Recording Category: Dharma Talks

Concern with how our karma developed is sometimes compared to being shot with a poison arrow. Don’t ask who shot it or how it was made, just get it out. But practice pushes us to confront past events and how they shape us. How do we look at the past in a wholesome way?

In celebrating Wesak, and contemplating the miraculous story of the Buddha’s birth, we may not find our own circumstances quite so auspicious. Kakumyo will talk about a Zen approach to noticing miracles in our practice.

This week we welcome a guest teacher, Ryushin Hart. Ryushin’s talk will explore a pervasive and pernicious obstacle to wholeheartedly living our spiritual path and the steps to decrease its impact.

Kakumyo talks about discovering the absolute within the relative.

There’s a Christian song that starts “Have Faith, Hope, and Charity; that’s the way to live successfully.” These somewhat old-fashioned words, Biblical words, words in a song, speak of values we cherish in Buddhism as well, though we may express it somewhat differently. What are these three virtues, and how do they manifest in our… Read more »

Sometimes the dharma rain seeps in and nourishes us in the way we’re hoping. Other times it seems to bounce off like a spring hail. Perhaps there’s no obvious button to push to change things. When we’re caught like this, we’re probably narrowing the range of our experience so the specific insult takes up more… Read more »

All the qualities of our identity are empty of self-nature, especially the qualities of the body. Yet such things as skin color and gender are often treated as “real” – as permanent, fixed, and conveying value. Suffering is the result. The talk this week will focus on this ‘injury of identity,’ particularly in regard to… Read more »

One of the barriers many people experience in meditation practice, and especially in the Zen tradition, are concerns about whether we are going to do it wrong. This shows up in many distinct flavors, sharing a common theme of anxiety. This Sunday Kakumyo will talk about how we meet this barrier and how it relates… Read more »

A sense of spring is vibrating toward manifesting. Frogs are singing a symphony each night at Siskiyou Square. We spotted crocuses coming up in the garden, and there’s a hint of color in the plum grove. In spite of the recent ice and snow, and the fact that we could still get more cold weather,… Read more »

Valentine’s Day, a day to profess romantic love to your special someone. Chocolate, cards, flowers, coziness, making that extra effort to show you care. What might this look like in a Zen context? Rather than making an extra effort for that special someone, what if you expressed your love for everyone? What if you cultivated… Read more »

This Sunday we commemorate the Buddha’s death. In the sutra that details his final teachings, there’s a discussion of the mind that seeks the way. We will look at the discovery, expression, and honing of this mind, and see why it is so pivotal in Zen practice.

What is sustainable bodhisattva practice when the world is (often literally) on fire? How do we enact our bodhisattva vows in the face of all of this suffering – caused by racism, the global pandemic, the breakdown of earth’s natural life support systems, and global heating, among so many other things? Our vow is to… Read more »

The long nights of winter are slowly giving way to our long days of spring and summer. Light has many meanings, and many functions. How do we experience the shift from shadow to light? What happens when there is so much light that we can see all the detail in the world?

It can be said that Zen Buddhism, rather than being a system of belief, is a practice of exploration and self-discovery. Built on the teachings of the Buddha, Zen asks us to look deeply into our lives, habits, and relationships and learn to transform unwholesome action to wholesome action. Experiences of questions and answers have… Read more »

We all face many transitions, both big and small, during our lives. Some we choose and some seem to fall on us with an unwelcome thud. In either case it’s ours to meet these transitions in such a way that we can grow with them. In this dharma talk, Gyoshi will address various aspects of… Read more »

Now we have this new year full of hope and promise. With the turn of the calendar and the magic of new numbers we can imagine that we are living in a different, better world. And of course things continue to change. Many people’s thoughts turn to aligning their lives more closely with their true… Read more »

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