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
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
01/16/2022
Am I Willing To Change?

A talk by Lay Teacher Mike Gyoshi Kaplan on willingness and change,

Categories: Dharma Talks

Mike Gyoshi Kaplan
01/09/2022
A New Year’s Wish for Ease

A new year. A fresh slate. However, some things still remain with us like stress, worry, and fear. For some, it’s easy to hang on to those feelings and mind states and project them forward into the future. This Sunday, Jyoshin will be looking at what it is to be in non-opposition to the things that worry us.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Jyoshin Clay
01/02/2022
Breaking Bad and Good

This talk is not about the television series “Breaking Bad,” though the title is intriguing, and the show rates some discussion. In Fukanzazengi (“Universally Recommended Instructions for Zazen”), Dogen says “Do not think good or bad, do not judge true or false.” How does this work on a daily basis? Genko takes another look at being an ordinary person, as Jiko put it a few weeks ago, and explores some ways to accomplish this.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Genko Rainwater
12/19/2021
Be an Ordinary Person

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
12/05/2021
Fudo Myo-on: The Immovable One

Sosetsu gives a student talk on Fudo. Fudo Myo-o is the center object on one of our zendo altars and an icon of importance in our lineage as well as in other sects, particularly Shingon Buddhism. Fudo (or in Sanskrit, Acala) means “immovable” and relates to qualities inherent in us for removing obstacles and finding stillness. 

Categories: Dharma Talks

Mark Sosetsu Stauffer
11/28/2021
Gratitude

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
11/21/2021
Hand in Hand

Spiritual companion. What does that phrase mean to you? Friendship? Listening? Closeness? A group of members of Dharma Rain have recently come together to focus on spiritual companionship and being good friends to others at the end of life. Jyoshin speaks about spiritual companionship within sangha connections as well as what this new program is orienting towards and how it hopes to benefit our sangha.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Jyoshin Clay
11/14/2021
Standing in the Fire of the Lotus

Each moment is a rare opportunity for us to wake up, to drop our idea of what is happening and to stay present to what is directly under our feet. Standing in the fire of the lotus, we open our life to a vast universe and the lotus blooms. Every moment is like this

Categories: Dharma Talks

Flying Fish Murphy
10/24/2021
The Body of Doubt

One of the three pillars of Zen is Great Doubt, when we come to question everything we have heard. Another pillar is Great Faith. How can faith and doubt work together? What does it mean to question everything? What do we do when the structures we rely on begin to fail?

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
10/10/2021
Obstacles

Sometimes transformation flows and we feel we’re making headway; other times nothing seems to change regardless of all our effort in practice. Kakumyo explores some of the persistent beliefs and patterns that prevent us from making progress along this path.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
10/03/2021
Just Return

There’s a line in the Song of the Grass Hut that says, “Turn around the light to shine within, then just return.” Return to what? It could be talking about coming back to here and now, but Genko finds that many aspects of life and practice cycle around and become new again, deepening with each turn of the wheel. Join us for an exploration of returning.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Genko Rainwater
09/26/2021
Critical Care

Jyoshin explores the Buddhist teachings on compassion and suffering through the lens of her work as a hospital chaplain. How does her practice sustain her in the work, and what struggles does she face as she cares for the dying and their families, as well as overwhelmed hospital staff, during this ongoing pandemic? Learn how Jyoshin’s work in the hospital has challenged and affirmed her practice, and what we can learn from her experience.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Jyoshin Clay
09/19/2021
A Buddha is an Idle Person

What is the meaning of right effort? Following several days of retreat practice focused on finding the balance between effort and ease, we will talk about being busy, being lazy, and how we know when we’re getting it right.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
09/12/2021
Caring for Our Past and Future Selves

What is this “self” that seems to move forward through time and how might our Zen practice influence our relationship with it? And why does it carry so much baggage?

Categories: Dharma Talks

Scott Teijin Grim
09/05/2021
Transmission: Positive, Negative and Everyday

What is Transmission and why is it a big deal in Zen? Gyokuko explores the concept with different lenses.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Gyokuko Carlson
08/29/2021
Letting Go and Getting Caught

Kakumyo talked about the opening of term and setting our intention for practice.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
08/22/2021
What Do You Love Most About Buddhism?

Shin’yu just spent a week in the hospital. One of her nurses had a lot of questions about Buddhism. The answers are still unfolding.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Shin’yu Vitells
08/08/2021
Form and Function

Zen is sometimes called a “formal” religion or practice. We do have a lot of forms. But what does that mean? What is a form? How do we practice with it? Why do we have them? Genko explores these questions in this talk.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Genko Rainwater
07/25/2021
Old Friends

Rick Hogetsu Mitchell gives his first student talk at Dharma Rain. The talk reflects on the nature of friendships, personal and spiritual, and their role in supporting our practice.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Rick Hogetsu Mitchell
07/18/2021
Taking Care of Business

Some of us find that summer changes our routines, and makes the schedule lighter. And yet, the number of hours in the day are the same, and there are still tasks to be done. What does it mean to take care of business in the summer? What is our true business? How do we know? Genko explores these and other related questions in this Sunday’s Dharma Talk.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Genko Rainwater
07/11/2021
Tipping Points

Sometimes practice flows and we’re carried along by it, sometimes it’s a struggle and we can’t gain any momentum and keep running into setbacks. Although we may prefer the former, there are expressions of Right Effort in each mode. This Sunday, Kakumyo will explore how we relate to this phenomenon and what it signifies.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
06/27/2021
Difference and Sameness

Categories: Dharma Talks

Genko Rainwater
06/13/2021
Conjured City

In the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha tells the story of a group of tired travelers who come to a beautiful city where they can rest. He reveals this to be imaginary, the skillful means required to allow them to continue the long journey. What do we conjure for ourselves and for others? When are such resting places useful, and when do we need to shake them off and move on?

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
06/06/2021
Growing Pains

Transformation and spiritual growth tend to be common topics among Zen practitioners. For all that our teachings advise us to sit without a specific goal, often there is some aspiration towards ease and comfort. This path towards ease is not always smooth. We might encounter bumps along the way. How we meet a challenge or difficulty conditions our strategies around meeting the next challenge or the next difficulty. This Sunday, Jyoshin talks about growing pains in spiritual practice, encountering challenges, and drawing strength from that which inspires us.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Jyoshin Clay
05/30/2021
The Dharma of Path

The ordination ceremony contains the phrase: “I have changed my form but kept my wish…” This is an allusion to the continuity of our way-seeking mind, and the variety of particular forms our practice may take over time. This Sunday, Kakumyo will talk about particular ways we realize and display lay and monastic paths of practice.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
05/23/2021
Languishing and Flourishing

Recent news articles discuss prevalent mind states of people during the pandemic and now as we emerge. The word “languishing” has come up more than once, along with its opposite, “flourishing.” Languishing suggests becoming faint, feeble, or ill, also suffering from being forced to remain in an unpleasant place or situation. The New York Times adds that it is “a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield.” Flourishing speaks to thriving, growing, and developing rapidly. What has your experience been? Genko will explore these mind states and others along with what Buddhist teachings might have to say about them in her talk this Sunday.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Genko Rainwater
Date Title & Details Speaker Listen Download

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