Bodhin Kjolhede is Roshi Philip Kapleau’s Dharma successor and served as Abbot of the Rochester Zen Center for 35 years (from 1987 to 2022). The following are among his more recent teisho (Dharma talks).

Teisho

Mumonkan #11, “Joshu and Two Hermits”

July 2023 Sesshin, Day 6
Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

“Zen Essence” #2

July 2023 Sesshin, Day 5
A commentary on Zen Essence, translated and edited by Thomas Cleary. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

“Zen Essence” #1

July 2023 Sesshin, Day 4
A commentary on Zen Essence, translated and edited by Thomas Cleary. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

Ta Hui and “Swampland Flowers” #3

July 2023 Sesshin, Day 3
A commentary on Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui. (translated by J.C. Cleary). Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

Ta Hui and “Swampland Flowers” #2

July 2023 Sesshin, Day 2
A commentary on Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui. (translated by J.C. Cleary). Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

Ta Hui and “Swampland Flowers” #1

July 2023 Sesshin, Day 1
Roshi Kjolhede begins this teisho with biographical highlights of Zen Master Ta Hui, based on Andy Ferguson’s Zen’s Chinese Heritage: The Master’s and Their Teachings.   He then continues with a commentary on Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui. (translated by J.C. Cleary). Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

Zen Destruction and Aspiration

How Zen practice deconstructs the self while the Dharma nourishes the Self, with a commentary on the koan “Linji’s Blind Donkey”. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

Zen Master Bassui from The Three Pillars of Zen

September 2022 Sesshin, Day 3
Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Transcript

Zen Teacher Authorization

A look at the sanctioning next month of Donna Kowal and at my stepping aside, featuring Case 40 in the Mumonkan, “Kicking Over the Water Bottle.” Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Transcript

Seeing Into Space, Seeing Into Mind

The images revealed by the Webb Telescope will vastly extend our knowledge. Wisdom, however, grows from looking inward. Who is seeing that projection of the mind we call the universe? Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

Zen Buddhism–Religion, or Not?

The book Buddhism, by Smith and Novak, identifies six aspects of religion. How many fit with Zen? Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

Faith

Faith is the anchor of Zen practice, but faith in what? Not a person, not a thing. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Transcript

Mumonkan # 9, “Daitsu Chisho Buddha”

June 2022 Sesshin, Day 6
Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

The Practice of Zen by C.C. Chang #2

June 2022 Sesshin, Day 5
Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

The Practice of Zen by C.C. Chang #1

June 2022 Sesshin, Day 4
Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

The First Precept: Not to Kill

A look at the first of the Ten Cardinal Precepts, particularly with respect to the Buffalo mass shooting, abortion, and self-immolation. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

“Zen Letters: Teachings of Yuanwu” #2

September 2021 Sesshin, Day 6
Zen Letters: Teachings of Yuanwu (trans. by J.C. Cleary and Thomas Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

“Zen Letters: Teachings of Yuanwu” #1

September 2021 Sesshin, Day 5
Zen Letters: Teachings of Yuanwu (trans. by J.C. Cleary and Thomas Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

“The Practice of Zen” by Garma C.C. Chang #2

September 2021 Sesshin, Day 4
Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

“The Practice of Zen” by Garma C.C. Chang #1

September 2021 Sesshin, Day 3
Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

“Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui”

September 2021 Sesshin, Day 1
Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui (trans. by J.C. Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

Recognizing the Inevitable

Like individuals, all nations and worlds pass. By fully facing this, with daily practice we can breathe life and even joy into our lives. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

“The Way of Korean Zen” by Kusan Sunim #6

July 2021 Sesshin, Day 6
Commentary on The Way of Korean Zen by Kusan Sunim (trans. by Martine Batchelor) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

“The Way of Korean Zen” by Kusan Sunim #5

July 2021 Sesshin, Day 5
Commentary on The Way of Korean Zen by Kusan Sunim (trans. by Martine Batchelor) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

“The Way of Korean Zen” by Kusan Sunim #4

July 2021 Sesshin, Day 4
Commentary on The Way of Korean Zen by Kusan Sunim (trans. by Martine Batchelor) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

“The Way of Korean Zen” by Kusan Sunim #3

July 2021 Sesshin, Day 3
Commentary on The Way of Korean Zen by Kusan Sunim (trans. by Martine Batchelor) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

“The Way of Korean Zen” by Kusan Sunim #2

July 2021 Sesshin, Day 2
Commentary on The Way of Korean Zen by Kusan Sunim (trans. by Martine Batchelor) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

“The Way of Korean Zen” by Kusan Sunim #1

July 2021 Sesshin, Day 1
Commentary on The Way of Korean Zen by Kusan Sunim (trans. by Martine Batchelor) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

Juneteenth and the Work of Ultimate Liberation

We can celebrate the 1865 Emancipation while acknowledging the enduring shackles of systemic racism and those of our own afflictions. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

No Teachers, No Students, Nothing To Be Taught

A look at the teacher-student relationship generally, with a focus on the implications of it at the RZC now that Roshi and John Pulleyn-sensei will both be giving dokusan and formally accepting students. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

The Illusion of Human Identity

The Heart Sutra (Prajna Paramita) reminds us that none of the five skandhas (constituents of personhood) have any substantiality to them. To cling to any imagined identity, then, is to invite suffering. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“Zen Dawn, Early Zen Texts from Tun Huang” #2

April 2021 Sesshin, Day 5
Commentary on Zen Dawn, Early Zen Texts from Tun Huang (trans. by J.C. Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“Zen Dawn, Early Zen Texts from Tun Huang” #1

April 2021 Sesshin, Day 4
Commentary on Zen Dawn, Early Zen Texts from Tun Huang (trans. by J.C. Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“The Practice of Zen” #3

April 2021 Sesshin, Day 3
Commentary on The Practice of Zen, by Garma C. C. Chang. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“The Practice of Zen” #2

April 2021 Sesshin, Day 2
Commentary on The Practice of Zen, by Garma C. C. Chang. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“The Practice of Zen” #1

April 2021 Sesshin, Day 1
Commentary on The Practice of Zen, by Garma C. C. Chang. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Think Neither Good Nor Evil, Case 23 in the Mumonkan

A look at original vs. actualized enlightenment, Dharma transmission, aspiration, and our True Self as the “Face” behind the mask. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

Embracing Nothingness — But In What Way?

Digital overstimulation and now the pandemic has generated a culture of negation, withdrawal, and numbness. But there’s a better way to retreat, every day, from overwhelming circumstances, while engaging with the world. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

Love Makes the World Go ‘Round

Miscellaneous reflections on love, seen through the lens of Dharma. Source Referenced Soul Food: Stories to Nourish the Spirit and the Heart. Jack Kornfield and Christina Feldman. HarperOne, 1996. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

Sangha Sculpting Sangha

A look at what the Buddhist Sangha, or community, meant in Asia, how it has changed since coming to Western countries, and what it might become for the Rochester Zen Center. Sources Quoted: Stephen Batchelor. “Creating Sangha.” Tricycle, Winter, 1995.  Thich Nhat Hanh. “The Fertile Soil of Sangha.” Tricycle, Summer, 2008. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

Teachings and Life of Zen Master Hakuin #6

January 2021 Sesshin, Day 6
Readings from Wild Ivy: The Spiritual Autobiography of Zen Master Hakuin (mostly the Introduction), The Essential Teachings of Zen Master Hakuin (both translated by Norman Waddell) and The Zen Master Hakuin, translated by Philip Yampolsky. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

Teachings and Life of Zen Master Hakuin #5

January 2021 Sesshin, Day 5
Readings from Wild Ivy: The Spiritual Autobiography of Zen Master Hakuin (mostly the Introduction) and The Essential Teachings of Zen Master Hakuin. Both translated by Norman Waddell. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

Teachings and Life of Zen Master Hakuin #4

January 2021 Sesshin, Day 4
Readings from Wild Ivy: The Spiritual Autobiography of Zen Master Hakuin (mostly the Introduction) and The Essential Teachings of Zen Master Hakuin, both translated by Norman Waddell. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

Teachings and Life of Zen Master Hakuin #3

January 2021 Sesshin, Day 3
Readings from Wild Ivy: The Spiritual Autobiography of Zen Master Hakuin (mostly the Introduction) and The Essential Teachings of Zen Master Hakuin, both translated by Norman Waddell. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

Teachings and Life of Zen Master Hakuin #2

January 2021 Sesshin, Day 2
Readings from Wild Ivy: The Spiritual Autobiography of Zen Master Hakuin (mostly the Introduction) and The Essential Teachings of Zen Master Hakuin, both translated by Norman Waddell. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

Teachings and Life of Zen Master Hakuin #1

January 2021 Sesshin, Day 1
Readings from Wild Ivy: The Spiritual Autobiography of Zen Master Hakuin (mostly the Introduction) and The Essential Teachings of Zen Master Hakuin, both translated by Norman Waddell. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

National Crisis, National Opportunity

Atlantic writer George Packer sees the new year as a “plastic hour,” a rare chance for the U.S. to transform sickness and dysfunction into renewal. This mirrors the catalytic potential of personal dis-ease to lead us to spiritual practice. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Automated Transcript

Pandemic Time Melting and Freezing

2020 put many of us in a time warp that will run well into 2021. What’s going on, really? And how does daily Zen practice help us ride the waves? Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Enlightenment and Siddhartha

Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Jukai–the Ceremony of Taking the Precepts

A look at the several elements of the ceremony. The ten cardinal precepts are examined in the context of the “five trials” of 2020: the pandemic; its financial consequences; the intensifying effects of climate change; the clearer revelation of systemic racism and its ongoing wounds; and the alarming rise of political divisiveness. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Presidents and the Flux of Character

Biden and Trump are dramatically different in character, but they have in common, with us, the True Self that is No-self. And all of us are continuously evolving and devolving through the world of samsara. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“Zen Essence: The Science of Freedom” #5

November 2020 Sesshin, Day 5
Commentary on  Zen Essence: The Science of Freedom (trans. by Thomas Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“Zen Essence: The Science of Freedom” #4

November 2020 Sesshin, Day 4
Commentary on  Zen Essence: The Science of Freedom (trans. by Thomas Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“Zen Essence: The Science of Freedom” #3

November 2020 Sesshin, Day 3
Commentary on  Zen Essence: The Science of Freedom (trans. by Thomas Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“Zen Essence: The Science of Freedom” #2

November 2020 Sesshin, Day 2
Commentary on  Zen Essence: The Science of Freedom (trans. by Thomas Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“Zen Essence: The Science of Freedom” #1

November 2020 Sesshin, Day 1
Commentary on  Zen Essence: The Science of Freedom (trans. by Thomas Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Change, and Thus Hope

Looking at the intersecting national crises of 2020 as an opportunity for us to evolve, reading from a July column by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“Zen Essence: The Science of Freedom” #2

October 2020 Sesshin, Day 5
Commentary on Zen Essence: The Science of Freedom (trans. by Thomas Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“Zen Essence: The Science of Freedom” #1

October 2020 Sesshin, Day 4
Commentary on Zen Essence: The Science of Freedom (trans. by Thomas Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“The Original Face: An Anthology of Rinzai Zen” #3

October 2020 Sesshin, Day 3
Commentary on The Original Face: An Anthology of Rinzai Zen (trans. T. Cleary). Text from Zen Master Lanxi Daolong (Jap.: Daikaku) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“The Original Face: An Anthology of Rinzai Zen” #2

October 2020 Sesshin, Day 2
Commentary on The Original Face: An Anthology of Rinzai Zen (trans. T. Cleary). Text from Zen Master Lanxi Daolong (Jap.: Daikaku) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“The Original Face: An Anthology of Rinzai Zen” #1

October 2020 Sesshin, Day 1
Commentary on The Original Face: An Anthology of Rinzai Zen (trans. T. Cleary). Text from Zen Master Lanxi Daolong (Jap.: Daikaku) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Even If the World Is Ending, So What?

The situation in the U.S. and around the world may be more bleak than ever. But consider: as individuals we manage to carry on with the very bleakest of futures: our own certain death. Rather than dwelling on future catastrophes, practice calls for us always to be fully responsive to the present. That is the… Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Thrivers’ Guilt

In the midst of massive suffering from the pandemic, many people, due to their circumstances, are experiencing unexpected personal contentment (and sometimes guilt as a result). How do we come to terms with this paradox–and move through in service to our bodhisattva vows? Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Considering White Privilege

Whatever adversities we white people have suffered in our lives, structural racism isn’t one, and in that sense, at least, we’ve been privileged. We might deny having that advantage, or distance from it, but we can use our opportunities to join with others to begin dismantling systemic racism. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

The Zen Teaching of Hui Hai

A treatise on enlightenment and practice by the Tang dynasty Chan master, a disciple of the great Ma Tsu. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

East-West Cultural Contrasts and the Pandemic

The U.S. is faring much worse with the coronavirus than the East Asian and Southeast Asian countries, where people also are much more agreeable to wearing face masks. These differences may be seen in the context of the broad historical contrasts drawn in Richard Nisbett’s The Geography of Thought, which presents cultural-psychological studies showing the… Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

The Life and Teaching of Peace Pilgrim

After dedicating herself to social service for five years, the woman who would later identify herself only as Peace Pilgrim had a spontaneous awakening while walking in the woods. Then she spent the next twenty-eight years walking across the country alone, sharing her commitment to inner and world peace. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Is There More to All This Than Meets the Eye?

The pandemic and its massive economic consequences, when laid atop accelerating climate change, presents a perfect storm of suffering. But with the understanding that there is an Intelligence behind it all, we must be seeing corrective forces underway, a re-balancing at work. How might future generations look back and see these tumultuous times? Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Blue Cliff Record #29, “It Goes Along with Everything Else”

June 2020 Sesshin, Day 4
Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“The Original Face: An Anthology of Rinzai Zen” #3

June 2020 Sesshin, Day 3
Commentary on The Original Face: An Anthology of Rinzai Zen (trans. T. Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“The Original Face: An Anthology of Rinzai Zen” #2

June 2020 Sesshin, Day 2
Commentary on The Original Face: An Anthology of Rinzai Zen (trans. T. Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“The Original Face: An Anthology of Rinzai Zen” #1

June 2020 Sesshin, Day 1
Commentary on The Original Face: An Anthology of Rinzai Zen (trans. T. Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

100,000 Deaths and Our Cities in Flames

The pandemic shoved the unsurpassable threat of climate change out of the news, and now the outbreak of demonstrations in cities all over the country has seized our attention. Today we memorialize 100,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths with the traditional Buddhist memorial prayer, but also acknowledge the deadly virus of systemic racism and oppression of African-Americans… Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Pandemics: A High-Altitude View

An overview of history’s most devastating pandemics, and a look at the timelessness of Camus’ The Plague. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

The Zero Point Turned Inside-Out

There is just this, here, now. That is our freedom. Yet we can live it while acknowledging our interdependence with others, being grateful to those before us and around us while also responsible for those after us. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Giving Up to Live Fully

How much might the fear of losing oneself — of not being — drive our longing to leave home even during a pandemic? The denial of death and the craving for life: two sides of one coin. (Contributions from Brother David Steindl-Rast and Steven Levine.) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Affluenza

After the U.S.’s decades of affluenza (“a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more”), to what extent might our experience of the coronavirus and isolation inoculate us from its resurgence? Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Blue Cliff Record #87: “Medicine and Sickness Correspond to Each Other”

Instead of engaging the coronavirus simply on a “war” footing, can we see ways in which it is educating us–right now? A pandemic reveals the consequences of our misuses of the natural world and the dis-ease we incur through the illusion of separation. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Covid Solitude, Dislocation, and Dis-illusionment

In his 2010 book The Active Life, acclaimed educator Parker Palmer cites three opportunities for painful growth that any of us are likely to face during our life: disillusionment, dislocation, and unbidden solitude. Zen practice enhances our ability to navigate through these three portals and to adapt to the coronavirus aftershocks that will change our… Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Impermanence and the Virus

The current crisis can help us develop a more immediate awareness of the Buddha’s fundamental teaching and encourage us to find our refuge in opening to life as it is.  – Dharma talk by John Pulleyn Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Human Contradictions Exposed by the Pandemic

Covid-19 is highlighting human contradictions: the dilemma of social distancing vs. social solidarity, as well as the tension between our ignoble reactions (e.g., panic hoarding) and our noble responses (generous helpfulness). Our True Self is neither of these alone. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Preparing Ourselves for the Coronovirus for the Sake of Others

A Mahayana take: it’s not just about “me” and “my.” Also, some words about worry, stress, and anxiety. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Solitude Misused: So Near, Yet So Far Away

The amazing case of the 21st-century “Hermit of Maine (The Stranger in the Woods, by Michael Finkel),” whose 27 years of complete seclusion, in which he survived through burglaries, is not remotely like the solitary meditation of practitioners in Zen and other traditions. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

The Dharma of Driving

Everyday driving as a practice field for mindfulness and a test of non-reactivity and other Buddhist values. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Twenty-eight Benefits of Meditation

Teisho by Bodhin Kjolhede. From a 1st-century Buddhist text. Unedited transcript Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede. Transcript

Blue Cliff Record #23, “Hofuku Points to Myohocho”

January 2020 Sesshin, Day 7
Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“The Undying Lamp of Zen: The Testament of Zen Master Torei” #2

January 2020 Sesshin, Day 6
Commentary on The Undying Lamp of Zen: The Testament of Zen Master Torei (trans. by T. Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“The Undying Lamp of Zen: The Testament of Zen Master Torei” #1

January 2020 Sesshin, Day 5
Commentary on The Undying Lamp of Zen: The Testament of Zen Master Torei (trans. by T. Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui” #4

January 2020 Sesshin, Day 4
Commentary on Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui (trans. by J.C. Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui” #3

January 2020 Sesshin, Day 3
Commentary on Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui (trans. by J.C. Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui” #2

January 2020 Sesshin, Day 2
Commentary on Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui (trans. by J.C. Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui” #1

January 2020 Sesshin, Day 1
Commentary on Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui (trans. by J.C. Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Nuturing Self-control Through the Social Emotions

A presentation of studies suggesting that gratitude, compassion, and decent pride are features of morality that foster self-control and perseverance more than do will-power and grit. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Out With the Old, In With–What?

Stepping back to look at the massive national and global changes we’re living through. All bets are off, yet we have Zen practice to help us ride the process and transform crisis into opportunity. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Jukai and the Internet

An overview of today’s ceremony of Receiving the Precepts, with a look at how the Internet adds further challenges in upholding the Ten Cardinal Precepts. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

The Buddhist Precepts in the Context of Environmentalism

With our annual ceremony of Receiving the Precepts (Jukai) coming up, here Roshi applies those precepts to the growing threat of climate change and how we might reduce the harm we are inevitably causing to the environment. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Shoyoroku #32, “Yangshan’s ‘Mind and Environment’”

November 2019 Sesshin, Day 7
Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui” #3

November 2019 Sesshin, Day 6
Commentary on Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui (trans. by J.C. Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui” #2

November 2019 Sesshin, Day 5
Commentary on Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui (trans. by J.C. Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui” #1

November 2019 Sesshin, Day 4
Commentary on Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui (trans. by J.C. Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“Tracing Back the Radiance: Chinul’s Korean Way of Zen” #3

November 2019 Sesshin, Day 3
Commentary on Tracing Back the Radiance: Chinul’s Korean Way of Zen (trans. by Robert Buswell) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“Tracing Back the Radiance: Chinul’s Korean Way of Zen” #2

November 2019 Sesshin, Day 2
Commentary on Tracing Back the Radiance: Chinul’s Korean Way of Zen (trans. by Robert Buswell) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“Tracing Back the Radiance: Chinul’s Korean Way of Zen” #1

November 2019 Sesshin, Day 1
Commentary on Tracing Back the Radiance: Chinul’s Korean Way of Zen (trans. by Robert Buswell) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Philip Kapleau: Planting Seeds While Trailing Vines

A report on the Duke University conference celebrating the installation of Roshi Kapleau’s archives. Roshi Kjolhede focuses on the unique challenges Kapleau faced — and we continue to face — in adapting Zen to the West. His archives can be found at the Duke University Libraries’ Philip Kapleau papers, 1952-2009 and undated. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Zazen As Pure Science Experiment

The dichotomy of science and religion, empiricism and direct experience, falls apart in the practice of Zen. Curiosity, wonder, investigation–these are the essentials of both science and the mystical spiritual traditions such as Zen. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

What If Global Warming Is Irreversible?

If it is, how would that change our behavior? Each one of us will die someday anyway, so how do we work with that? Jonathan Franzen presents the worst-case scenario, but then there are other points of view. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Global Buddhism: A Display of Emptiness

Based on a 2017 Tricycle article by Kurt Spellmeyer: “Globalism 3.0: The Secret to World Harmony Isn’t Oneness. It’s multiplicity.” Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Blue Cliff Record #80, “Joshu’s ‘A Newborn Baby'”

July 2019 Sesshin, Day 7
Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Mumonkan #10, “Sozan and Poor Seizei”

July 2019 Sesshin, Day 6
Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“Zen Essence: The Science of Freedom” #3

July 2019 Sesshin, Day 4
Commentary on Zen Essence: The Science of Freedom (trans. by Thomas Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“Zen Essence: The Science of Freedom” #2

July 2019 Sesshin, Day 3
Commentary on Zen Essence: The Science of Freedom (trans. by Thomas Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“Zen Essence: The Science of Freedom” #1

July 2019 Sesshin, Day 2
Commentary on Zen Essence: The Science of Freedom (trans. by Thomas Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Chanting as Zen Practice

July 2019 Sesshin, Day 1
Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Zendo Air Conditioning and Won Buddhism

First Half: Our recent efforts to cool the zendo in sweltering weather. Second Half: Won Buddhism, a Korean strain of the Dharma. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

The Blindness of Other-ist Views

Conceptualizing people of conflicting political views or of different race, ethnicity, or gender as “other” leads us to more easily react with hostility to what they say, especially in the anonymous and reckless world of social media. Based on the age-old Buddhist warning about the harm arising from attachment to views and opinions, Zen practice,… Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Blue Cliff Record #44, “Kasan’s ‘Beating the Drum'”

June 2019 Sesshin, Day 7
Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Mumonkan #7, “Joshu’s ‘Wash Your Bowl'”

June 2019 Sesshin, Day 6
Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“Mud and Water: The Teachings of Zen Master Bassui” #4

June 2019 Sesshin, Day 5
A commentary on Mud and Water: The Teachings of Zen Master Bassui (trans. by Arthur Braverman) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“Mud and Water: The Teachings of Zen Master Bassui” #3

June 2019 Sesshin, Day 4
A commentary on Mud and Water: The Teachings of Zen Master Bassui (trans. by Arthur Braverman) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“Mud and Water: The Teachings of Zen Master Bassui” #2

June 2019 Sesshin, Day 3
A commentary on Mud and Water: The Teachings of Zen Master Bassui (trans. by Arthur Braverman) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

“Mud and Water: The Teachings of Zen Master Bassui” #1

June 2019 Sesshin, Day 1
A commentary on Mud and Water: The Teachings of Zen Master Bassui (trans. by Arthur Braverman) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Practice and Faith Nourishing Each Other

In Zen, faith grows through practice experience, even as faith sustains practice. They co-evolve continuously, sustaining each other. This is Hakuin’s “oneness of cause and effect,” out of which awakening can emerge. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

The Zen Poetry of Ryokan

Ryokan was an eccentric 18th-century enlightened Zen  hermit-monk who is still beloved in Japan for his poetry. In this collection of his verses, One Robe, One Bowl, he captures both the beauty and pathos of human life, and like his younger contemporary Thoreau, the wonders of nature. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Mumonkan #32, “A Non-Buddhist Questions the Buddha”

A non-Buddhist comes to awakening before the Buddha, sitting in silence, while his longtime disciple Ananda, standing in attendance, remains dumbfounded. How notions of identity can bind us. Who awakens? No one! Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Jukai, Buddhist (Non-)Identity, and the Power of Vows

The ceremony of Jukai (Taking the Precepts) is basically an initiation into the Dharma. To be a Buddhist is to commit to aligning oneself with what is real–direct experience, not thoughts. It is to see things as they are in order to be with things as they are. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Mumonkan #48, “Kempo’s One Road”

November 2018 Sesshin, Day 7
Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Shoyoroku #20, “Dizang’s ‘Most Intimate’”

November 2018 Sesshin, Day 6
Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Zen Letters: Teachings of Yuanwu #3

November 2018 Sesshin, Day 5
Commentary on Zen Letters: Teachings of Yuanwu (trans. J.C. & T. Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Zen Letters: Teachings of Yuanwu #2

November 2018 Sesshin, Day 4
Commentary on Zen Letters: Teachings of Yuanwu (trans. J.C. & T. Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Zen Letters: Teachings of Yuanwu #1

November 2018 Sesshin, Day 3
Commentary on Zen Letters: Teachings of Yuanwu (trans. J.C. & T. Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Zen Dawn: Early Zen Texts from Tun Huang #2

November 2018 Sesshin, Day 2
Commentary on Zen Dawn: Early Zen Texts from Tun Huang (trans. J.C. Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Zen Dawn: Early Zen Texts from Tun Huang #1

November 2018 Sesshin, Day 1
 Commentary on texts from the first Zen Masters, Zen Dawn: Early ZenTexts from Tun Huang (trans. J.C. Cleary) Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Caring, Engaging, Voting

The minimal response we can offer our descendants, who are under more threats than ever, is to vote. This is a contemporary way to “enter the marketplace with helping hands,” the ultimate stage of Dharma practice. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.

Blue Cliff Record #55, “Dogo’s ‘I Won’t Say'”

The relative nature of the terms “living” and “dead,” and how one monk’s struggle with them led him to enlightenment. Teisho by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede.