The Zen Studies Podcast

Recent Episodes

26 – Work as Spiritual Practice According to Dogen’s “Instructions to the Cook” – Part 2

This episode is part 2 of “Work as Spiritual Practice According to Dogen’s “Instructions to the Cook.” (“Instructions to the Cook” is an essay Dogen in 1237, known as the Tenzokyokun in Japanese – the head cook of the monastery is called a “tenzo.”) In the last episode, I introduced you to the concept of work practice and how it came to be so important in Zen. I also talked about the central teachings Dogen offers regarding work practice,...

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17 – Life of Shakyamuni Buddha Part 3: Buddha’s First Sermons and Students, and the Early Sangha

This is the first episode of two on the Buddha's 45-year teaching career and the establishment of the Buddhist community. I’ll talk about the Buddha’s first sermons, the enlightenment of the first disciples, the first lay students of the Buddha and how lay practice figures into early Buddhism, and the initial formation of the ordained Sangha and how they practiced on a daily basis.

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10 – What Is “Zen Practice” Anyway?

If you've spent any time in a Zen community, or reading Zen books, you will have encountered the term “practice” countless times. Buddhist teachers throughout the centuries have told us to “practice” diligently. Students of Zen are called “practitioners” and we talk to one another about our “practice.” What Is "Zen Practice," anyway? In this episode I present three important meanings of "practice," and how you can define practice in a traditional sense (Zen teachings, methods, conventions, etc.) or an experiential sense (how you face your life right here, right now).

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