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
08/11/2019
High Places Low Places

Categories: Dharma Talks

Genko Rainwater
08/04/2019
Tide Pools

 With late summer settling in, the coast beckons. A cool breeze, ocean waters, little purple anemone. Anticipation and delight fill the mind. How do we keep refreshing enjoyment from becoming sticky attachment? What happens when anticipation meets actual experience? This Sunday Jyoshin talks about the dharma teachings of tide pools.    

Categories: Dharma Talks

Jyoshin Clay
07/28/2019
How Long Does it Take?

This Sunday, Kakumyo will give a numerical answer to this often asked question about Zen practice. Should be a short talk.    

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
07/21/2019
Millions of Manjushris

In a society that trains us for standing out and being special; collecting likes and retweets; and developing our personal brand, how can the teachings of our ancestors even be relevant? Did Dogen offer anything that comes close to addressing the needs of this world? (hint: the answer is ‘yes’.)  

Categories: Dharma Talks

Jyoshin Clay
07/14/2019
Small Jobs

There are many invisible beings supporting our practice. Sometimes we think of our tasks as small or unimportant. But in the matrix of Buddha Nature, no task can be greater or smaller than another. How do we approach our tasks when there seems to be a difference in importance?  

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
07/07/2019
The End of Life As We Know It

Genko starts with a recent book that describes and explores the previous five mass extinction events on this planet, and goes on to talk about other disasters, moving from global to regional to community to personal. What is a disaster, and how do we practice with it?

Categories: Dharma Talks

Genko Rainwater
06/23/2019
Do I Understand You Correctly

This week we are in Genzo-e sesshin, working with the Dogen’s commentary on a chapter of the Diamond Sutra focusing on the “Ungraspable Mind”. This Sunday Jyoshin will look closer at this chapter through the lens of the Buddha’s Five Eyes.  

Categories: Dharma Talks

Jyoshin Clay
06/16/2019
Stages of Understanding

We are told that enlightenment is not a matter of stages. But we all occupy roles in our lives which reflect stages of development. How do we meet our practice through archetypal experience? In what way do we grow into an understanding that is already complete?

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
06/09/2019
Opening Gates, Inviting Depth

In this talk, Kakumyo explores how we allow and prevent awakening in our interactions with others, using a story from the Vimalakirti Sutra as a guide.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
05/26/2019
Form and Practice

As we end Ango and approach the summer, the way we practice changes for many of us. Forms are reduced and relaxed as people go on vacations, spend more time outdoors, and often less time in the zendo. Genko explores some ways that we practice with this change, the value of it, and the vague anxiety and sense of deprivation some people feel as a result of this change in the seasons. Why do we practice? What happens when practice changes?

Categories: Dharma Talks

Genko Rainwater
05/12/2019
Who Are We?

We put a lot of effort in our Zen Practice into examining who we are. Kakumyo speaks to the balance of knowing who we are, and still being curious to seeing new parts of ourselves.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
05/12/2019
Daoren – Home Practice

Kyri Kengan Trieman, who is the guiding teacher for the Daoren Circle, will talk about practice when we are away from the temple.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kyri Kengan Trieman
04/28/2019
Dharma Cloud Lineage

Come join us during this first day-long event honoring the Dharma Cloud lineage welcoming all affiliates and related practitioners. The morning will be devoted to sharing our traditional forms including an introduction of all the various groups attending, and a panel dharma talk by Kakumyo (DRZC Abbot), Domyo (Bright Way Zen), and Seido (Zen West / Empty Field Zendo) on the significance of the lineage.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Debra Seido Martin, Domyo Burk, Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
04/21/2019
Just Say Yes

There are so many ways that the world will say no to our desires. But we also say no to ourselves and to the world. How do we say yes? In Zen practice, there is a deep affirmation that we can bring to our everyday life as well as our practice.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
04/07/2019
Coming Back to Life

In the depths of winter it is easy to be deluded that nothing changes and the grey and cold will last forever. In the depths of adult life that delusion can arise as well. Yes, little things change, but nothing fundamental changes, we think. Drifting and dreaming, life passes by. The practice of zen teaches us to wake up – either startling us to realization or helping us to slowly move towards wakefulness. This Sunday, Jyoshin will share a talk about waking up, springtime, and this mysterious path of practice.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Jyoshin Clay
03/31/2019
Nurturing Mind

In his “Instructions to the Cook,” Dogen lists three qualities of mind that the Head Cook, or Tenzo, of a monastery must cultivate: Joyful Mind, Nurturing Mind and Magnanimous Mind. Shin’yu explores the second of these, Nurturing Mind, and the wish to take care of the things and people of our world.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Shin’yu Vitells
03/24/2019
As the Dharma Wheel Turns

On March 24, the sixteen participants and three staff who worked together in an intensive 10-day training for sangha leaders finished their time together. Three of the participants shared short dharma talks that they developed in the course of the training to give the rest of us a taste of what they’ve did. People came from near and far to do this training, staying here, sharing meals and the schedule, and enjoying some outings. Kakumyo, Jiko, and Jyoshin organized and presented the training.

Categories: Dharma Talks

John Jundo Lowney, Kate Ryushin Korn-McKenna, Will Holcomb
03/17/2019
Impermanence

Anicca, or Impermanence, looms large among our basic Buddhist teachings. It’s one of the three characteristics of existence and is intimately related to the Four Noble Truths. Impermanence seems pretty straightforward – everything changes. It’s pretty easy to accept that intellectually, but not so easy to live in congruence with it. Why do we struggle so hard to avoid impermanence? What are our often unconscious strategies for avoiding it? How can we avoid avoiding it? Who are we when we don’t avoid it? We explore these questions together.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Mike Gyoshi Kaplan
03/10/2019
What is a Teacher For?

Several people became lay disciples this week. The decision to enter a formal teaching relationship is a serious one. But it’s not magic – teaching takes place both in and out of such a relationship. What does a teacher do? How do we work with the embodiment in front of us?

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
03/03/2019
The SOTO of Zen

Especially during challenging times or when experiencing personal difficulties, we can find comfort by focusing on our core practice – our Soto style of Zen. Fumyo highlights some practical aspects of our Soto Zen including its beginnings as a unique style and its subtle pragmatism. He also touches on deep questions at the heart of our everyday koans and, finally, on the student-teacher relationships that overlay the whole of practice.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Rick Fumyo Mishaga
02/24/2019
The Art of Patching Leaks

Keeping things dry in an Oregon winter can be tough, but not as difficult as not leaking our practice intention. This Sunday, we’ll explore the process of diverting attention on a few different timescales, and find some tips to keep this from happening.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
02/10/2019
Fudo and Kojin

This Sunday we’re in for a special treat. Kosho Finch, a Shingon priest and the new reverend of the Henjyoji Temple, will do a talk on Fudo-Myoo and Kojin, represented in chants that we do regularly (particularly the Fudo Ceremony). Fudo is the statue to the right of Manjushri in front of the hall (to your left as you look toward the altar). Kosho notes that there are interesting overlapping practices for Shingon and Zen in Fudo and Kojin, and will share some of those with us.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kosho Finch
02/03/2019
Prison Program Panel

Several Sangha members are involved in DRZC’s prison program, as volunteers, adults in custody, and prison grads. Many DRZC members don’t have a clear sense of who these folks are, how the program works, or what involvement in it might look like, so every few years we like to report back. Grads and volunteers talked about the rich gifts available in this experience. Genko and Gyoshi facilitated.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Genko Rainwater, Mike Gyoshi Kaplan
01/27/2019
Good Friends

The Buddha told us to find good friends, and keep them close. What does this mean to a person of practice? How do we manage relationships? What is intimacy and companionship on the Path?

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
01/20/2019
Weaving Precepts and Nehan

Both Shakyamuni Buddha and Eihei Dogen gave their last dharma teaching on the same topic. We’ll look at this teaching, a description of the marks of practice, and why both teachers felt it was so important for their students to remember.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
01/13/2019
Lineage Stories

It’s a time of year when we look forward and back, and we can look to our lineage ancestors to provide us with inspiration for the future. Genko talks about the many ways we share stories and how that practice creates, maintains, and continues to build Sangha for all of us.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Genko Rainwater
12/16/2018
Transition of Winter Solstice

Jyoshin speaks of the need for honoring deep winter by taking some down time. We close down the temple for two weeks partly as a way of following the direction of the earth in resting in the darkness and the cold.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Jyoshin Clay
12/09/2018
Practicing with Brightness

Categories: Dharma Talks

Ko’in Newsom
12/02/2018
Perfect Wisdom

Categories: Dharma Talks

Genko Rainwater
11/25/2018
Freedom from Outcomes

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
11/18/2018
“Bad Students”

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
11/11/2018
Perfect Meditation

Tags: Meditation, Paramitas, Six Perfections

Categories: Dharma Talks

Genko Rainwater
11/04/2018
Founders Day

This Sunday, Jyoshin spoke about honoring lineage and tradition and at the same time exploring the tension between valuing and connecting with what we’ve done before while also responding to current conditions.

Tags: Meditation, Paramitas, Six Perfections

Categories: Dharma Talks

Jyoshin Clay
10/14/2018
Meditation Off-Trail

Kakumyo describes a recent (experimental) sesshin he participated in and some of the lessons learned for trusting and deepening meditation.

Tags: Meditation, Paramitas, Six Perfections

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
10/07/2018
Perfect Energy

Genko continues a series looking at the six perfections (paramitas) with Virya, sometimes translated as Energy. Dale Wright says in The Six Perfections: “Virya mean[s] the energy of accomplishment, the effort, courage, and power to see spiritual endeavor through to its completion. Viryaparamita is the perfection of this energy, the power of unyielding commitment to the ultimate goal of universal awakening.” Genko explores some of the facets of this perfection and how it works in our lives.

Tags: Meditation, Paramitas, Six Perfections

Categories: Dharma Talks

Genko Rainwater
09/30/2018
Two Ancestors

Every year toward the end of September we celebrate the contribution of Eihei Dogen and Keizan Jokin to the establishment of Soto Zen. Dogen is considered the founder of Soto Zen in Japan, having brought it from China in the 1200s. Keizan, four generations later, popularized it and was instrumental in its spread.

Tags: Meditation, Paramitas, Six Perfections

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
09/23/2018
Perfect Patience

Genko continues to examine the six Perfections (Paramitas) and this month looks at Kshanti, translated variously as patience, tolerance, and forebearance. Patience has gotten a lot of press in Buddhist teachings, being considered a central virtue. According to Dale Wright, who wrote The Six Perfections, “Bodhisattvas who have trained in this virtue are imperturbable and well-composed, calm and focused in the midst of adversity.”

Tags: Meditation, Paramitas, Six Perfections

Categories: Dharma Talks

Genko Rainwater
09/16/2018
Being a Buddha

Zen master Bankei said, “Rather than trying to become a buddha, nothing could be simpler than taking the shortcut of remaining a buddha!” We are that which we long for. In the original spirit of Zen, we focus on direct experience. We recognize that we are, already, the Buddha.

Tags: Meditation, Paramitas, Six Perfections

Categories: Dharma Talks

Caverly Morgan
09/09/2018
Turning Up the Vivid

Fall term is in effect and practice is flowing. This Sunday Kakumyo will talk about one way we may notice the effects of contemplative practice, and how to make good use of this phenomenon.

Tags: Meditation, Paramitas, Six Perfections

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
09/02/2018
Beginnings and Endings

With the shift towards cooler weather and the return of rain, the mind naturally turns towards fall practice. The beginning of Ango, with a Term Opening Ceremony and the Daoren Entering Ceremony, mark a starting point for particular sets of vows or intentions. (During the Term Opening Ceremony, each of us will have the opportunity to express a vow of practice for the term.) However, Buddhism has an intriguing way of looking at beginnings and endings. This Sunday, Jyoshin, will explore this theme and how zen holds these ideas.

Tags: Meditation, Paramitas, Six Perfections

Categories: Dharma Talks

Jyoshin Clay
08/26/2018
Chapter Headings

Kakumyo speaks about Dharma Rain’s path as a sangha and institution. What does our trajectory look like, and what are the values and context that are shaping it?

Tags: Meditation, Paramitas, Six Perfections

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
Date Title & Details Speaker Listen Download

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