50 episodes

The Upaya Dharma Podcast features Wednesday evening Dharma Talks and recordings from Upaya's diverse array of programs. Our podcasts exemplify Upaya’s focus on socially engaged Buddhism, including prison work, end-of-life care, serving the homeless, training in socially engaged practices, peace & nonviolence, compassionate care training, and delivering healthcare in the Himalayas.

Upaya Zen Center's Dharma Podcast Joan Halifax | Zen Buddhist Teacher Upaya Abbot

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

The Upaya Dharma Podcast features Wednesday evening Dharma Talks and recordings from Upaya's diverse array of programs. Our podcasts exemplify Upaya’s focus on socially engaged Buddhism, including prison work, end-of-life care, serving the homeless, training in socially engaged practices, peace & nonviolence, compassionate care training, and delivering healthcare in the Himalayas.

    Frank Ostaseski & Joan Halifax: Love and Death: Opening the Great Gifts (4 of 8)

    Frank Ostaseski & Joan Halifax: Love and Death: Opening the Great Gifts (4 of 8)

    In part four of Love and Death: Opening the Great Gifts, Roshi Joan Halifax guides us through a meditation designed to cut through the sense of loneliness and separateness that pervades so many of our lives. Frank Ostaseski and Roshi both share powerful stories of being with people who are dying, and how it is in facing death, our own and others’, that we will open to love.

    To access the resources page for this program, please sign up by clicking here.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Frank Ostaseski & Joan Halifax: Love and Death: Opening the Great Gifts (3 of 8)

    Frank Ostaseski & Joan Halifax: Love and Death: Opening the Great Gifts (3 of 8)

    In the third part of Roshi Joan Halifax’s and Frank Ostaseski’s  “Love and Death: Opening the Great Gifts,” Roshi Joan tells a story about her teacher Thich Nhat Hanh falling in love as a young monk and how he learned about interbeing through the experience. Frank tells stories about lovers separating at the time of death and the healing, as painful as it may be, that can occur in these encounters through honest presence.

    To access the resources page for this program, please sign up by clicking here.

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Frank Ostaseski & Joan Halifax: Love and Death: Opening the Great Gifts (2 of 8)

    Frank Ostaseski & Joan Halifax: Love and Death: Opening the Great Gifts (2 of 8)

    “Love and death are the great gifts that are given to us; mostly,

    they are passed on unopened”

    -Rainer Maria Rilke

    This whole life is a place where we make real our dedication to awakening, in living and dying, in caring and being cared for, in loving and receiving love. Being completely and vividly present for the rich details of our lives and the lives of others is the means that we use to discover truth and come home to who we really are. Love and death then are experiences of discovery. This program, led by Roshi Joan Halifax and Frank Ostaseski, two pioneers in the end-of-life care field and long-time Buddhist practitioners, is an exploration of how we bring depth and dedication into our whole life and the life of the world. Through teachings, exchanges, and unique practices and processes, we explored the profound relationship between love and death, engaged practice and the role of love and compassion in how we serve others, different forms of love, how art reveals the connection between love and death, and practices that related to the power of impermanence and surrender.

    Episode Description: Roshi Joan Halifax and Frank Ostaseski introduce themselves and their program on the intimate relationship between love and death. You’ll learn about their experiences in end of life care, zen practice, and some of what inspires and sustains them day to day in their own lives.

    (This program began with a Dharma talk from Frank, Love is My Mentor, which we recommend listening to first.)

    To access the resources page for this program, please sign up by clicking here.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Monshin Nannette Overley: Relax Completely: Shitou’s Song of the Grass Roof Hermitage – Fall Practice Period 2022 (4 of 11)

    Monshin Nannette Overley: Relax Completely: Shitou’s Song of the Grass Roof Hermitage – Fall Practice Period 2022 (4 of 11)

    Upaya is in the middle of Fall Practice Period, studying the teachings of Hongzhi and the practice of silent illumination. The Caodong/Soto school of Hongzhi and Dogen, with its emphasis on just sitting, traces itself back to the 8th Century Chan (Zen) Master Shitou. Sensei Monshin Nannette Overlay brings her characteristic honesty, gentleness, and care to this Dharma talk on Shitou’s seminal poem, Song of the Grass Room Hermitage.

    Shitou’s Song of the Grass Roof Hermitage is a poignant and accessible poetic teaching on just sitting (or standing, walking, cooking, cleaning, and so on) in open awareness, relaxed yet responsive.

    This state of complete relaxation is ours naturally, prior to all of our attempts to actualize it. Sensei Monshin assures us that we will find our natural state, our Buddha nature, our mind before thinking, not by adding anything but by relaxing into the spaciousness of this moment.

    Let go of hundreds of years and relax completely.

    Open your hands and walk, innocent. 

    Is there anything you are unwilling to let go of?

    And who would you be without it?

    To access the resources page for this program, please sign up by clicking here.

    • 42 min
    Kathie Fischer: Empty the Bright Mirror – Fall Practice Period 2022 (3 of 11)

    Kathie Fischer: Empty the Bright Mirror – Fall Practice Period 2022 (3 of 11)

    Sensei Kathie Fischer continues Upaya’s exploration of Zen Master Hongzhi’s teachings on the practice of silent illumination. She describes how Hongzhi, teaching during China’s Song Dynasty, bridges the gap between the early Chan (Zen) of the Tang Dynasty and that of Dogen, the founder of the Soto school of Zen.

    Kathie reads Hongzhi’s poetic teachings on the practice of just sitting with the following question: How do we practice zazen without either grasping at every thought and running away with every emotion, on the one hand, or judging our thoughts and emotions and rejecting them, on the other? She invites us to consider that we could engage our thoughts as we would the song of a bird, neither to be clung to nor rejected, but simply experienced.

    To access the resources page for this program, please sign up by clicking here.

    • 35 min
    Matthew Kozan Palevsky: Returning to Who We Are: The Practice of Silent Illumination – Fall Practice Period 2022 (2 of 11)

    Matthew Kozan Palevsky: Returning to Who We Are: The Practice of Silent Illumination – Fall Practice Period 2022 (2 of 11)

    “The practice of true reality is simply to sit.”

    Matthew Kozan Palevsky continues Upaya’s exploration of silent illumination, or just sitting, discussing Taigen Dan Leighton’s collection of Zen Master Hongzhi’s writings, “Cultivating the Empty Field.” He invites us to consider what it could mean for us to cultivate the empty field, especially given that Hongzhi himself says that we cannot cultivate an enlightened mind. Why? Because it is already ours. The question then is, how do we discover and embody this Buddha Nature that is already ours?

    Kozan also discusses the historical connection between Dogen’s teacher Rujing and Hongzhi, who lived at the same time on the same mountain but in separate monasteries, both teaching and promoting the practice of silent illumination.

    To access the resources page for this program, please sign up by clicking here.

    • 48 min

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