The moment a child is born, a parent is created; you can't have one without the other. Daido Roshi explores the love between parent and child, and the complete intimacy that exists between the two. We see this intimacy in the way children mirror their parents, the way children reflect how we use our body, speech, and mind. We also reflect our children, and over time the relationship shifts until one day the parent becomes the child. A true understanding of the nature of this relationship, of the nature of self and other, can help us deal with the challenges of parenting in an entirely new way. Daido Roshi also points out how the parent-child relationship mirrors the relationship between teacher and student, and he describes the stages of this relationship in Zen training. This intriguing exploration of the self and other offers a fresh perspective on achieving unity with ourselves, our family, and the entire world around us.
Zen Buddhism emphasizes zazen, or seated meditation, as the means to study the self and understand who we truly are. Dharma talks are an essential aspect of Zen training and take place in the context of zazen. Said to be "dark to the mind and radiant to the heart", a dharma talk is one of the ways in which a teacher points directly to the heart of the teachings of the Buddha. In our meditation practice, it is easy to get lost in self-doubt, fantasy, numbness, and emotional agitation. Dharma talks help to ground our practice, providing inspiration and an essential recognition of exactly where we find ourselves, so that we can learn to face difficulties and obstacles with a free and flexible mind. This talk was given at Zen Mountain Monastery or the Zen Center of New York City of the Mountains and Rivers Order of Zen Buddhism, founded in 1980 by the late American Zen Master John Daido Loori, Roshi (1931-2009).
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