Ryotan Sensei looks at the basis of the precepts and finds it in our zazen. Recorded at our monthly Zazenkai on May 11th 2019.
In this talk, Roshi follows the themes of our 2019 Urban Sesshin organized by our practice leader Gessho: creative attention, awareness and focus – narrow and wide. Roshi quotes Dogen, Ryokan, Muso Soseki, and Sid Corman. We can’t grasp attention, focus and awareness. So how do we learn to pay attention? Listen. Our meditation practice is to be in this-moment mind, and witness the profound intimacy of our own lives. Recorded March 16, 2019.
Our thoughts create desire, and our desires create separation and suffering. How can we relate more fully to our minds as a means to skillfully realize the second of the four vows? Recorded March 10th, 2019. Bokushu offers the following link to a short video as an adjunct to his Dharma talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAYhOCLNkMc
In this talk Roshi sees our society in a desperate gesture to distinguish what is perceived as different. What is me, and what is not me. Whether it is class, gender, religion or race – how do we get caught in bias that leads to fear and hostility? With the help of a poem by Ryokan, the writings of Emmanuel Levinas, and Joshu’s Stone Bridge, Roshi asks us to see our hidden bias and open our minds and hearts to be awakened by all of life. Recorded January 29th, 2019.
In this talk, the last of our 2018-19 winter retreat, Ryotan Sensei starts by thanking the many Sangha members who work hard to create our retreat. He then mentions growing up in the same town as Dr. Timothy Leary, who’s famous slogan was “Tune in, turn on and drop out.” Ryotan sees a connection here to Zen and asks what is it, to truly drop out? One could latch onto the beautiful model of “foolish old man Ryokan” and choose poverty and poetry as a lifestyle, but Zen masters past and present ask us to find our own way. Only though our own unique continuous practice can we manifest the true functioning of the Dharma. Recorded December 31st, 2018.
In this talk, during our 2018-19 winter retreat, Shinryu Sensei says “welcome home” to those attending the retreat and sees coming home itself as a way of expressing our practice. He then states his admiration for the poems of Ryokan and reads a few, interspersed with a few poems of his own. Shinryu then gives us examples of thusness, spaciousness, interconnection and feeling that permeate Ryotan’s poetry and life. Shinryu asks, can we open up our practice to all of this life? Can we open up our experience right now as the jewel? Recorded December 30th, 2018.