Recording Category: Dharma Talks

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 »

As we meet the longest night of the year, how do we enter into darkness? The dark is a rich image in Zen. Let us talk about those meanings, and the real dark and the real night of this winter.

Join us this Sunday as Kakumyo gives us a head start on Rohatsu. This retreat is where put all of the energy we have cultivated over the past year.

Last week, Annen spoke of dukka, the First Noble Truth, and the effects of the pandemic on dharma practice. In this week’s talk, Jyoshin will look at Dharma as PPE (personal protective equipment). This talk topic was suggested by a Buddhist chaplain and the talk is dedicated to healthcare workers and staff, as well as to… Read more »

“Life is suffering.” This is a common translation of the first noble truth of Buddhism and during this pandemic, suffering and sorrow seem even more visible and tangible than usual. This week, Annen considers suffering (Pali: dukka) in its pre-pandemic and pandemic forms, and the silver lining that lies hidden in plain sight

We have been talking about karma and recognizing the harm we have caused and how we can heal. This Sunday, let us step back a bit and talk about the experience of being hurt in the first place. How do we hold our traumas, alone and as a community?

This week’s dharma talk is Clarity, Equanimity, and Balance in Difficult Times, a recording of a talk given by Kyogen Carlson, one of our founders, on October 12, 2008. Kyogen talks about the circumstances surrounding his and Gyokuko’s break from Shasta Abbey, the highly charged 2008 presidential election, and the transformation that can occur when all… Read more »

One impediment to making good use of our meditation practice and the teachings of Buddhism is a lack of confidence that they apply to an actual situation or that they will be effective. On Sunday, Kakumyo will explore some of these concerns and discuss the Buddha’s answer to this question.

In honor of the Two Ancestors, Dogen and Keizan, celebrated this week, we will consider the story of the Buddha holding up a flower, and ask ourselves, when is a flower just a flower?

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