Senior student Musho gave this talk at the Zendo’s annual Rohatsu all night sit. Musho reviews the story of Shakyamuni’s enlightenment, and sees how we embody and participate in an awakening that is all around us. Musho tells a story of his first Rohatsu sit, and then relays some encouragement from 18th century Japanese Zen master Hakuin. Recorded December 8th 2018.
In this talk senior student Kenko looks into the traditional Buddhist teaching of “The Five Faculties” Faith, Effort, Mindfulness, Concentration and Wisdom. Kenko carefully interprets them through the eye of our Zen practice. He then explores the koan case 7 from the Blue Cliff Record “Hui Ch’ao Asks About Buddha” and ends with a poem from Dogen.
The punchline to the old stories is always the same: some monk was suddenly enlightened. What really happened back then, and what happens to us today when we have an experience of insight?
In this talk senior student Yuuka asks “How do we atone for Trump?” and looks to the koan “Nanquan’s Peony” for guidance. Yuuka sees a billion year old rage being brought up by the Kavenaugh hearings, and she responds with a look into female sexuality through wise words from “Come As You Are” a book by Emily Nagoski. As the peony pedals fall apart, Yukka asks if we can simply disintegrate together.
In this talk, Jiryu offers the following message: If we treat the Zen precepts as a set of rules to obey, that’s just conformity. Let’s use them instead as a tool for busting the hierarchy!
In this talk Kansho explores the various benefits of sitting together in community, and the importance of the treasure of Sangha. He talks about how when he first came to the Zendo he was looking for relief from anxiety in meditation, but later discovered the inspiring forces of community and collaboration, which were to be the support that kept him in his meditation practice. Kansho feels protected by the Sangha and protected by his Zazen practice. Recorded October 21st 2018.
In this talk Musho responds to the #meToo movement and the conformation hearings of supreme court judge Brett Kavenaugh. Searching for a source of women’s oppression, Musho looks into intense male sexual desire, and how it transforms into wide spread suffering. Musho digs into an episode of his own adolescence as well as case 9 from The Blue Cliff Record “Chao Chou’s Four Gates.” The talk also includes the mention of an important 2015 documentary film “The Masks You Live In.”
In this talk, Soshin shares her experience bearing witness at the Montparnasse Cemetery and on Wikipedia. Recorded October 14, 2018.
Recounting a tender reunion with his ailing sister,
Seizan tells us how his practice as come to help him with
the Great Matter — Life and Death.
Shortly after the beginning of this recording
you will hear Seizan lie down on the Zendo floor, where,
perpendicular to the Sangha, with his hands in Gassho,
he will recite a passage from the play
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, by Tom Stoppard.
Looking at the koan, “Ching Ch’ing’s The Sound of Raindrops,”
Fusho talks about expectations (and getting caught in the rain);
the expectations we impose on ourselves and others —
and the scary but liberating experience of letting them go.