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“There’s a thousand ways of speaking, infinite understandings, all just inviting you to befriend your unknowing.” - Shitou Xiqian Dave brings us a fresh original translation of Shitou’s timeless, “Straw Hut Song” - a beautiful and deceptively simple piece that moves from a humble nap in the hay to the boundless fringes of everywhere and nowhere at …
 
”…it was like, ooh, I don't have to count breaths? I liked that idea… no anchor, nothing holding me to this cushion… where was I going to go?It was scary, but liberating. I thought, ‘Hmm… maybe I shouldn't tell anybody that I'm doing this… But I can do this. This is something I could do every day.’” - John Nilsson John shares the raw unvarnished st…
 
“The goal here isn't to stop feeling pain. We need you to feel pain." - Dave Cuomo In pt 4 of our Vimalakirti series , the great bodhisattva Manjusrhi finally meets the enlightened laymen Vimalakirti himself for some playfully profound dharma combat as they tackle the big questions; why do we have trouble? How should we care for other people when t…
 
“We all think that we're a good person, that we're some form of intelligent. In the monastery, they compassionately take that away and help us remember that there is something more important.” - Gyokei Yokoyama Gyokei takes us on a personal tour of zazen from the monastic perspective; from the enlightenment of certain failure, to the raw self under…
 
“Part of grief is that you can't predict it. It just happens and you have no control over it. And some of that aspect of grief is accepting that you don't have control; or maybe not accepting, actually resisting it entirely and rebelling against it, and being afraid that you don't have control over your loved ones disappearing and going. And maybe …
 
“If anything you say is going to be wrong, you might as well say it right” - Colin Young Dave takes a Zen look at making choices - what are wise discernments and what is the delusion of discrimination? Along the way we get a dramatic reading of the Xinxin Ming, Sengcan’s classic treatise on choice and non duality, and some practical advice on how t…
 
“A professional artist is someone who understands what they're doing and are just going to do what they understand. An amateur is going into something with the understanding you're going to get lost.” - Jason Dodge Jason takes us on a delightful walk through the life and work of Ryokan, the famous wandering poet monk of Edo Japan, while holding up …
 
“If you can sit zazen until you don't need to get up in the middle, then you're really content with nothing. When you're content with nothing, you don’t need to go out and find things to fill that big empty hole inside of you. The less you need, the less you have to worry about. I highly recommend it.” - Dave Cuomo In the thrilling conclusion to hi…
 
“You might think you're no good or you can't do anything. But the more you think that, the more you might be missing that little hairsbreadth of difference that could be the difference between heaven and earth. Anything can happen at any time. The message is to not believe anything. To just be cautious. And to take everything with a grain of salt.”…
 
“Ultimately, you can't separate yourself from the things that you or others do wrong. There's no glory in being better than other people.” - Dave Cuomo In pt 3 of his thrilling Vimalakirti Sutra series, Dave regales us with the story of the time our titular hero, the enlightened layman Vimalakirti, sought out each of Buddha’s best monks to explain …
 
“They say there is only suffering. Even happiness is just another form of suffering. And I can see that. But what do you do with that knowledge? Do you still go to birthday parties? Do you go on dates? And what do you say? Do you just say ultimately happiness and unhappiness are just the head and tail of the same snake? I don’t know if there’s a qu…
 
"Precepts are what humbles us. It's not designed to inflate our imagination. It sobers us. The precepts come with an understanding that we are constantly, in each moment, failing. And that's why we uphold the precepts." - Gyokei Yokoyama Gyokei returns to the hot seat with an in depth and personal look at precepts and Jukai (lay precept ceremony). …
 
“If we started with the goal of becoming happy and wise enough to attract better people into our lives and making a better world together, now they’re telling us the real liberation is to not need to think like that at all - to be so free that you’re not worried about what kind of world you live in. In fact if you were truly free, you might just ch…
 
"The funny thing about zazen is, it can’t be fooled. The funny thing about Zen is I can’t crush it or not crush it. So all I really want to do is be honest and convey something true for a second. And when I remember that, I kinda can" - Jordan Mylet Jordan regales us with a warm and insightful love letter to zazen, as part of our series where long …
 
“When we’re talking about joy, I mean the kind of joy that you might feel at a funeral, a crying aching joy that encompasses everything. It's like, no, this whole thing is beautiful and I'm glad we did this. And I would do it all over again.” - Dave Cuomo Dave brings us an optimistic look at the afflictions - greed, hatred, delusion, anger, guile (…
 
"To that voice who's saying, ‘Are we good enough?’ This is saying we exist. And that's enough" - Emily Eslami Emily shares with us Dogen's bright and clear treatise on fundamental self worth, "Brightness." What does Zen mean with woo woo sounding words like 'Buddha's light?' and how is that supposed to apply to us? And where does the light go when …
 
“The most important thing you can be doing is just to be doing it, and that's doing it right. You don't have to be perfect. You just have to be there.” - Sara Campbell Sara shares her experiences with Master Clown (yes, that’s a thing!) Moshe Cohen’s “Levity of Pause” workshop, all about the intersection of Zen and clown. Join us as she helps us br…
 
“Slowly, over time, you might get used to not feeling crappy about yourself. You might get used to not hating everyone you disagree with. And then when some of that old negativity does come back up it can seem like a big problem. But that’s a good sign. Don’t turn back when you notice how crappy of a person you can be. When the afflictions become a…
 
“You are what's happening, what's happening is you. What else could you be? Even when what's happening is that you're doubting what's happening, that's still what's happening.” - Dave Cuomo In a totally timely New Year’s talk, Dave brings us a dramatic reading of “The Time Being,” Dogen’s classic treatise on time and reality and where exactly we fi…
 
"What are we liberating ourselves from? It's about being able to do the things that you want to do and not getting hung up about smaller things This is emotional liberation, emotional freedom. People get discouraged in Zen for not getting things or not understanding it. A lot of people think that they just don't get it and move on to other things. …
 
“Every religion at some point asks the question, ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’ And there is rarely a satisfying answer. But this sutra is going to try to answer that by showing us how to accept the full crappiness of the world, while also knowing it as a jewel encrusted paradise at the same time.” - Dave Cuomo Dave dives into some sang…
 
"Last night, this mountain monk unintentionally stepped on a dried turd and it jumped up and covered heaven and earth. This mountain monk unintentionally stepped on it again, and it introduced itself, saying, “My name is Sakyamuni.” Then, this mountain monk unintentionally stepped on his chest, and immediately he went and sat on the vajra seat, saw…
 
“To live in the realm of Buddha nature means to die as a small being, moment after moment. When we lose our balance we die, but at the same time we also develop ourselves, we grow. Whatever we see is changing, losing its balance. The reason everything looks beautiful is because it is out of balance, but its background is always in perfect harmony.”…
 
“This is the answer key to zazen, the answer key to Buddhism. It’s actually the answer key to enlightenment too. It might not seem like it, it might seem pretty boring. But, when they don't tell you the answers in Zen, this is what they’re not saying.“ - Dave Cuomo Dave walks us through Yogacara’s “Five Omnipresent Factors” - the theoretical underp…
 
"I love the idea of worlds creating and worlds destroying. Each moment being new makes the good times sweeter. And being aware of how much you love something when it's happening makes harder times bearable. It's that awareness that everything is being made up and torn down constantly." - Sara Campbell Live from Mt Baldy, Sara brings us a personal e…
 
"When I stopped being scared of other people, a funny thing happened. I realized I like people. You were like these static things that knew right from wrong and could judge me, and then one day you stopped being that. I realized that you don't know who you are or what you’re supposed to be doing either, and that meant I don't have to know what I am…
 
“The freedom we talk about is that wherever we are, we are in some kind of structure. Some are more restrictive, some are more free... What I picked up through this monastic life was the freedom from your own preconceptions and notions - the end of enslavement by our own mind, to be free wherever you are.” - Gyokei Yokoyama Join us as special guest…
 
"If I say my boss over there is underpaying me because they're a jerk and that's not my fault, then I'm not really being with that situation. If I see myself as much a part of this situation as they are, then that's where actual joy happens. That's what I would call love. I love my crappy bosses for the fact that we shared the same circumstances th…
 
“It's not about the chanting. It's not about what we're saying. It's about the community. It's about listening to each other.” - Leslie Mundy In a very sweet and insightful story hour, our own Leslie Mundy takes the hot seat to regale us with the tale of what she’s doing and why she’s here. From mind altering days in the ‘60s, to the wild world of …
 
“We didn’t evolve to see reality, we evolved to survive. If we had evolved to see reality we would probably just appear as timeless bits of quantum foam. But that wouldn’t be very helpful for trying to feed yourself or make babies…" - Dave Cuomo In the latest installment of his Yogacara series, Dave takes on the double headed monster, the double ed…
 
“It’s been hard to accept that my life didn't go exactly how I thought it should. That is a humbling thing to experience. And to know that your time is finite… I still grieve some of the things that I don't have, but I'm way more able to see beyond them as a result of this practice. And I can be grateful for it. And I can see that my weirdo life ha…
 
“People of scant knowledge do not think that buddhas have dignified behavior in the toilet... This is not learning of the Buddha’s truth. Remember, purity and impurity is exemplified by blood dripping from a human being. At one time it is warm, at another time it is disgusting. The buddhas have toilets, and this we should remember.” - Dogen In an e…
 
“Not knowing what the crap we’re doing is the delight of being human.” - Dave Cuomo Dave brings us a Zen pep talk for hard times with a reading of Dogen’s Ryugen or, The Moaning of Dragons Through Withered Trees, one of Zen’s most poetic and enthusiastic exhortations for giving up and giving in to a universe that just wants to sing it’s song throug…
 
"If anyone says that I was ever enlightened, they're lying. If anyone says that I teach anyone, they're lying." - Gautama Buddha Dave does his best to shed a little clarity on the classically confusing situation of working with teachers in Zen. What is there to teach when Buddha himself swore there is no dharma and no beings to teach? And given tha…
 
“I read ‘Hardcore Zen’ and it said, ‘Don't listen to me, you have to try this out for yourself.’ And I was in the Navy, so I was really sick of people telling me what to do. And I was really not interested in God telling me what to do. So that really hit the sweet spot.” - Corey Warner Sangha favorite Corey Warner tells us the story of what he’s do…
 
"Ideally a talk about the six senses would just be practicing being together and experiencing our sensory experiences and asking, ‘what are those?’ So if at any point you space out and get lost in whatever it is you're hearing, seeing, or thinking, that is a perfect way to listen to this talk.” - Dave Cuomo Dave continues our dive into Yogacara Bud…
 
"When I got here, I wanted Brad to tell me how to live my life, and he said to just sit, and offered some reading suggestions; Suzuki, Uchiyama, Kobun Chino, and Dogen. And then I wanted Suzuki Roshi, Kobun Chino Roshi, and Uchiyama Roshi to tell me how to live my life through their books. And they said to just sit and talked about Dogen. And then …
 
“The relation between the precepts and the words of avowal is like a person who is always thankful, and is always able to say, “I’m sorry.” It is the bright side of things and the shadowy side of things.” - Kobun Chino In the thrilling conclusion to her year long ever timely precept series, Emily brings us the one rule (ok, three rules, but also ki…
 
“The storehouse consciousness is the root of everything. If the whole universe is just your experience, then this is what it's born from. It’s the fountain of everything. Also it's empty and doesn't exist, so don't think it's a thing.” - Dave Cuomo In part 2 of our ongoing Yogacara series, Dave brings us a mildly nerdy and deeply personal look at t…
 
"The world wants me to be happy. I think it needs me to be happy. Because it seems I can make people miserable when I'm not. Which is probably true for all of us..." - Dave Cuomo Dave takes a look at what Buddhist renunciation means for us 21st century Westerners living lives far removed from the simple forest beggar life Buddha originally recommen…
 
“We don't know what the universe is made of at the root. All we know for certain is that the only thing we have to work with is our own experience. Ultimately I can't blame anybody else for what I go through because I take it all in through my own filter. I only see what I am willing to see, and only do what I want to do on some level. So when they…
 
“Everything reflects triple treasure. You reflect triple treasure, and questioning triple treasure reflects triple treasure. Not understanding what the heck I'm talking about is triple treasure. We're talking about coming home to ourselves, trusting ourselves, relying on ourselves. And there's that tricky word. Self. What is self? Is it my memories…
 
“If there's a distinction in our minds between self care and doing good for other people, then we're missing the point of everything that we're doing on this planet. ” - Dave Cuomo Dave brings us a Zen look at love and self care through encounters with the Bodhisattva of Compassion his(or)herself, Avalokiteshvara. Can this magical being really save…
 
”To not kill the Buddha when you meet them on the road is abusing the triple treasures. How not to abuse the triple treasures is to accept everything as Buddha, Dharma, & Sangha, and accept yourself as Buddha Dharma and Sangha.” - Emily Eslami Emily takes on the 10th major precept, no disparaging the Buddha, Dharma, & Sangha. Sounds simple right? B…
 
“To remember that ignorance is enlightenment is to not separate myself from what's right in front of me, to not think that I can be better than the people in front of me, to not think that I'm going to be a better person by trying to be a better person. It’s to love and accept what's in front of me. To embrace ignorance is a loving act. And that's …
 
"In classical Buddhism, the fundamental mistake is that getting what you think you want will make you happy. In Zen they seem to say the fundamental delusion is that you exist at all. This is why Zen is so weird. We're trying to look at what comes before awareness, and that's hard. It’s really hard to be aware of something that precedes awareness. …
 
"When you get mad at yourself, that means you’re mad at another self. Maybe you turn your face and see yourself. Or you see yourself as other. This is very hard...If you become angry, you don’t stop being Buddha. Anger appears, that’s all." - Kobun Chino In the latest installment of her ever timely precept series, Emily takes on that molten hot lav…
 
"If you want to make peace with yourself and not hate zazen, it's going to help to like yourself, or at least just accept yourself the way you are. I promise, you're great and you're worth it. And it'll help. And fringe benefit, you might find yourself a little happier and nicer, your whole life might improve in every way you ever wanted it to. But…
 
"When you go to the mountain, and see a flower blooming, pick it, break it, and make it yours - this is attachment. If you let it be there for everything and everyone - this is 'no attachment.' Even your self does not belong to you. You are everything." - Kobun Chino In the latest installment of Emily’s ever timely precept series, she takes on the …
 
"To love the mountains is not to know about mountains, but to climb mountains and to live and die continuously with them. The best way to realize the true beauty of Mount Fuji is to actually go climb it. If you do that, the beauty of Mount Fuji as you have known it will disappear. But this does not mean that the true beauty of Mount Fuji has disapp…
 
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