Weekly Dharma Talk with Zen Master Gosung Shin 1.24.2015

When I first began my practice, I was fortunate to spend time with the Korean Zen Master Gosung Shin (I lived on the American Zen Center grounds for 10 years).  Two days ago I learned from an old friend (who I had not talked to in over 15 years) that there were some video’s on YouTube from 2014 and 2015 of Gosung Shin. How wonderful! This Dharma talk is typical of the Saturday lectures. How grateful I am to have known […]

Silent Illumination – The Awakened Heart

I sometimes refer to our meditation practice by different names. It is called zazen, just sitting, shikantaza or silent illumination. These are just names that point at what we do when we get on the cushion. “Silent Illumination” best describes our meditation practice. I first learned the term “Silent Illumination” from a book titled “The Method of No-Method” by Chan Master Sheng Yen. Master Sheng Yen described Silent Illumination as another name for Shamatha-Vipashyana, a meditative practice of stilling the mind […]

Relaxing Into What Is

At last weeks dharma talk, I described our Ordinary Zen Practice as “Relaxing Into What Is”. Breaking the phrase down; “Relaxing” — being an action of letting go of our self-centered obsessions “Into” — submersion in or awakening to ‘What is” — reality. Today I came across an interesting article that I think relates to our practice entitled “Marcus Aurelius:How to Think Clearly” by Zat Rana. According to the author,  Marcus Aurelius ” was an interesting Roman that was drawn to philosophy, […]

The Korean Buddhist Influence on my life

I subscribe to Everyday Zen Podcasts by Norman Fischer. Norman is a western Zen Buddhist teacher that I feel a kinship with and enjoy his Dharma talks. His podcast about his recent trip to Korea is timely, in many ways.  It will also give you some insight into the great experiment of western zen practice that our Ordinary Zen Sangha is part of.  Everything that has come before informs who we are now. Enjoy! Korean Buddhism and enlightenment fundamentalism Normal Fischer’s […]

The bots working your mind

There is a saying “Don’t believe everything you think!“.  Here are two articles that advise us on how to be better at distinguishing the real from the fake. We all need to know how to spot a social media bot spreading fake news. Read this very informative article to understand how “bots” are working social media now. “Not knowing” is described by Wendy Egyoku Nakao Roshi as “the letting go of fixed ideas about yourself, others, and the universe” in her Tricycle […]

Weekly Dharma Talk Theme

It is becoming apparent to me that over the last few weeks a theme was developing in my talks on Sunday night after our zazen practice. A couple of weeks ago, I talked about having a strong foundation for our meditation practice and how our physical posture and attitude are important.  Last week I talked about diligence and how this further helps our meditation practice. I used the analogy of separating the chaff from the grain, the valuable from the worthless, […]