The Zen Studies Podcast

Dharma Talks (a bit more personal take on Dharma topics)

265 – Ten Fields of Zen Practice Chapter Three, Part 3: Zazen – Our Total Response to Life

This is the third episode of three comprising the “Zazen” chapter of my book, “The Ten Fields of Zen Practice: A Primer for Practitioners.” I start by offering what I should have put at the beginning of my chapter on Zazen: Basic instructions for Zazen. I then discuss how my “Five Efforts in Zazen” suggest Zazen is a neat and linear process, but in actuality Zazen is a messy, organic, real-life experience. Finally, I talk about how to deepen your Zazen without getting caught up in self-centered striving.

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263 – Ten Fields of Zen Practice Chapter Three, Part 1: Zazen – Our Total Response to Life

This is the third episode in my Ten Fields of Zen Practice series, beginning my discussion of the second field of practice, Zazen, our "Total Response to Life.” In some ways, this is the most challenging chapter to write because so much can be said about Zazen. By its nature, Zazen is difficult – if not impossible – to describe in a completely satisfying way. It also is profound and has infinitely many aspects, so what do you choose to say about it in one chapter? I hope you will find the approach I have chosen to take useful.

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260 – Ten Fields of Zen Practice Chapter Two: Bodhicitta, Way-Seeking Mind

This episode on Bodhicitta, or Way-Seeking Mind, is chapter two of my book The Ten Fields of Zen Practice: A Primer for Practitioners.” Bodhicitta is the first Field of practice because without it we never even begin practice, and, if we don’t nurture and sustain it, our practice will wither and die. I discuss the first arising of Bodhicitta, its function, how to cultivate it, and its profound nature.

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256 – Do Your Own Practice: Spiritual Translation Versus Transformation

One way to frame our practice is to say it has a "translation" aspect and a "transformation" aspect. Translation means to apply Buddhist teachings and practice to our life to free self and other from suffering, and live with greater wisdom and compassion. Transformation means to seek transcendence of the self and all of its limited views through a relentless process of inquiry, for the sake of an even more profound and stable liberation. I discuss how each aspect is valuable, how they differ, and clarifying what you want out of your own spiritual path.

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