Talks

Photo of Madelon, Lee

Left to right, Madelon, Lee

The Most Important Place – A Talk by Madelon Bolling

Posted by on Jun 16, 2022 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on The Most Important Place – A Talk by Madelon Bolling

A monk asked, “How should one act during every moment of every day such that the ancestors are not betrayed?” Yunmen said, “Give up your effort.” The monk said, “How should I give up my effort?” Yunmen said, “Give up the words you just uttered.” Here we are, gathered together on this new day, beginning once more to investigate the great matter. Beginning is often an exciting situation with a view to the future: an expectation of growth and accomplishment, a gradual gathering of skill, reputation and knowledge, knowing how, so a person can...

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April 7-day intensive retreat talks

Posted by on Jun 12, 2022 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on April 7-day intensive retreat talks

April 7-day intensive retreat talks by Leland Shields and Madelon Bolling on the writings of Dogen: Day 1: Leland Shields, Every Moment Zen Day 2: Leland Shields, No Self – No Separation Day 3: Leland Shields, No Self – Embodied Self Day 4: Madelon Bolling, No Self – Resistance and the Mind of War Day 5: Leland Shields, Attention to the Myriad Dharmas Day 6: Leland Shields, The Moon Brings Forth Two

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Tending the Flame, Not Worshiping the Ashes — Lee Shields, May 8, 2022

Posted by on May 13, 2022 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on Tending the Flame, Not Worshiping the Ashes — Lee Shields, May 8, 2022

Last week I attended the Diamond Sangha Teachers Circle gathering by Zoom. There were teachers from many countries and time zones, from New Zealand and Australia, to London and Germany. It was my first time participating in this august group of sincere people, dedicated to carrying Zen forward in gratitude. Rather than a talk on koans, I’d like to share some of the discussion that I think will be of interest to our Sangha. Some of the topics discussed included thoughtful innovations to our form and practice, and the inclusion and exclusion of...

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The Moon Brings Forth Two — Leland Shields — Intensive Day 6, April 15, 2022

Posted by on Apr 20, 2022 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on The Moon Brings Forth Two — Leland Shields — Intensive Day 6, April 15, 2022

In Dharma Hall Discourse 168, Dogen wrote this: The moon brings forth one, we pick up a brush and record it as good fortune. The moon brings forth two, the clear intention of the ancestral teachers. The moon brings forth three; a thousand ancient ones submit to Gautama. Although this is the case, is there a dragon or elephant here who can come forth and meet with Daibutsu’s staff? After a pause Dogen said, [Although the same fruit] it is called an orange in Huabei [north of the Huai River], and called a tangerine in Huainan [south of the Huai...

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Attention to Myriad Dharmas — Leland Shields, Intensive Day 5, April 14, 2022

Posted by on Apr 20, 2022 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on Attention to Myriad Dharmas — Leland Shields, Intensive Day 5, April 14, 2022

Earlier in the retreat I presented Dogen’s often-repeated words from Actualizing the Fundamental Point: To study the Buddha way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by the myriad dharmas. To be enlightened by the myriad dharmas is to bring about the dropping away of body and mind of both oneself and others. Yasutani, Hakuun; (translation) Jaffe, Paul, Flowers Fall: A Commentary on Dogen’s Genjokoan, 1996. Now on the 5th day, please join me in forgetting the self, which is to...

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Madelon Bolling, No Self – Resistance and the Mind of War – Madelon Bolling, Intensive Day 4, April 13, 2022

Posted by on Apr 20, 2022 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on Madelon Bolling, No Self – Resistance and the Mind of War – Madelon Bolling, Intensive Day 4, April 13, 2022

In the opening of Fukanzazengi, Dogen wrote: Fundamentally speaking, the basis of the Way is perfectly pervasive . . . Surely the whole being is far beyond defilement . . . It is never apart from this very place . . . And yet, with just a hair’s breadth of distinction, the gap is like that between heaven and earth. Once the slightest like or dislike arises, all is confused and the mind is lost. Do you feel a squirmy sense of discomfort these days, a sense that I have to do something and I don’t know what to do? Maybe we chose to...

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No Self – Embodied Self – Leland Shields, Intensive Day 3, April 12, 2022

Posted by on Apr 20, 2022 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on No Self – Embodied Self – Leland Shields, Intensive Day 3, April 12, 2022

Today I’d like to share some passages from Dogen’s Keisei Sanshoku “The Sounds of the Valley Streams, the forms of the Mountains.” Now with regard to your practice and vows, whether or not you have aroused the thought of enlightenment, whether or not you are practicing, do not let others know about it. Practice in such a way that it is not known. Never speak of it yourself. Dogen, Eihei; (translation) Cook, Francis Dojun. How to Raise an Ox: Zen Practice as Taught in Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo (p. 75). Wisdom Publications. Kindle...

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No Self – No separation – Leland Shields, Intensive Day 2, April 11, 2022

Posted by on Apr 20, 2022 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on No Self – No separation – Leland Shields, Intensive Day 2, April 11, 2022

Dogen – Actualizing the Fundamental Point To study the Buddha way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by the myriad dharmas. To be enlightened by the myriad dharmas is to bring about the dropping away of body and mind of both oneself and others. The traces of enlightenment come to an end, and this traceless enlightenment is continued endlessly. When one starts to search out the dharma, one separates oneself far from the dharma. When the dharma has already been rightly...

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Every Moment Zen – Leland Shields, Intensive Day 1, April 10, 2022

Posted by on Apr 20, 2022 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on Every Moment Zen – Leland Shields, Intensive Day 1, April 10, 2022

The sounds of the valley streams are his long, broad tongue; The forms of the mountains are his pure body. At night I heard the myriad sutra verses uttered How can I relate to others what they say? Dogen, Eihei; (translation) Cook, Francis Dojun. How to Raise an Ox: Zen Practice as Taught in Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo (pp. 69-70). Wisdom Publications. Kindle Edition. As we begin a week of retreat, I’d like to emphasize every-minute Zen; reminding us all to attend to that which is here, with the simplest presence. Our discriminating minds...

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The Three Marks of Existence — a talk by Madelon Bolling (March 13, 2022)

Posted by on Mar 17, 2022 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on The Three Marks of Existence — a talk by Madelon Bolling (March 13, 2022)

In Buddhism, the three marks of existence are Anicca (impermanence: everything changes, nothing lasts), Anatta (non-self: there is no permanent self in living beings and no abiding essence in phenomena), and Dukkha (unsatisfactoriness). It’s hard to wrap our usual mind around this pervasive statement of fact. But it’s no joke: all of existence is marked by Anicca (impermanence), Anatta (no self or abiding essence), and Dukkha (unsatisfactoriness). Anicca, Anatta, and Dukkha walked into a bar. They didn’t stay for long, had...

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