Mitra-roshi answers question regarding practice during these challenging times.
If everything is perfect, whole and complete, why is there so much suffering in the universe?
“When we can see through that [our] self image there is a tremendous amount of freedom because we are no longer driven by it.”
Teisho—it is difficult to translate this word adequately into English, although various English attempts have been made such as “sermon” and “lecture”. Teisho is really a demonstration of Zen, usually—but not always—offered in the format of a talk. At Mountain Gate, teisho is offered daily during regular sesshin, and occasionally outside of sesshin.
"When we prostrate toward the altar it is recognizing our own innate perfection, even though we cannot necessarily live it."
"Attitude makes all the difference in the world . . .
When we’re not caught in a self image, it’s far easier to flow with circumstance."
"The Ten Oxherding Pictures are a classic map of the process
of coming to awakening for the Zen Buddhist."
"Essential to the future of true Zen is deep awakening followed by Advanced Practice and the Long Maturation spoken of by Torei Enji, Dharma successor of the great Japanese Zen master Hakuin. This is what we call 360-Degree Practice. Not only for the future of Zen but for true liberation, this is absolutely vital."
"Mitra-roshi shares and comments on The Letters of Dahui. The challenges of true Zen practice: "Let go your hold on the cliff...!"
An experienced meditator who is also a personal trainer demonstrates specific stretches that can benefit people who do meditation.
Mitra-roshi shares and comments on another of the 12th century Chinese Chan [Zen] master Dahui Zonggao's [J.DaiE Soko] letters to students. This letter is his second response to a lay student named Chen Shaoqin, who seems to not understand that setting himself apart from his "busyness" at work in attempting to overlay it with an idea of Zen practice is not real Zen practice.
In order to produce lasting effects, i.e., true body-mind, liberating transformation, practice must be deep.
This teisho was given by Mitra-roshi at Hidden Valley Zen Center. In it she shared and commented on the Four Noble Truths, considered to be the first teaching given by Shakyamuni following his deep awakening.
In these teishos from the April 2018 7-day sesshin at Mountain Gate, Mitra-roshi shares pertinent points from Mark Epstein's newest book, Advice Not Given: A Guide to Getting Over Yourself.
Awakening in Zen is often characterized as "The Great Death," In this teisho Mitra-roshi comments about this, sharing something from Frank Ostaseski's recent book, The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully.