Recording Category: Dharma Talks

As the stream of life flows through awareness, some moments stand out as being more meaningful, impactful, or important. We may assume that it’s because of the content of what we’re aware of, but usually, it’s not. How do we cultivate experiences of awe, insight and immediacy in our daily life?

On Sunday, February 4, we celebrated our annual Nehan ceremony, commemorating the Buddha’s passing into parinirvana. Jyoshin’s talk reflected on the teachings of the death of the Buddha and explored its significance for those of us practicing the Buddha’s path 2600 years later. How do we relate to these teachings? What is applicable for modern… Read more »

Beyond the karmic mirror, we find that enlightenment is communal. Kakumyo speaks of preference and renunciation in a spiritual community

As he swallowed the cup of poison hemlock, Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living. Our practice encourages us to know the self, but also to drop the self. When is self-examination self-indulgence? When is dropping the self avoiding the facts?

What is Justice, and how does it relate to Mercy? Both are kind of old-fashioned words, old-fashioned virtues, and both are interpreted in a variety of ways. Genko talks about Dharma Rain’s prison program, social justice, and how all of this relates to the Dharma.

How we engage in the tasks before us is both a spur for and a measure of our path. As we install a new shuso and enter a new term of practice, we consider what it means to work with the mind of practice.

In the ordination ceremony, we say, ‘I have changed my form, but kept my wish.’ What does this mean? We carry many wishes into our practice, and the innermost wish is revealed only over time. We each have a gift as well as a wish, and central to our practice is finding a way for… Read more »

As we prepare to begin Rohatsu sesshin, Jyoshin examines what we are celebrating this week and why we do what we do.

Bukkai plans to take another look at a poem by Dainin Katagiri that she first presented a long time ago and is still considering. The last section reads: If I were not to agree with your teaching, Believe it or not, My life would be drifting in space, Like an astronaut separate from her ship… Read more »

The Buddha, in the first sermon following his enlightenment, instructed us to practice Right Speech as part of the Eightfold Path. One version of the criteria he used for determining if speech is right is: Is is factual? is it true? Is it helpful? Is it endearing? Is it timely? Right Speech can be a… Read more »

Gratitude for the past. Generosity to the future. After the all-night vigil beginning Saturday evening, November 4, at 7pm, Gyokuko puts this celebration into context.

As we struggle to get by and overcome obstacles, we can get confused, angry, and sad. As we develop our practice and self-awareness, subtle changes in outlook have the capacity to transform our view of life and suffering in radical ways.

We often put karmic themes and their resolution in a vague category that adds lots of extra noise and opinion and dilutes the teaching about how to affect change. This Sunday the talk will focus on some specifics about seeing through our afflicted habit patterns.

This Sunday we celebrate the Two Ancestors Memorial, honoring Eihei Dogen and Keizan Jokin. As part of that, we chant the “Life Span Chapter” of the Lotus Sutra, which describes the Buddha enlightened since the remote past, or the eternal Buddha. As the seasons change, time passes, people are born, sicken, and die, and yet… Read more »

How do we carry our deepest intentions with us as we move through our daily life, including when at work? Last week, many in the sangha participated in the Heart of Work retreat. Each day, the retreat started and ended with meditation in the zendo, but the main venue for the retreat was our individual… Read more »

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