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The Zen Studies Podcast

Jan 24, 2021

Active receptivity is what we're aiming to cultivate in zazen, and in the rest of our practice. Despite the emphasis on what we’re NOT doing in zazen, it should lively and energetic activity, not passive. Think of putting aside your physical and mental activities in order to become incredibly quiet and receptive....


Oct 17, 2020

In this episode I focus on how zazen is the dharma gate of joyful ease, because experiencing it as such is so profoundly restorative at a time when our lives tend to be stressful in many ways. I also think it’s necessary to explore the way in which zazen is the dharma gate of joyful ease because that dharma gate...


May 16, 2020

Shikantaza, or the practice of "just sitting," can be challenging. We're asked not to try to control our meditative experience, but are we just supposed to sit there like a sack of potatoes and let habit energy have its way? I present a simple approach to returning to your intention whenever you have a moment of...


Dec 16, 2019

In this episode, I talk about why we long to be thought-free. Then I discuss how meditation is not about stopping thought, but instead is a practice of diligently and repeatedly turning our attention to something beyond thought, thereby realigning our whole being. Meditation requires diligence and determination, but...


Sep 20, 2019

In my enthusiastic endorsement of shikantaza or, "just sitting," I may have given the impression I think a real Zen student would only sit shikantaza, and there’s no place in Zen for paying attention to, learning from, and working with your thoughts and feelings in meditation. I think it's fine to use multiple types...