On Mindfulness • Interview

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The term mindfulness is ubiquitous these days. But its origins can be traced back to the teachings of the Buddha, whose main practice was anapanasati, “mindfulness of breathing.”

In this interview, Zuisei Sensei discusses some of the misunderstandings of mindfulness, as well as its true potential to help us cultivate awareness, wisdom, and compassion.

Recorded at Zen Mountain Monastery, 03/16/2017

Not Leaving the Monastery

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“What I saw or heard or felt came not but from myself—and there I found myself more truly and more strange.” —Wallace Stevens

Zuisei Sensei speaks from the heart about her own spiritual journey and her ongoing commitment to practice as she steps further into lay life.

Recorded at Zen Mountain Monastery, 12/30/2018

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01 : At Blackwater Pond by Mary Oliver

02 : "Expressions” by Master Dogen

03 : Tea at the Palaz of Hoon by Wallace Stevens

Sacred Space

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For this Fusatsu (Renewal of Vows ceremony) Zuisei Sensei speaks of sacred space as the ground in which atonement and vow become possible. It is, to borrow Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s words, “A sanctuary in time”—a place and period which is both distinct from and equal to the everyday. A space full of possibility.

Correction: The opening quote, attributed to Charles Chu, is actually by Margaret Gibson.

Recorded at Zen Mountain Monastery, October 11, 2018

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Balance in the Midst of Turmoil

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Equanimity is the fourth of the Four Immeasurables, four virtues that also include loving-kindness, compassion, and sympathetic joy.

In this pointed talk after the 2016 presidential election, Zuisei Sensei speaks of equanimity in relationship to the practice of taking refuge in the Three Treasures of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. She also offers an expression of welcome that became incorporated into Zen Mountain Monastery’s Inclusion Statement.

Recorded at Zen Center of New York City 11/13/2016

The Radical Act of Self Love

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Lovingkindness, one of the Four Imeasurables, is also the ninth of the ten paramis or paramitas (perfections). In this talk Zuisei Sensei speaks of the hunger we all have for love and warmth, for the touch, the regard, of another human being. We are hungry to belong and to know ourselves as part of a whole. Lovingkindness for ourselves can teach us that we have never been apart, never been broken. That is why we’re able to offer immeasurable love to ourselves and others.

Recorded at Zen Mountain Monastery, 01/29/2016

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01 : Karaniya Metta Sutta

02 :The Art of Eating by M. F. K. Fisher

03 : St. Francis and the Sow by Galway Kinnell

Right View

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The Fourth Noble Truth, as the Buddha framed it, is the Noble Eightfold Path of right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

In the first of a series of talks on the Eightfold Path, Zuisei Sensei speaks of right view as the light that illuminates the darkness of ignorance—the intellectual and experiential knowledge of the way things actually are.

Recorded at Zen Mountain Monastery, 04/24/2015

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01 : Right View

02 : Nature Needs a New Pronoun by Robin Wall Kimmerer

03 : Early Hour by Wislawa Szymborska