2009 - 2011 | Cerro Gordo Temple | Santa Fe, NM
Recent revelations of the moving, illuminating, maddeningly partial stories of our East Asian women ancestors are beginning to make the story of Chan and Zen more whole. These meditations on books about East Asian monastics and Japanese laywomen are filled with new metaphors and imagery, as well as practices, created by these geniuses on the margins of our tradition.
February 2011 | Amado, AZ
First, in the midst of the storms of life, we take shelter in an ancient shrine that we make of our meditation in the presence of each other. There we let things get very simple so we can welcome the Noble Guest, in whatever form that comes. Second, what if sudden enlightenment is really readiness for awakening? And what if the Way isn't about transforming sorrow into happiness, but the young sorrow of disappointment into the mature sorrow of poignancy? Here are some newer, perhaps warmer, ways of looking at our tradition.
subjects : Noble Guest, shelter, retreat, Baizhang, interpermeation, sangha, practice, unself, Iris Murdoch
April - July 2011 | Cerro Gordo Temple | Santa Fe, NM
The Sutra that Vimalakirti Spoke is a two-thousand-year-old sacred text that is startlingly strange. Vimalakirti is a bodhisattva lying on his sickbed and isn't the whole point of enlightenment to elevate someone beyond the limitations and sorrows of ordinary life? But Vimalakirti doesn't seem to want to be elevated; he says, "I am sick because the whole world is sick." The implications of his explanation, which is also an expression of love and a vow, reverberate throughout the text. In a series of talks given in 2011, we take up this story of a deeply awake householder who explored the very agonies and beauties of human life we're still talking about today. This is a somewhat unorthodox vision of the Vimalakirti sutra, focusing on its radical allegiance to life and to healing the human heart. Vimalakirti & The Awakened Heart (2016) is an excellent accompaniment for these recorded talks
(PDF transcriptions not available)
May 2011 | Mountain Cloud Zen Center | Santa Fe, NM
These talks are about sleeping, dreaming, and waking. Winter seems like a good time to slip between the light and the dark, different states of consciousness, and our individual dreams and the great dream of the world. Here are practices and poetries to get you started. In addition, we've included a pdf booklet called Practices of the Night : Mahayana Arts of Sleeping & Dreaming. (PDFs for individual talks are not available yet.)
July 5 - 8, 2011 | Sangre de Cristo Center | Tesuque, NM
During this retreat three wildfires raged in the Sangre de Cristo mountains around us. We took up a koan about the great conflagration that ends every aeon in buddhist cosmology, and we paid attention to what it was like to sit, right there, in the hazy light of the kalpa-ending fire. We practiced ‘neither for nor against,’ something about which the desert rocks bathed in that light had something to say. photo credit : Michael Wilding
October 6, 2011 | Cerro Gordo Temple | Santa Fe, NM
What happens if we think of our lives not as a matter of living and then dying but as one whole and continuous thing called living-dying? What if it's a matter of walking on the earth and then taking one more step, onto the sky – different and yet not? What happens to our experiences of time and grief, death and eternity?
December 2011 | San Geronimo Lodge | Taos, NM
We named our winter retreats in honor of the light that lit up Shakyamuni's eye under the bodhi tree, and their theme was always awakening. At this last Morning Star retreat we talked about the different seasons of awakening, each with its own wisdom; the bare ground and the earth household upon it; gratitude as the taste of awakening; and finding in the dark the old gate of home