and important training position at Dharma Rain. Tsuho talks about his experience serving as shuso, how temple roles shape one’s practice, and how our edges find us no matter where we go

Categories: Dharma Talks

Todd Tsuho Sattersten
07/03/2022
Reflections and Refractions

Kakumyo talks about the endless work of skillfully shifting perspectives in order to meet the world around us with a curiosity, dignity, and joy.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
06/26/2022
How to be Alone

We emphasize sangha and the benefits of practicing together. Then we engage in a kind of solitary practice in the same room. We will talk about the differences between being together and being alone, and what ‘alone’ means.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
06/12/2022
No Beginning, No End

How does the vastness of no beginning and no end inspire an intimate heart? Flying Fish gives a talk that explores the relationship between the meaning of these two statements and the implications on our practice and how we meet our daily life.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Flying Fish Murphy
06/05/2022
Fitting Zazen into Buddhism

Soto Zen’s core practice of just sitting is subtle and profound, and it’s also quite mysterious. It’s usually described via negation or in poetry, which is helpful for some, but not for all. This Sunday, Kakumyo will talk about some of the ways we approach shikan taza and what that may mean for our practice.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
05/29/2022
Coping with Tragedy and Loss

So much has happened recently. So much tragedy; so much pain. This week Jyoshin brings together threads of Buddhist teachings, practices, and reminders as ways of coping with tragedy and loss.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Jyoshin Clay
05/22/2022
Wandering Around

Genko explores the landscape of practice as it unfolds in sometimes unexpected ways.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Genko Rainwater
05/15/2022
Emerging Sangha Leaders student talks.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Genko Rainwater
05/08/2022
Avatamsaka Sutra

Categories: Dharma Talks

Gyokuko Carlson
05/01/2022
Being Born

Shin’yu explores the implications of Wesak.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Shin’yu Vitells
04/03/2022
Wisdom Families

Categories: Dharma Talks

Jyoshin Clay
04/24/2022
Like a Fool

Function secretly, like a fool? What kind of advice is that? We talk about fools and secrets, and also about that ever-elusive host within the host.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
04/17/2022
The Bodhisattva Vows

In this talk we explore together these challenging and powerful vows. We consider the koan nature of these vows and some of the rather different formulations of them. And we’ll look at how these vows might assist you in your practice.  

Categories: Dharma Talks

Mike Gyoshi Kaplan
03/27/2022
Ordaining to Your Life

Former abbot Kyogen Carlson explores the essence of Ordination to monastic and lay practitioners.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kyogen Carlson
03/20/2022
Currents of Sangha

Many are discovering new levels of mask-light, normal activity than they’ve had access to for two years. This creates some interesting dynamics at the temple.  Kakumyo discusses some perspectives of how the sangha has changed over the last several years, how to reintegrate back in, lessons learned, and a renewed practice with form as the need to continuously adjust to the pandemic recedes a bit.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
03/13/2022
Magic Power

In the Universal Gateway scripture, we recite a list of miracles made possible by belief in Kanzeon. What is magic in Buddhism? What is power? We will consider a few puzzling stories and what it is possible to know.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
02/27/2022
Reflections on Time

Categories: Dharma Talks

Flying Fish Murphy
02/13/2022
A Path of Curiosity

Categories: Dharma Talks

Shin’yu Vitells
03/06/2022
Reflections On Fallow Time

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
02/06/2022
Continuity

Categories: Dharma Talks

Jyoshin Clay
01/23/2022
What About Kleshas?

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
Date Title & Details Speaker Listen Download

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