Zen Talks

Free Me from My Fetters – a talk by Leland Shields (October 14, 2018)

Posted by on Oct 24, 2018 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on Free Me from My Fetters – a talk by Leland Shields (October 14, 2018)

There are some koans that grabbed me and never loosened their grip. Today I’d like to share one that I long remembered without recalling its source, so I recently sought it out once again. The closest I could find was this, from Transmission of the Light: The thirty first patriarch (China’s Fourth Patriarch), Zen Master Dayi (Daoxin), bowed to the Great Master Jianzhi and said, “I beg the priest in his great compassion to give me teaching of liberation.” The Patriarch replied, “Who is binding you?” The master said, “No one is binding me.” The Patriarch answered, “Then why are you seeking...

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Zenkai (January 13, 2019) with Madelon Bolling

Posted by on Oct 24, 2018 in Beginner Zen Meditation, Zen Talks | Comments Off on Zenkai (January 13, 2019) with Madelon Bolling

Beginners who are interested in Zen and experienced Zen students are welcome. Schedule 8:15am Work period 9:00am Opening, Five Remembrances, Zazen 9:35am Zazen 10:00am Dharma talk 11:00am Zazen 12:00pm Informal lunch (Soup will be provided. Please bring food to share.) 1:00pm Sutras 1:30pm Zazen, Interviews 2:50pm Closing, Great Vows

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Dongshan’s Cold and Heat – a talk by Madelon Bolling (August 12, 2018)

Posted by on Aug 15, 2018 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on Dongshan’s Cold and Heat – a talk by Madelon Bolling (August 12, 2018)

Blue Cliff Record, Case 43: A monk asked Dongshan, “When cold and heat visit us, how should we avoid them?” Dongshan said, “Why not go where there is neither cold nor heat?” The monk asked, “Where is there neither cold nor heat?” Dongshan said, “When it is cold, the cold kills you. When it is hot, the heat kills you.”          Discomfort pervades our experience. Sometimes we can do something about it, sometimes not. If not, as the monk asked, how can we avoid the unavoidable? Dongshan suggests we go where there is neither cold nor heat—neither...

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On Being Left To Our Own Devices – by Madelon Bolling (July 8, 2018)

Posted by on Jul 8, 2018 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on On Being Left To Our Own Devices – by Madelon Bolling (July 8, 2018)

A monk asked Hui-hai, “By what means can the gateway of our school be entered?” Hui-hai said, “By means of the Dana Paramita.” . . . [some conversation ensued and then] The monk asked, “Why is it called the Dana Paramita?” Hui-hai said, “‘Dana’ means ‘relinquishment.'” The monk asked, “Relinquishment of what?” Hui-hai said, “Relinquishment of the dualism of opposites, which means relinquishment of ideas as to the dual nature of good and bad, being and non-being, void and non-void, pure and impure, and so...

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Blinded by Gold Dust – Leland Shields (July 7, 2018)

Posted by on Jul 7, 2018 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on Blinded by Gold Dust – Leland Shields (July 7, 2018)

One day the Counselor Wang visited the Master. When he met the Master in front of the Monk’s Hall, he asked: “do the monks of this monastery read the sutras?” “No, they don’t read sutra,” said the Master. “Then do they learn meditation?” asked the Counselor. “No, they don’t learn meditation,” answered the Master. “If they neither read sutras nor learn meditation, what in the world are they doing?” asked the Counselor. “All I do is make them become buddhas and patriarchs [sic],” said the Master. The Counselor said: “Though gold dust is valuable, in the eyes it causes cataract [can blind...

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Nothing Extra, Nothing Left Out – a talk by Leland Shields on June 10, 2018

Posted by on Jun 13, 2018 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on Nothing Extra, Nothing Left Out – a talk by Leland Shields on June 10, 2018

Blue Cliff Record, Case 12: Tung Shan’s Three Pounds of Hemp A monk asked Tung-Shan, “What is Buddha?” Tung Shan said, “Three pounds of hemp.” Thomas Cleary, BCR 12   Blue Cliff Record, case 19: Chu Ti’s One Finger Ch’an Whenever anything was asked, Master Chu Ti would just raise one finger. Thomas Cleary, BCR 19   Blue Cliff Record case 27: Yun Men’s The Body Exposed, The Golden Wind A monk asked Yun Men, “How is it when the tree withers and the leaves fall?” Yun Men said, “Body exposed in the golden wind.” Thomas Cleary, BCR 27   On most retreat days here, we begin by some...

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