Dharma Talks given by Nyogen Roshi at the Hazy Moon can be inspired by a koan, a sutra, the writings of our Zen ancestors, modern scientific explorations, a student’s question, or today’s headlines. In every talk, you hear the vitality of the living word, the spontaneous expression of prajna flowing from the awakened mind that cuts through our confusion to encourage and invigorate our practice.
Nyogen Roshi reminds us that zazen--Zen meditation--means non-thinking. When we cultivate this non-thinking state, we realize our true nature. "At the heart of the teaching is a practicing Buddha," Roshi says. "That's what you are, at the … [Read more...] about The Point of Zazen
Reflecting on the Hanamatsuri ceremony–when Sangha members offer flowers and bathe the body of a statue representing the newborn Buddha–Nyogen Roshi reminds us that this ritual of purification is simply another reminder that cultivating … [Read more...] about Bathing the Body of the Buddha
In one of the most famous Zen stories, Joshu asks his teacher Nansen, "What is the Way?" Nansen replies, " Ordinary mind is the Way." What is ordinary mind? Nyogen Roshi walks us into it. "Get quiet," he says. "Purify the mind--which means … [Read more...] about Ordinary Mind
Responding to those who come to Zen practice to pursue a career as a spiritual teacher, or to have a psychedelic experience, Nyogen Roshi offers a corrective to some common misunderstandings. "The hard work of transcending the egocentric … [Read more...] about The Way Things Truly Are
A group of newcomers inspires Nyogen Roshi to deliver a barn-burner of talk on Zen and the core teachings of Buddha-dharma. After touching on the importance of the ritual form of Zen practice, the inevitability of suffering in the realm of … [Read more...] about Find Out What You Are
What does it mean to work on a koan? "You're trying to free yourself from the limitations of your egocentric intellect," Nyogen Roshi tells us in this excerpt from a recent talk. Seeing beyond these limitations requires focus and … [Read more...] about Seeing Beyond
The last line of the "Gatha on Opening the Sutra," a verse that we all chant before Roshi or anyone else gives a talk, says, "May we completely realize the Tatagatha's [the Buddha's] true meaning." We have included the chanting of the gatha … [Read more...] about No Self Deception
Inspired by Yamada Roshi's account of his kensho in the book, "Zen: The Authentic Gate." Nyogen Roshi encourages us to remember that just as suffering and death are real, enlightenment is also real. "Without enlightenment, there is no Zen … [Read more...] about The Authentic Gate
Drawing on some of Rinzai's practice instructions—and on his experiences with own teacher—Nyogen Roshi clarifies some common misunderstandings about our Rinzai lineage. He also identifies the reason we struggle in the practice: "What ails … [Read more...] about Have Faith!
What does it mean to say that realizing Buddha-mind is also arriving at the place of not knowing? Nyogen Roshi marshals Dogen's words on not knowing and Maezumi Roshi's teaching on undivided activity to clarify the point for us. "Bring … [Read more...] about Nothing But Mind
Violence against African-Americans, reprisals against police officers and seemingly endless war provoke Nyogen Roshi to deliver a powerful talk about Samsara--the realm of suffering driven by greed, anger and ignorance of the fundamental … [Read more...] about This Bright Light
Weaving some of Maezumi Roshi's commentary into a talk on Zenki—"undivided activity"—Nyogen Roshi reminds us that all the Buddhist teachings are pointing directly at the individuals who receive them. "What is Buddha?" Roshi asks. "Buddha is … [Read more...] about Undivided Activity