Talks

Photo of Madelon, Lee, and Jack

Left to right, Madelon, Lee, and Jack

Hazy Moon – A Talk by Madelon Bolling

Posted by on Jul 17, 2019 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on Hazy Moon – A Talk by Madelon Bolling

July 14, 2019 Case #6 of the Denkoroku is the story of the sixth patriarch in India, named Micchaka. Keizan’s closing verse to this story goes like this: Though we find clear waters raging to the vast blue sky in autumn; How can it compare with the hazy moon on a spring night? Most people want to have it pure white, But sweep as you will, you cannot empty the mind. (Aitken & Yamada translation)   “Clear waters” here refers to purity. And in this translation, the third line is Most people want to have it pure white. Pure white is a...

read more

Cart without Wheels – A Talk by Leland Shields

Posted by on Jul 17, 2019 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on Cart without Wheels – A Talk by Leland Shields

July 13, 2019 Hsi-chung Builds Carts The priest Yueh-an said to a monk, Hsi-chung made a hundred carts. If you take off both wheels and the axle, what would be vividly apparent? Wu-men’s comment: If you realize this directly, your eye is like a shooting star and your act is like snatching a bolt of lightning. Where the wheel revolves Even a master cannot follow it; The four cardinal half points, above, below, North, south, east west. (Case 8, The Gateless Barrier, Robert Aitken, p 60) I thank Larry for bringing this koan came to my attention...

read more

Every day is a good day – a talk by Leland Shields

Posted by on May 17, 2019 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on Every day is a good day – a talk by Leland Shields

Blue Cliff Record, Case 6 Yun Men said, “I don’t ask you about before the fifteenth day; try to say something about after the fifteenth day.” Yun Men himself answered for everyone, “Every day is a good day.” Verse: He throws away one, picks up seven. Above, below, and in the four directions, there is no comparison. Placidly walking along, he treads down the sound of the flowing stream; His relaxed gaze decries the tracks of flying birds. The grasses grow thick, The mists overhang. ‘Round Suhuti’s cliff, the flowers make a mess; I snap my...

read more

On Emptiness and Daily Life – a talk by Madelon Bolling

Posted by on Jan 15, 2019 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on On Emptiness and Daily Life – a talk by Madelon Bolling

January 13, 2019 It is said that the world is empty, the world is empty, lord. In what respect is it said that the world is empty?” The Buddha replied, “Insofar as it is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self: Thus it is said, Ānanda, that the world is empty. –Sunna Sutra of the Pali canon Thank you for making the time, effort and sacrifice it took to join us here today to face the Great Matter together at the beginning of this new year, 2019. A new year reminds us to consider beginning again, getting a fresh take on...

read more

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...

read more

Zenkai (January 13, 2019) with Madelon Bolling

Posted by on Oct 1, 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

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more