Dharma Talks

Anything that’s gray-blue — often italicized — is a link to related materials. Enjoy!

For 2019, we’re using these texts (with koans and other “stuff” interspersed). We won’t always be taping so this is very much a come-and-experience-for-yourself series/class. Join for all or as drop-in. All are welcome!

Thank you, Rev. Dojin Sarah Emerson for continuing A2Z’s new tradition on Indigenous People’s Day with this talk. 10/14/2019

at Gay Buddhist Fellowship (38 minutes talk; great Q&A/discussion after)

at A2Z (47 minutes talk; Q&A/discussion after)

at EBMC’s Alphabet Sangha (talk 30 minutes; Q&A/discussion after)

Same topic as below… & with POCs at EBMC, 9/5/19. (Just under 43 minutes talk/interaction; great Q&A/discussion after)

Talk at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, 8/3/19 (mostly white audience)

Guest Teacher bruni davila at A2Z

Dharma talk at Green Gulch Farm, Sunday, July 28

Reading “Patachara: The Cloak Walker” in WoW above before listening to this talk is useful….

Dharma & Racism —- talk at SFZC’s City Center, June 1 (Yes, share this far & wide!)

“Inner Eden” poem at end of talk; by Rosemerry Trommer

Hartford Street Zen Center, May 25

Guest Teacher Ven. Dhammadipa on April 29

Faith It ‘Til You Make It: Buddha’s birthday (& life) has parallels to our own.

Guest Teacher Rev. Dana Takagi on April 1

This year’s (2019) study. We’re using these texts (with koans and other “stuff” interspersed). We won’t always be taping also. This is very much a come-and-experience-for-yourself series/class! Come for it all or as drop-in! — ALL are welcomed! (Texts list [& WoW link] are at the top now)

Dharma talk from Rev. Liên

Suzuki Roshi’s Teacher and Disciple

Koun Franz’s My Teacher Doesn’t Get Me

Words to Keizen’s song Reside in My Heart

“In your moments of pain and stress, know that you reside in my heart in safety and in bliss, supporting my life, as you do in all the hearts you have touched. Know that our good deeds are a multiplication of yours. So may our resonant goodness hold you through all the nights of your lives.”

on 12/3/2018

Guest teachings from Rev. Daigan Gaither on 10-8-2018. Resources from talk:

More thoughts on how it’s time for Compassion/Karuna Now! 9-24-2018

Dharma talk at SFZC’s Green Gulch Farm, 9-23-2018 (Also may be called: “Move-over, Metta!”)

Guest teachings from Rev. Ōshin Jennings from No Barriers Zen at A2Z 9-17-2018. ASL by Sierra Pickett.

Dharma talk after A2Z Sangha's Private Study Week at Tassajara

Bringing Suzuki Roshi's Dharma talk on the Bodhisattva's 4 Methods of Guidance and the chapter "Stand Up by the Ground" fr/ his book Not Always So. Seems I can't get away from making connections to "Identity Action" now! (The "his talk" referenced in the beginning is Suzuki Roshi’s Dec. 3, 1969 talk at Tassajara)

Bodhisattva's 4th Method of Guidance: Identity Action / Cooperation (Note: Most of talk is here though end was cut off.)

Bodhisattva's 3rd Method of Guidance: Beneficial Action

Bodhisattva's 2nd Method of Guidance: Kind Speech

"The Bodhisattva's 4 Methods of Guidance" B4MG)Series begins with Dana / Generosity. (Q&A starts 44:40; Practice Suggestion starts 57:30 minutes)

Guest Teacher, Kim Allen. Thought another take on the topic would be useful --- & also from the Insight tradition. 7/9/18

Inspired by 2018 Awake Group. 7/2/18

Ni Su Thuan Tue's Dharma talk at SFZC Tassajara. 6/16/18

"Best Effort in Each Moment Forever"

Dharma talk at SFZC City Center to end the 3-day sesshin to end the CC Spring 2018 Practice Period. 6/9/18

Dharma talk at SFZC City Center as part of 3-day sesshin to end the Spring 2018 Practice Period. 6/7/18

Dharma talk at SFZC City Center as part of the Spring 2018 Practice Period on Wise Effort. 5/30/18

Dharma talk at SFZC City Center as part of the Spring 2018 Practice Period on Wise Effort. 5/16/18

Guest Teachers Lama Karma Yeshe Chodron & Lama Karma Zopa Jigme share how practices from their 3-year cloister retreat can be brought into everyday life. 5/12/18

"Wise Effort is the Wholehearted Way"

Dharma talk at SFZC City Center at 1-day of the Spring 2018 Practice Period on Wise Effort. 5/5/18 (Actual talk starts around 11 minutes)

Dharma talks by Rev. Tenzen David Zimmerman & Rev. Keiryū Liên Shutt  as Co-Teachers of SFZC City Center Spring 2018 Practice Period on Wise Effort. 5/2/18

"Who is the Bodhisattva of Compassion Here?"

Do we have to "understand" to be compassionate? What do "wild geese" have to do with compassion?

Great discussion! And, 'cause it went a bit longer than usual, Dharma talk and Q&A are separated here for your convenience. DO listen to Q&A as it's sometimes the best part of any Dharma talk

"What the F*@#! is Enlightenment?" Part 2

This talk at A2Z Meditation Group on 2/26 was intentionally not recorded. As with "What the F*@#! is Buddha," just talking about enlightenment is just as foolish. Trying to find it is equally so! Still, I tried to set up some conditions for us to meet it. Therefore, while not recorded, here are the two texts we used. Thanks to the sources (amazing that both are found online!) May you meet it also.

The 2 questions posed at group are (based on Merle Kodo Boyd juxtaposition of the first 2-lines & the second 2-lines of Chiyono's poem) :

  1. How have you strived to "keeping (your) bucket together"?

  2. How has that coping/karmic habitual tendency(ies) been useful with practice?"

Basically, identifying our coping mechanisms (patterns) and then seeing/reflecting on how it/they have impacted our practice ("bad" and/or "good").

And, I'd proposed that perhaps even Chiyono's story/koan of the bucket falling apart may be a "false koan" (ie: not so useful) because it sets us up to think "enlightenment" means we'll get "new," and "improved," of course, buckets! 

"What The F*#&! Is Buddha" Talk 3:   "Why It's So Hard to be Enlightened!"

"What The F*#&! Is Buddha" Talk 2:   Allergy Buddha  As the WTFiB Series unfolds..... It's in the Q&A.... Leading us to "Enlightenment" in WTFiB 3rd talk...

"What The F*#&! Is Buddha" Talk 1 in this series was a short talk with a Shosan so was not recorded. (Enactment instead of  just talking about it!)

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Life as a Jigsaw Puzzle.  ---  How we interact with and "do" a jigsaw puzzle can show our patterns. (Talk which inspired the "What the F*#&! is Buddha" series)

"What is Practice?"  Talk at A2Z Meditation Group to start out 2018

"Skillful Action"  Guest Teachers Chimyo Atkinson & Rev. Tenku Ruff when they visited us 11/6/17

"A Bird Sings A Song" -- Dharma Talk At SFZC City Center on 11/25/17, Thanksgiving weekend. ---Commentary on "Branching Streams Flow on in the Dark" -- How we've been conditioned on what is "valuable" suffering to pay attention to vs. all beings' sufferings. For instance, around the mythology of "Thanksgiving" and on women's roles. #MeToo

Dharma talk at A2Z Practice Group on Sept. 11, at our new location at Port in downtown Oakland!

"Loving Interaction with the World: Practicing in Challenging Times"   

After Charlottesville, a Dharma talk and discussion on the "how" we can respond to hatred and bigotry. The "how" can help us to know the "when."

"The Fourth Noble Truth Overview" by guest speaker, Rev. Nyozan Eric Shutt.   June 12  A2Z/Awake Practice Group

Dharma talk at Green Gulch Farm, 2017

"Are You Ready?" --- Dharma talk at Clear Water Zendo of Vallejo Zen Center. May 6, 2017. Thank you to their teacher, Mary Mocine, for the invitation.

Some think this talk gives one "permission" to binge watch!   (NOTE: Includes fictional, yet graphic, descriptions of a difficult situation in a prison from a Netflix show.)

(Click on picture to see video)

"The Boat of 'Me'" --- Dharma talk at SFZC's City Center on April 22, 2017, Earth Day

"How a Bodhisattva Might Response in Difficult Conditions" ---- On the 2018 Inauguration in the U.S. & the protests locally and nationally; including Women's March

"I Now Fully Avow" (or "'It's the Snow that Makes the Mountain'") --- Last of the "Wind of the Family House" series. A2Z Dharma talk on December 19, 2016