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Recording Categories: Dharma Talks
Years: 2015
Speakers: All Speakers
Date Title & Details Speaker Listen Download
11/29/2015
What’s Important

Gyokuko is finding a new way to look at frugality.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Gyokuko Carlson
11/22/2015
Dignity

What does it mean to be dignified? We use the word freely and in many contexts, but may find that a definition is not easy. The Buddhist view of dignity is a little different from the conventional one. Is dignity an inherent quality? What does it mean to act in an undignified manner? Are there situations in which one’s dignity is taken away by conditions? We will consider these questions and share a few stories about how we express this subtle, important quality in our daily lives.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
11/15/2015
Meeting the Ancestral Teachers … In a Grass Hut

Following our Founder’s Day Service last week, we continue to commemorate with gratitude the great compassion that has been shown to us by our ancestral teachers. Fumyo explores the model for practice given to us by Shitou Xiqian (Sekito Kisen), our eighth Chinese ancestor. In his “Song of the Grass-Roof Hermitage,” Shitou shows us how to relieve our suffering by moderation, letting go, and relaxing completely. His gentle and insightful style of practice left a legacy that we follow to this day.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Rick Fumyo Mishaga
11/08/2015
Founders Day

Once a year we hold an all-night vigil in honor of our founders Keido Chisan and Jiyu Kennet, both of whom died during the first week of November. This year, for the first time, we will hold this vigil in the Sodo, as we carry their work forward. Morning service on Sunday will be a special Founders Day service, and Kakumyo will talk on this theme.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
11/01/2015
Save a Ghost

Resonant of our recent Segaki retreat, this koan invites a changed relationship to one’s “ghosts” often understood as unresolved karma arising in the present. The dharma talk is about how we care for “ghosts” and what it means to save or release them. While many of us struggle to let go of these unbidden appearances from past, many of whom arrive on the cushion, the path to really letting go is not necessarily an obvious or linear one. Come join us Sunday and bring your experience of this year’s celebration one week after feeding the hungry ghosts in the new Sodo.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Debra Seido Martin
10/11/2015
The Great Matter

Birth and death are moments in time – and yet the fact of our birth and death is called the Great Matter. How do we contemplate our own extinction from this life? The Buddha addressed his death directly. We will talk about the simple, profound questions of dying, caregiving, grieving, and planning for the inevitable.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
10/04/2015
For the Benefit of All Beings

We say that we begin practice as a way of addressing our own suffering. We continue practice for the sake of others. Over time, our practice evolves, so that it becomes for the sake of the Dharma itself. How does this work, and what does it look like? Genko explores these questions and more.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Genko Rainwater
09/27/2015
The Possibility of Ease

In zen practice we often try ‘to come back to center,’ or ‘to calm down,’ or ‘to open up,’ because if we’re in such a state then our thought, speech and action causes less problems. These kinds of shorthands refer to varieties of experience that we’ve learned to trust. But isn’t that conditioning? A subtle kind of picking and choosing our experience? How does that relate to delving ever deeper into the unconditioned? Join us Sunday to explore.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
09/20/2015
Working Precepts

Keeping the Precepts can be challenging when decisions need to be made and disagreements arise, whether in the world of work or here in the temple. As the temple has grown, more and more of the needed work is done in meetings in committees. How do we apply Right Speech to our work? To what extent do we speak our minds and to what extent to we prioritize harmony – whether within the sangha or at the work place? Gyokuko explores these questions and more.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Gyokuko Carlson
09/13/2015
Still Here

We approach Big Mind with our small minds; we find our greater selves through the vehicle of the small self. But much of the time, we live and experience the world within that small self. How do we keep going when it seems like nothing changes? What is the meaning of “still” and “here” when we think about perseverance?

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
09/06/2015
Where Our Lives Meet the World

“Decisions are the junctures where our lives meet the world. They define the trail we leave behind.” While the source of this quote is unclear, it is worth investigation at the beginning of Ango. With inspiration from Dainin Katagiri to Dr. Seuss, Bukkai will follow several threads concerning how we decide.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Jill Bukkai Washburn
08/30/2015
The Path Is Laid Out for You

In this student talk, Yoan focused on concrete practice steps for releasing clinging and aversion with a fabricated sense of self and cultivating that which gives rise to equanimity and joy

Categories: Dharma Talks

LaShelle Yoan Lowe-Charde
08/23/2015
Cecil and the Circles of Compassion

When Cecil the lion was killed recently, there was an outcry around the world. Why are we sometimes able to feel compassion for a creature so distant from our daily lives? Why are we sometimes unable to summon up compassion for our next-door neighbor? This talk will explore how a widening circle of compassion grows with practice, and explore some of the apparent conflicts that compassion can raise in daily life.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
08/16/2015
Entering the Stream

A Theravadin teaching talks of four stages in the path to Nirvana: stream-enterer, once-returner, non-returner, and arhat. Even though we don’t usually talk about the path this way in Zen, there is some value in looking at this very old teaching as it relates to our practice. What sign posts can we find on the path to let us know that progress is possible?

Categories: Dharma Talks

Genko Rainwater
08/09/2015
The Trouble with Equanimity

Buddha saw that attachment led to suffering, and taught equanimity as an antidote. He was deeply committed to this effort. It’s easy to lose the deep commitment when we’re trying to lose the attachment. On Sunday we’ll look at how we relate to and practice equanimity, and how the likely mistakes and appropriate corrections look different at different times.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
08/02/2015
Temple Officers

The Eihei Shingi, rules for the monastery at Eiheiji formulated by Dogen centuries ago, outlines six temple officers. We follow Dogen’s example, with some modifications. Gyokuko emphasizes the interconnected web of respect and responsibility that makes it all work here for us. Come and find out something about Dharma Rain’s unique flavor.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Gyokuko Carlson
07/26/2015
Wholesome Companions

The Buddha encouraged his followers to choose wholesome companionship, and to stay away from unwholesome people. What does this mean? The people with whom we spend our time will always have an influence on us – but we can’t always choose them. How do we navigate family and work environments? How do we bow to our circumstances and still consciously choose the right influence?

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
07/19/2015
A Meditation on Simplicity

It is a frequent modern lament that our lives feel packed with competing demands and are complicated to the point of overwhelm. For lay Buddhists, this can seem like far cry from Buddha’s example of living with only a robe and a begging bowl. Zen rituals distill teachings down to their essence and focus the mind on the moment at hand with nothing extra. As lay people caring for our work and family, how does the simplicity we learn in practice inform us about the role of simplicity in our everyday choices? In this talk, Seido explores the function of simplicity and complexity in modern Buddhist practice and the mind that motivates our choices.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Debra Seido Martin
07/12/2015
Endurance and the Perfection of Patience

We all endure many things small and large, from summer heat to the death of loved ones. Kshanti, a Sanskrit term sometimes translated as Patience, is one of the six Paramitas, or Perfections in Buddhism. Sometimes patience gets a bad rap for being passive. How can it lead us to perfection? How does it relate to forgiveness, compassion, and wisdom?

Categories: Dharma Talks

Genko Rainwater
06/28/2015
The Work of This Moment

Jiko talked about the 10,000-year clock, the problem of nuclear waste, why we plant trees and what it means to let go of goals in this talk about time, effort, and the future.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
06/21/2015
Well, Whaddya Know?

Many Zen masters speak of “Don’t Know Mind.” What is this Don’t Know? What do we know, how do we know it, and does it matter?

Categories: Dharma Talks

Genko Rainwater
06/14/2015
Precept Practice as a Path of Heart

There are many ways to approach the precepts. In this talk we’ll explore how precept practice as a path of heart works. We’ll also take a deeper look at our unique statement of the 6th precept, “Do not dwell on past mistakes.” This sounds very different from how most others state the 6th precept – “Do not speak of others’ faults.” Are these actually different precepts, or is something else going on here?

Categories: Dharma Talks

Mike Gyoshi Kaplan
06/07/2015
What’s the Formula?

When we’ve tasted the benefits of something that we care about, it’s normal to want to get more of it or make it work better. In the practice sphere, this impulse can show up as trying to figure out the right way to practice: What are the key ingredients to produce compassion, wisdom, equanimity? (And what can I do without?!) On Sunday we’ll look at what components of transformation we can affect, what we can’t, and what is a mature and skillful relationship with each category.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
05/24/2015
Prison Conversation II

A few years ago Kyogen and Getsushin led a conversation about our prison program as a Dharma Talk. It’s time for an update, as the program has been growing through significant changes since then. It is a program that operates largely unseen by most of the sangha other than those volunteers directly involved with it. Come and hear from volunteers and former inmates about how this program works. Genko facilitates this one.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Genko Rainwater
05/17/2015
Invisible Beings

There are many beings in our lives who remain invisible. This past week, we have been sitting sesshin in honor of our ancestral lineage – invisible beings whose importance to us is sometimes difficult to understand. How do we explain and explore – and pay homage to – the unseen forces around us?

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
05/10/2015
Ounces of Prevention, Pounds of Cure

Gyokuko talked about the booklet, “Zen Training in Community.” How do we live in sangha together? What is my responsibility to seniors and/or juniors? What happens if I think someone is out of line?

Categories: Dharma Talks

Gyokuko Carlson
04/26/2015
Mirrors, Mirages, and Dreams

Many Zen metaphors point to the insubstantiality of reality and our attempts to fix it. Zen practice offers a kind of clarity and centeredness to one’s life that comes from a lots of determined looking at what is. But all that looking doesn’t tell us what it is, in fact, it does quite the opposite. On Sunday we’ll investigate knowing, where it lands, and when it’s useful.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
04/12/2015
Birth, Death, and Cold Feet

Now that we’re sitting on-site, sometimes the zendo is cold in the mornings. Discomfort arises. What then? Buddhism has a long history of mining this dilemma. We’ll look at some of these approaches and how this applies to the rest of life.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Kakumyo Lowe-Charde
04/12/2015
Holding a Thread of Suffering

I met my teacher and said “I have only always wanted to be helpful.” She probably thought: “Oh, here comes another one suffering with some heavy stuff to sort out.” Then she said to herself with sincerity: “Great beginning.” To me she said instead, “well, let’s put that on hold for awhile, learn our practice and see what happens.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Jill Bukkai Washburn
03/15/2015
Practicing with the Precepts

In preparation for our Jukai ceremony on March 22nd, Shintai offered a Dharma talk about practicing with the Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts during different stages of practice. For those participating in Jukai, it was a time to consider the significance of making this public vow. For those who have already made this vow, it was a time of reflection and renewal of our intention. The talk explored how deeply engaging with the Precepts supports our practice.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Jody Shintai Dungay
03/08/2015
“Evil”

The first precept we learn is “Cease from evil.” If Buddhism teaches us not to make dualistic concepts, why does it set up the pair of good and evil? What is evil in Buddhism? What does it mean to cease from it? This challenging word pushes us to explore many aspects of behavior, karmic conditioning and how developing wisdom shapes our life.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Sallie Jiko Tisdale
03/01/2015
Timeless Spring

The title of this talk refers to a relatively early (1980) collection in English of writings of masters in the Soto Zen lineage. Bukkai explored the ordinary moments in which we share eternity in our awakening practice.

Categories: Dharma Talks

Jill Bukkai Washburn
Date Title & Details Speaker Listen Download

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