Dear Ancient Dragon folk:
Week Six - Multidirectional and Living Nature of Time
This week’s selection of archival dharma talks is focused on the multidirectional and living nature of time. Zen Priest and Author, Ruth Ozeki, visited Ancient Dragon Zen Gate and DePaul University in November of 2016 to talk about her celebrated novel, A Tale for the Time Being, and we present here the two talks she gave on her process of writing and the ability of creative action to radically dismantle structures that separate us across time and space. At this time, our nation continues to face the karma of systemic racism, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s creative action moves through time and occupies our present with us. Taigen Dan Leighton spoke on the work of Dr. King in January, 2020, for the federal holiday observed in his honor, and gave focus to Dr. King’s strong anti-war stance. These anti-war efforts are supported by the themes of Ruth Ozeki’s brilliant work, which includes revelations about Japan’s role in World War II, expanded in her talks presented here.
- Ruth Ozeki – Writing Process and Tales of Time Being (11/5/16)
- Ruth Ozeki – Arrays of Self Amid Time Beings (11/6/16)
- Taigen Dan Leighton – The Real Martin Luther King Jr., His Anti-War Work, and His Current Relevance (1/19/20)
Week Five - Dismantling Racism
Please enjoy these dharma talks as an opportunity to reflect on these questions and any true inquiry that arises for you. It is a good time to do just this.
Week Four - Aspects of Teaching Patience
These new archival dharma talks are connected by the historical influence of their themes in the Mahayana tradition, their teaching aspects, and their relevance to our current situation. Described by Eishin, Maitreya Bodhisattva embodying the future Buddha is patiently waiting for the right time. And here we are, waiting together.
The study of the mind, as expressed by the figure of Maitreya Bodhisattva, was a foundational influence on the Yogacara teachings, developed by figures such as Vasubandhu. Ben Connelly joyfully explores these teachings in his talk based on his book, Inside Vasubandhu’s Yogacara. As Connelly shows, although these teachings are almost 2,000 years old, they continue to be a rich storehouse of practice opportunities for us.
Finally, Taigen’s talk from the last day of Rohatsu Sesshin in December 2019 explores the poem The Jewel Mirror Samadhi as a koan text that synthesizes into a single brief poem a variety of awakening conversations and images from thousands of years of practice. This poem, attributed to Caodong lineage founder Dongshan, helps gives us time to study ourselves, grow peace, and patiently observe the changes as we wait. The Jewel Mirror Samadhi demonstrates the Chinese Caodong practice spirit and philosophy, which transformed into the Japanese Soto practice, and is now, in some form, American Soto Zen. These teachings are a helping hand outstretched across time.
- Eishin Nancy Easton (5/2/2018) – Maitreya: Active Patience
- Ben Connelly (5/1/2017) – Vasubandhu and Practical Yogacara
- Taigen Dan Leighton (12/8/2019) – Enlightenment Day and Ongoing Care For the Dharma of Suchness
Week Three - Unfolding Wise Hope
- Brook Ziporyn 5/19/18 – Buddha-nature, Space and Future in the Mahaparanirvana Sutra
- Tova Green 9/22/19 – Wise Hope
- Taigen Dan Leighton 11/24/19 – Bodhisattva Thanksgiving Practice: Gratitude for Difficult Times, Facing Grief and Action Together
Week Two - Learning To Be At Home
For our second trip through the Ancient Dragon Zen Gate podcast archives we have a theme of “Learning to Be At Home.” In addition to a talk given by one of Ancient Dragon’s priests and retired Urban Conservation Director at Chicago’s Field Museum, Gyoshin Laurel Ross, we would also like to share talks given by Tenshin Reb Anderson, senior Dharma teacher at San Francisco Zen Center and at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center (as well as Taigen’s teacher), and Joanna Macy, an esteemed environmental activist, author, scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology. A new book just out about Joanna’s work, “A Wild Love for the World: Joanna Macy and the Work of Our Time” (Shambhala) includes a chapter by Taigen, “Buddhist Being Time and Joanna Macy’s Deep Time.”
- Gyoshin Laurel Ross 9/9/09 – Chicago Wilderness
- Tenshin Reb Anderson 4/25/10 – Cultivating Great Compassion and Loving Kindness (Opening of Ancient Dragon Zen Gate)
- Joanna Macy 7/2/12 – Living the Fullness of Time
Week One - Responsibility We Share to the Earth
Our first archival selection includes a theme of the responsibility we share to the earth. In addition to a talk by our Guiding Teacher Taigen Dan Leighton, we have guest teacher talks by renowned writer Rebecca Solnit, who was a student of Blanche Hartman at S.F. Zen Center, and also by Florence Caplow, Zen priest in Suzuki Roshi’s lineage, Unitarian Universalist minister in Champaign, IL, and also a trained conservationist.
- Rebecca Solnit 4/3/16 – Under the Same Sky: Climate Connects, Demands, and Informs Us
- Florence Caplow 1/14/19 – Sitting in the Storm: Zen in the Time of Climate Crisis
- Taigen Leighton 12/9/18 – Book of Serenity Cases 12 and 21: What Do We Do About the World and the One Not Busy