Sensei John Pulleyn is a Co-Director of the Rochester Zen Center. Together with Sensei Donna Kowal, he provides Zen training and spiritual guidance to the Center’s members worldwide. The following are many of his more recent teisho (Dharma talks).

Teisho and Dharma Talks

What’s the Rush?

Dropping our habitual, compulsive busyness and finding our refuge in the direct experience of this moment. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Facing Uncertainty

Daring to live fully in the shadow of possible disaster. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

No-Self and Habits

Full title: No-Self and Habits as Far as the Eye Can See Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Our Attitude Toward Practice

Finding a way beyond grasping and rejecting, beyond success and failure. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Nothing Special #3

January 2024 Sesshin, Day 6
Commentary on Ordinary Wonder: Zen Life and Practice by Charlotte Joko Beck Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Nothing Special #2

January 2024 Sesshin, Day 5
Commentary on Nothing Special: Living Zen by Charlotte Joko Beck (Part 2) Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Nothing Special #1

January 2024 Sesshin, Day 4
Commentary on Nothing Special: Living Zen by Charlotte Joko Beck (Part 1) Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Teachings of a Buddhist Monk #3

January 2024 Sesshin, Day 3
Commentary on Teachings of a Buddhist Monk by Ven. Ajahn Sumedho (Part 3) Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Teachings of a Buddhist Monk #2

January 2024 Sesshin, Day 2
Commentary on Teachings of a Buddhist Monk by Ven. Ajahn Sumedho (Part 2) Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Teachings of a Buddhist Monk #1

January 2024 Sesshin, Day 1
Commentary on Teachings of a Buddhist Monk by Ven. Ajahn Sumedho (Part 1) Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Outrage

Full Title: Outrage, Resentment, Acceptance, and Forgiveness. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

The Precepts: Beyond Pride and Perfection

Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Teachings of Charlotte Joko Beck #2

November 2023 Sesshin, Day 6
Commentary on the teachings of Charlotte Joko Beck (Part 2). Source: Everyday Zen: Love and Work by Charlotte Joko Beck. Edited by Steve Smith. Harper Collins, 1989. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Teachings of Charlotte Joko Beck #1

November 2023 Sesshin, Day 5
Commentary on the teachings of Charlotte Joko Beck (Part 1). Source: Everyday Zen: Love and Work by Charlotte Joko Beck. Edited by Steve Smith. Harper Collins, 1989. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Zen Teachings of Maurine Stuart #4

November 2023 Sesshin, Day 4
Commentary on the teachings of Maurine Stuart (Part 4). Source: Subtle Sound: The Zen Teachings of Maurine Stuart. Edited by Sherry Chayat. Shambhala, 1996 Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Zen Teachings of Maurine Stuart #3

November 2023 Sesshin, Day 3
Commentary on the teachings of Maurine Stuart (Part 3). Source: Subtle Sound: The Zen Teachings of Maurine Stuart. Edited by Sherry Chayat. Shambhala, 1996 Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Zen Teachings of Maurine Stuart #2

November 2023 Sesshin, Day 2
Commentary on the teachings of Maurine Stuart (Part 2). Source: Subtle Sound: The Zen Teachings of Maurine Stuart. Edited by Sherry Chayat. Shambhala, 1996 Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Zen Teachings of Maurine Stuart #1

November 2023 Sesshin, Day 1
Commentary on the teachings of Maurine Stuart (Part 1). Source: Subtle Sound: The Zen Teachings of Maurine Stuart. Edited by Sherry Chayat. Shambhala, 1996 Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Establishing and Sustaining Zen Practice

Practice and our lives are not two. Insight comes when the thinking mind falls silent. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Boredom

Our eagerness to cut short whatever feels tedious by chasing after distractions and excitement comes to diminish our lives. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Stop Fixing Yourself

Further exploration of practice off the mat. (Continuing the theme of the teisho of February 19, 2023.) Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Mumonkan #13, Tokusan Carries His Bowls

March 2023 Sesshin, Day 6
Mumonkan #13, Tokusan Carries His Bowls. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Illuminating Silence #5

March 2023 Sesshin, Day 5
Illuminating Silence: Insights on the Path of Chinese Zen by Master Sheng-Yen and John Crook. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Illuminating Silence #4

March 2023 Sesshin, Day 4
Illuminating Silence: Insights on the Path of Chinese Zen by Master Sheng-Yen and John Crook. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Illuminating Silence #3

March 2023 Sesshin, Day 3
Illuminating Silence: Insights on the Path of Chinese Zen by Master Sheng-Yen and John Crook. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Illuminating Silence #2

March 2023 Sesshin, Day 2
Illuminating Silence: Insights on the Path of Chinese Zen by Master Sheng-Yen and John Crook. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Illuminating Silence #1

March 2023 Sesshin, Day 1
Illuminating Silence: Insights on the Path of Chinese Zen by Master Sheng-Yen and John Crook. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Practice Off the Mat

Zen practice has the potential to change our lives for the better. So what are we doing when we’re not facing a wall?  (See also the teisho Stop Fixing Yourself.) Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Transcript

It’s OK to Suffer

The usual human response to trouble and uncertainty is anxiety and resistance. How can we learn to live wholeheartedly with things as they are? Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Marsha Linehan and Radical Acceptance

Marsha Linehan is the creator of DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) which was the first form of psychotherapy proven effective for suicidal people with personality disorders. Her work was driven by her own struggles and by her experience in Zen training. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

“Song of Mind” by Sheng Yen, Part 2

January 2023 Sesshin, Day 6
Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

“Song of Mind” by Sheng Yen, Part 1

January 2023 Sesshin, Day 5
Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

“Everything Arises, Everything Falls Away” by Ajahn Chah #4

January 2023 Sesshin, Day 4
Commentary on “Everything Arises, Everything Falls Away: Teachings on Impermanence and the End of Suffering” by Ajahn Chah (trans. by Paul Breiter) Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

“Everything Arises, Everything Falls Away” by Ajahn Chah #3

January 2023 Sesshin, Day 3
Commentary on “Everything Arises, Everything Falls Away: Teachings on Impermanence and the End of Suffering” by Ajahn Chah (trans. by Paul Breiter) Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

“Everything Arises, Everything Falls Away” by Ajahn Chah #2

January 2023 Sesshin, Day 2
Commentary on “Everything Arises, Everything Falls Away: Teachings on Impermanence and the End of Suffering” by Ajahn Chah (trans. by Paul Breiter) Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

“Everything Arises, Everything Falls Away” by Ajahn Chah #1

January 2023 Sesshin, Day 1
Commentary on “Everything Arises, Everything Falls Away: Teachings on Impermanence and the End of Suffering” by Ajahn Chah (trans. by Paul Breiter). Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Zen and Religion

Separating Dharma from Dogma. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

The Precepts, Part 2: The Ten Cardinal Precepts

Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

OK with Things as They Are

By trying to wall off the inevitable pain we encounter, we make it hurt more and last longer. Acceptance and practice show us another way. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Learning to Want What We Have

Advice from a 21st century Stoic. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Ups and Downs of Practice

Cultivating openness and awareness in the face of habit energies that pull us in the other direction. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Transcript

Russia Invades Ukraine

With Russia’s invasion the world has changed. Facing up to uncertainty and suffering. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Zen and the Body (Part 2)

Working with the body and attitudes towards the body in Zen practice. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Zen and the Body (Part 1)

Body awareness as a key to Zen practice. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Restlessness

The compulsive and unsettled tenor of modern life was diagnosed well over 300 years ago by the French philosopher, Blaise Pascal, who wrote, “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

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

January 2022 Sesshin, Day 7
On Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui, (trans. by J.C.Cleary). Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

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

January 2022 Sesshin, Day 6
On Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui, (trans. by J.C.Cleary). Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

“Being Dharma” by Ajahn Chah #2

January 2022 Sesshin, Day 5
On Being Dharma: The Essence of the Buddha’s Teachings by Ajahn Chah (trans. by Peter Breiter). Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

“Being Dharma” by Ajahn Chah #1

January 2022 Sesshin, Day 4
On Being Dharma: The Essence of the Buddha’s Teachings by Ajahn Chah (trans. by Peter Breiter). Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Faith, Doubt, Determination

The three essentials of Zen practice. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Transcript

Zen Practice and the Thinking Mind

Replacing grasping and aversion with awareness. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

A Look at the Precepts

Morality as the first of the three foundations of Zen practice. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Mumonkan #16, “The Sound of the Bell”

November 2021 Sesshin, Day 7
Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn. Automated transcript Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

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

November 2021 Sesshin, Day 6
Commentary on Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui, translated by J.C. Cleary. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

“Everyday Zen” by Charlotte Joko Beck #3

November 2021 Sesshin, Day 5
Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

“Everyday Zen” by Charlotte Joko Beck #2

November 2021 Sesshin, Day 4
Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

“Everyday Zen” by Charlotte Joko Beck #1

November 2021 Sesshin, Day 3
Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

“Attaining the Way” by Master Sheng Yen #2

November 2021 Sesshin, Day 2
Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

“Attaining the Way” by Master Sheng Yen #1

November 2021 Sesshin, Day 1
Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

The Spirit of Practice

Examining helpful (and not so helpful) ways of approaching Zen practice. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Transcript

Letting Go of Fear-Based Strategies

To one degree or another, we allow habitual reactions to pain and anxiety to limit our lives. Zen practice shows us another way. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Anatta: The Teaching of Not-Self

Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Ordinary Mind is the Way, Case 19 in the Mumonkan

Looking for Truth in all the wrong places. Teisho by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

The Middle Way

The Buddha’s Way to freedom. Dharma Talk by Sensei John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Impermanence

A look at one of the Buddha’s three characteristics of existence. Dharma Talk by Sensei John Pulleyn.

Be Still

Letting go of thoughts on the mat and in our lives. Dharma Talk by John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

“Catching a Feather on a Fan” #4

February/March 2021 Sesshin, Day 4
Source Quoted Catching a Feather on a Fan: A Zen Retreat With Master Sheng Yen. Edited by by John Crook. Element Books Ltd, 1991. Dharma Talk by John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

“Catching a Feather on a Fan” #3

February/March 2021 Sesshin, Day 3
Source Quoted Catching a Feather on a Fan: A Zen Retreat With Master Sheng Yen. Edited by by John Crook. Element Books Ltd, 1991. Dharma Talk by John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

“Catching a Feather on a Fan” #2

February/March 2021 Sesshin, Day 2
Dharma Talk by John Pulleyn on Catching a Feather on a Fan: A Zen Retreat With Master Sheng Yen. Dharma Talk by John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

“Catching a Feather on a Fan” #1

February/March 2021 Sesshin, Day 1
Dharma Talk by John Pulleyn on Catching a Feather on a Fan: A Zen Retreat With Master Sheng Yen. Dharma Talk by John Pulleyn.  Automated Transcript

Working with an Untrustworthy Brain

A look at a neuroscientist’s explanation of how our brain creates the hallucination we take for reality and a modern day Stoic’s approach to the fix that puts us in. Dharma Talk by John Pulleyn.

The Happiness Trap

Looking at ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) as presented by Russ Harris in his book, The Happiness Trap, and how it fits with Zen practice. Dharma Talk by John Pulleyn.

Working with Impatience

Learning patience in the face of our unwillingness to be with things as they are. Dharma Talk by John Pulleyn.

Outrage and the Pandemic

Staying in touch with our shared humanity rather than indulging in outrage and separation. Dharma Talk by John Pulleyn.

“Everything Arises, Everything Falls Away” #4

February 2020 Sesshin, Day 4
Commentary on Everything Arises, Everything Falls Away: Teachings on Impermanence and the End of Suffering by Ajahn Chan (trans. by Paul Breiter) Dharma Talk by John Pulleyn.

“Everything Arises, Everything Falls Away#3

February 2020 Sesshin, Day 3
Commentary on Everything Arises, Everything Falls Away: Teachings on Impermanence and the End of Suffering by Ajahn Chan (trans. by Paul Breiter) Dharma Talk by John Pulleyn.

“Everything Arises, Everything Falls Away” #2

February 2020 Sesshin, Day 2
Commentary on Everything Arises, Everything Falls Away: Teachings on Impermanence and the End of Suffering by Ajahn Chan (trans. by Paul Breiter) Dharma Talk by John Pulleyn.

“Everything Arises, Everything Falls Away” #1

February 2020 Sesshin, Day 1
Commentary on Everything Arises, Everything Falls Away: Teachings on Impermanence and the End of Suffering by Ajahn Chan (trans. by Paul Breiter) Dharma Talk by John Pulleyn.

“Get Over Yourself”

Working to disarm the self. Dharma Talk by John Pulleyn.

Catching a Feather on a Fan: A Zen Retreat With Master Sheng Yen

December 2018 Sesshin, Day 4
Commentary on Catching a Feather on a Fan: A Zen Retreat With Master Sheng Yen, by John Crook Dharma Talk by John Pulleyn.

Catching a Feather on a Fan: A Zen Retreat With Master Sheng Yen

December 2018 Sesshin, Day 3
Commentary on Catching a Feather on a Fan: A Zen Retreat With Master Sheng Yen, by John Crook Dharma Talk by John Pulleyn.

Being Dharma: The Essence of the Buddha’s Teachings

December 2018 Sesshin, Day 1
Commentary on Being Dharma: The Essence of the Buddha’s Teachings, by Ajahn Chah Dharma Talk by John Pulleyn.