What is the value of a human birth? We are reminded now and then that to be born a human being is special, of high merit. Why? What does this say about other beings? What does it say about how we should be living our lives? This talk was given Sunday, July 24.
For more than a thousand years, Zen temples have been administered in particular ways. How do the rules and guidelines put in place so long ago translate to today? What does it mean to step up to leadership at Dharma Rain? Jiko will talk about the temple governance as an essential practical matter, and an… Read more »
Sometimes the troubles of the world overwhelm us, and we sink into despair. We may feel depressed or angry as we see the suffering around us. Despair is actually a crucial experience in practice. How do we work with this state and the accompanying emotions? How do we move forward with compassion to ease suffering… Read more »
What are the markers of maturity in the practice? How do we define this subjective term? We teach that practice is enlightenment, there are no stages of enlightenment. Yet there are real markers of development in practice, qualities we develop and can recognize over time. One is generosity, giving the self freely. A sense of… Read more »
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… Read more »
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.… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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. This talk was on Sunday, June 28.
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? This talk… Read more »
Sallie Jiko Tisdale[/caption]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,… Read more »
What does it mean to “function secretly, like a fool”? The final lines of one of our daily scriptures is packed with important teaching, in the simplest of language. The Zen fool is different from the conventional meaning of this world. So is a secret – and so is the host. We will look at… Read more »
The World-Honored One ascended the seat and Manjusri announces, “Clearly observe the Dharma of the King of Dharma; the Dharma of the King of Dharma is thus.” Then the World Honored One descended from the seat.” What is this mysterious and unspoken wisdom? How do we find it? Dogen called it “brightness,” and said we… Read more »
Kate Wolf sang, “Give yourself to love, if love is what you’re after.” Why is it so hard to give ourselves to each other? What holds us back from real intimacy? As individuals and as a community, we carry many patterns of fear and withdrawal, but we also have the opportunity to see and be… Read more »
Everything is always changing; on what can we rely? All passes away. Where is our ground? We seek for something and it is pulled away. The Buddha repeatedly predicted perfect enlightenment – Buddhahood – for all beings; how can this be true if everything is conditioned and dependent and changing? The word sometimes used for… Read more »