Talks

Photo of Madelon, Lee, and Jack

Left to right, Madelon, Lee, and Jack

Tung-shan’s Crossed Swords – a talk by Leland Shields, March 7, 2021

Posted by on Mar 17, 2021 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on Tung-shan’s Crossed Swords – a talk by Leland Shields, March 7, 2021

Within Tung-shan’s Five Ranks is this verse titled, “Proceeding Within Phenomena”: Like two crossed swords, neither permitting retreat;dexterously wielded, like the lotus in the midst of fire -a natural imperative to assail heaven itself. Robert Aitken, The Morning Star, p. 139. Tung-shan Liang-chieh (also translated as Dongshan Liangjie) was a Tang dynasty teacher recognized as the founder of the Ts’ao-tung, Soto, line of Zen. He left us two series of 5 verses each. The first set of verses expresses modes of the fundamental world we share....

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Zen Practice-at-home intensive with Jack Duffy (April 10-17, 2021)

Posted by on Feb 26, 2021 in Beginner Zen Meditation, Meditation Retreat, Practice Opportunity, Zen Talks | Comments Off on Zen Practice-at-home intensive with Jack Duffy (April 10-17, 2021)

Registration is now available for the Zen Practice-at-home intensive with Jack Duffy.   Register Schedule for 7-Day Practice @ Home Intensive with Jack Duffy    April 10-17, 2021 Saturday, April 10: 6:45pm                gather on Zoom 7:00                      cautions and zoom ground rules, check-in 7:30                     zazen 9:00                     end of formal practice for the day Sunday-Friday: 6:30-8:15am      optional zazen 8:15am                samu 8:45                      gather on Zoom 8:55                      be...

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Zenkai (May 9, 2021) with Madelon Bolling

Posted by on Feb 25, 2021 in Meditation Retreat, Zen Talks | Comments Off on Zenkai (May 9, 2021) with Madelon Bolling

TTS will hold the May 9, 2021 Zenkai remotely (by Zoom). If you are able, please join all or part of this opportunity for intensive practice with others. 8:15     Samu – cleaning your space or home 8:45     Gathering on Zoom 8:55     Be seated 9:00     (5 Remembrances), Zazen, Kinhin 10:10     (Dai-O Kokushi) Dharma talk (Shiku Seigan Mon)* 10: 45    Zazen, Kinhin (11:15    Interviews available) 12:00  ...

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hands and eyes – a talk by Madelon Bolling

Posted by on Nov 4, 2020 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on hands and eyes – a talk by Madelon Bolling

The Blue Cliff Record, case 89: Yunyan asked Daowu, “How does the Bodhisattva Guanyin use those many hands and eyes?” Daowu answered, “It is like someone in the middle of the night reaching behind her head for the pillow.” Yunyan said, “I understand.” Daowu asked, “How do you understand it?” Yunyan said, “All over the body are hands and eyes.” Daowu said, “That is very well expressed, but it is only eight-tenths of the answer.” Yunyan said, “How would you say it, Elder Brother?” Daowu said, “Throughout the body are hands and eyes.” “How does...

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Why Does it Come to This? / I Vow to Free – A Talk Given by Lee Shields, October 11, 2020

Posted by on Oct 26, 2020 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on Why Does it Come to This? / I Vow to Free – A Talk Given by Lee Shields, October 11, 2020

After the sittings on Friday mornings, the koan that has been shared recently is case 98 from The Record of Tung-shan (Dongshan) that goes like this: One time when the Master was washing his bowls, he saw two birds contending over a frog. A monk who also saw this asked, “Why does it come to that?” The Master replied, “It’s only for your benefit, Acarya.” Before sitting on Wednesday evenings, we have taken up the translations of the first of the Four Infinite vows, also known as the Bodhisattva Vows. The Mountain Lamp version is: All beings...

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Dahui, Swampland Flowers: 9 Enlightenment and Delusion (a talk by Lee Shields, September 7, 2020)

Posted by on Oct 3, 2020 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on Dahui, Swampland Flowers: 9 Enlightenment and Delusion (a talk by Lee Shields, September 7, 2020)

Dahui, Swampland Flowers: 9 Enlightenment and Delusion In the last paragraph of lecture 9 of the Swampland Flowers, Dahui directed us with the following: If you want to cut directly through, don’t entertain doubts about buddhas and ancestral teachers, or doubts about birth and death – just always let go and make your heart empty and open. When things come up, then deal with them according to the occasion. Be like the stillness of the water, like the clarity of a mirror, (so that) whether good or bad, beautiful or ugly approach, you don’t make...

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This Moment – A Talk by Madelon Bolling – June 14, 2020

Posted by on Jun 24, 2020 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on This Moment – A Talk by Madelon Bolling – June 14, 2020

A monk asked, “What is the essential meaning of Buddhism?” Mazu said, “What is the meaning of this moment?”      (Ferguson, p. 76)     Our world has changed so radically that ordinary routines don’t work any more or are not available. Like any other living thing, when the old ways don’t work, we try to meet our needs in new ways. Deprived of overhead light, an upright tree will begin reaching sideways, growing a new shape. We talk a lot about sudden radical change and unpredictability under the current threats of death, destruction, disease,...

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Separate and Not Separate Are Consistent – Leland Shields, May 10, 2020, Zoom Zenkai

Posted by on May 29, 2020 in Meditation Retreat, Zen Talks | Comments Off on Separate and Not Separate Are Consistent – Leland Shields, May 10, 2020, Zoom Zenkai

In the apparent but misleading dichotomy of practice, there is one breath, all else falling away. Yet in one breath, there is context – fast, chest heaving after running for a bus; ragged, with congestion; tortured, when in respiratory distress. Each is one breath. We cannot deny this breath, that is only obscured by our descriptions. In these days, we cannot deny this breath is connected to all things, through the illness of exposure, or through the health arising from our shared care through isolation and hygiene. I am not the first to...

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Encouragement for Windblown Plum Home-Based Intensive — a talk by Leland Shields, April 5, 2020

Posted by on Apr 28, 2020 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on Encouragement for Windblown Plum Home-Based Intensive — a talk by Leland Shields, April 5, 2020

The phrase, “never apart from this very place” takes on new relevance as we are in lockdown for Covid-19, each practicing in our own homes, our own quiet rooms. This week is a chance to truly bring practice home, to the place before we were born, and to the home in which we sleep, cook, clean, and many of us now work. This bizarre practice, assisted by the technology that has existed for only moments within the span of the Buddha-Dharma, is not a backup or compromise. It is the only practice. It is sesshin, without need to parse definitions...

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Staying Home–What’s the Point? — a talk by Madelon Bolling (April 6, 2020)

Posted by on Apr 28, 2020 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on Staying Home–What’s the Point? — a talk by Madelon Bolling (April 6, 2020)

This talk was given during Windblown Plum. In these strange and confusing days when we have to isolate ourselves to stay healthy and alive, many have lost a sense of fitting in, of belonging. We cannot visit friends and neighbors in person, cannot experience the usual give-and-take with others the way we always have. Amid our loneliness, the question arises: so who am I? Why am I here? I’m no good to anybody just knocking around the house this way. “Staying safe”– what’s the point? This week I was charmed into reading Dogen’s chapter on...

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