Violence as Entertainment?

Today’s dharma talk has been retitled Violence as Entertainment? The seeds of this talk were first planted that moment, some of you know that moment when your kid becomes interested in some violence he sees on the TV screen. That moment when you grab him quick to avert his eyes. Of course, the only thing…

The Gray Parrot & The Bodhisattva Vows

For today’s dharma talk I want to start with a story from a collection of stories from early Buddhism, called the Jataka tales. These tales consist of numerous anecdotes and fables that depict the Buddha in previous lives sometimes as an animal, sometimes as a human. The tales were written to give insight into the…

Freed from knowing.

I would like to start today’s Dharma talk with one of the most famous of the Zen Koans – Attention! Master Dizang asks Fayan,  “Where have you come from?” Fayan replies “I pilgrimage aimlessly,” “What is the purpose of your pilgrimage?” asks Dizang. “I don’t know,” replies Fayan. “Not knowing is the most intimate,” remarked…

What are you carrying?

For today’s dharma talk I want to first ask a question and then I want to share a story.   Now for the question and  I want you to think about it for a few moments before you answer. What are you still carrying?, What are you holding on to? Now before you settle on an…

Not knowing is the most intimate.

The Master would teach his students, “Understand your true self.” One day, one of his students asked him, “Do you understand your true self?” He said, “I don’t know. But I understand this ‘don’t know’.”   From a young age, many of us are afraid to be someone who doesn’t know. Maybe we are afraid…

Honoring the Pure Land: Eco-Dharma and Buddhist Practice

Over the past few months, we have been talking a lot about interdependence – which is found in the teachings of Pratitya–samutpada – co-dependent arising –  that all things exist simply from the causes and conditions that have made this moment this moment. This was the heart of the content of the Buddha’s awakening even…

Interdependence Guided Meditation

In this practice, we’ll be cultivating awareness of our interdependence – “During quietness, you breathe together with the whole world. We breathe as one.” – Gyomay Kubose Sensei GUIDED MEDITATION     Breathing in, Breathing out Feel the air filling your lungs as you breathe in and out feeling the air fill your lungs, Honor…

Generosity: The Primary Buddhist Virtue

Last week we were speaking about Dana – or the practice of generosity – from the receiving end and today we are going to talk about it from the giving end – We shared last week that there are preconceptions that Buddhism is all about meditation and kindness and how this is a partial misperception…

Joyful Receiving

  Today I want to share a little about the Buddhist practice of Dana, in Mahayana Buddhism, it is called the perfection of generosity and it is one of the six paramitas. For many Westerners, Buddhism is all about meditation but is a misperception. To only practice mediation would be like going to the gym…

The Grace of Parents and Other People

  The past few dharma talks were based on this idea, a quote form Daesan a Buddhist teacher, “ There is a reason why we have two eyes. One is for looking inward and observing our mind, and the other is for looking outward and finding Grace.” In some ways, these simple lines are a…