Talks

Photo of Madelon, Lee, and Jack

Left to right, Madelon, Lee, and Jack

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...

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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...

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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...

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Zenkai (May 13, 2018) with Madelon Bolling

Posted by on Apr 1, 2018 in Beginner Zen Meditation, Zen Talks | Comments Off on Zenkai (May 13, 2018) 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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Today is Mothers Day

Posted by on Mar 10, 2018 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on Today is Mothers Day

                         Today is Mothers Day . . . for me as for many of us here, this day’s observance is a bittersweet reminder that “all things pass quickly away…” Remembering my mom wakens an urgency to inquire into the Great Matter, into mortality, life and death. Remembering her is a first step into this terrible mystery. Just what is going on here anyway? In Case 47 of the Mumonkan, the priest Doushuai set up three barriers to test his students. One of these barriers begins like this: When you have realized your...

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On Feeling Lost – Madelon Bolling

Posted by on Jan 26, 2018 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on On Feeling Lost – Madelon Bolling

The koan here is case 1 in Zen Echoes; also found as Case 1 in the Book of Equanimity and Case 92 in the Blue Cliff Record. One day, the World-Honored One ascended the seat. When the great assembly had gathered and settled down, Mañjuśri struck his gavel and said, “Observe deeply the Dharma of the Dharma King; the Dharma of the Dharma King is like this.” The World-Honored One then came down from the seat. In response to this koan, Zen master Miaozong declared: The true teaching has been transmitted in its entirety. The...

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Engaging The Bodhisattva Precepts: a talk by Leland Shields on October 8, 2017

Posted by on Oct 13, 2017 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on Engaging The Bodhisattva Precepts: a talk by Leland Shields on October 8, 2017

It seems civility is violated daily in our public discourse. White supremacists seem newly emboldened as we saw in Charlottesville. Early this year in our own state, respected professor Bret Weinstein objected to a proposed demonstration on the Evergreen State College campus, and received death threats. Also this year, the Dallas News reported that Representative Tony Tinderholt received death threats over his bill to abolish abortion. More recently and while I was writing this talk, yet another senseless mass shooting occurred, this time in...

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Observing: A Midsummer Retreat – A talk by Madelon Bolling, (July 9, 2017)

Posted by on Jul 11, 2017 in Uncategorized, Zen Talks | Comments Off on Observing: A Midsummer Retreat – A talk by Madelon Bolling, (July 9, 2017)

The predecessor of this midsummer retreat was called “Ancient Bones.” They say it was discontinued because fewer and fewer people could attend at all. Even with allowances for our limitations, it had become too arduous for those with ancient bones. I bought pre-paid cremation services for my dad a couple weekends ago and we scattered my brother-in-law’s ashes on the Fourth of July. We’re all of us facing death from the instant we are born. We can’t face away from it since it is part of life itself. Death is seen as an end,...

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Purify – Already Pure, A Talk by Leland Shields (July 8, 2017)

Posted by on Jul 10, 2017 in Uncategorized, Zen Talks | Comments Off on Purify – Already Pure, A Talk by Leland Shields (July 8, 2017)

  In Red Pine’s translation of the Platform Sutra, it begins with these words of Hui neng and then those of a narrator within the text: “Good friends, purify your minds by reciting the teaching of Mahaprajnaparamita.” Then the Master stopped speaking, while he purified his own mind. (Red Pine, The Platform Sutra: The Zen Teachings of Hui-neng, 2006, p. 73) This can be a simple introduction, including a moment of Zazen meditation, or chanting one of the Prajnaparamita Sutras silently or out loud. The Prajnaparamita sutras are the Diamond...

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Zen Practice: What About Thinking? – a talk by Madelon Bolling

Posted by on Jun 19, 2017 in Zen Talks | Comments Off on Zen Practice: What About Thinking? – a talk by Madelon Bolling

Zen Practice: What About Thinking? In Zazen Universally Recommended, Dogen says: Think without thoughts. How do you think without thoughts? Nonthinking. This is the essential art of zazen. I am assuming that at least some here besides me wrestle with this unwieldy thing called thinking? If not, please just enjoy the story. Some years ago there was a gathering here at Dharma Gate where we were invited to ask practice questions. At last! I thought, and I asked how to deal with thoughts when sitting zazen. One of the senior students,...

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