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Big Mind/Big Heart Sitting Meditation Instructions

October 17th, 2017 by | 4 Comments

For the first 40 years of Zen practice, I sat in formal lotus posture cross-legged with my back straight and unsupported. Now for the past six years I sit very differently. I am loving sitting more than ever being completely relaxed and comfortable on a chair, my legs not crossed, feet flat on the floor, […]

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Five Skandhas, Five Ranks

August 12th, 2017 by | 5 Comments

The way I use the term Apex really includes the whole being, which in Buddhism we call the Five Skandhas.  The Five Skandhas are also known as the Five Aggregates or Heaps that make up what we identify as our self, this very body/mind, what you and I call “me” or “I.” This self consists […]

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The Hazy Moon

July 3rd, 2017 by | 5 Comments

      Listen to Genpo Roshi’s commentary on one of his favorite koans, Copenhagen, June 2017:  

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Natural Koans

April 10th, 2017 by | 3 Comments

Working with disowned voices to turn our light inward and illuminate the self   Student:  It seems like what you’ve done with the way you do these disowned voices is you’ve found a way to really unlock the beginner’s mind, the not-knowing and the beginner’s mind. That’s right.  And a koan.  It becomes a koan.  […]

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In Memoriam Greg Kaizen Rosenstein

January 10th, 2017 by | No Comments

As many of you now know Greg Rosenstein passed away this weekend on Saturday the 7th of January. I had spoken to him not too long ago and he was so open and beautiful. He was wrestling with his disease and he seemed both in a very challenging time physically and also in in the […]

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Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction, and True Happiness

October 4th, 2016 by | No Comments

There is always this leaning towards, this tendency in all of us, to be dualistic, which means to come from a place of either/or. So either we feel good about ourselves or we feel bad. Rarely do we feel bad about feeling good about ourselves, and feel good about feeling bad. It just doesn’t come […]

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Great Faith, Great Doubt

July 30th, 2016 by | 6 Comments

A brief excerpt from a talk given May 22, 2016 Bottom line is, if you go through great doubt, meaning you question everything — I mean really question everything, to the point where you doubt everything, you lose all beliefs, you lose all your kind of understanding, you lose all your concepts, all your opinions […]

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On Coming Full Circle

July 15th, 2016 by | No Comments

I want to thank once again so many of you who have so kindly sent their love, good wishes and prayers for my health, and to assure you that I am well on the way to recovery, feeling better than I have for the many weeks preceding my emergency.  As you may know, it has […]

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A Health Update from Genpo Roshi, 28 June 2016

June 26th, 2016 by | 17 Comments

Dear Friends, I’m very happy to announce I was released from the hospital at 11 am today and all my vital signs are excellent, and my heart rhythm is perfect. Of course, this experience has caused me to look at and reevaluate my life and what’s important to me.  I know I need to slow […]

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All the wisdom of the ages, all of it, is within your reach at any moment

June 9th, 2016 by | No Comments

During the Big Mind Facilitator Training of May 2016 in Salt Lake City, Genpo Roshi was asked about using Big Mind oneself in daily life:   Let’s find out.  Let me ask the Final Authority .  .  . That’s what I would have said.  So the thing to realize is all the wisdom of the […]

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Dedication by Genpo Roshi at the 20 Year Memorial Ceremony for Maezumi Roshi

May 29th, 2015 by | 1 Comment

Dedication by Genpo Roshi at the 20 Year Memorial Ceremony for Koun Taizan Maezumi Roshi Salt Lake City, May 24, 2015 (click to hear recording) Personally, I was very very moved and touched by all you have given and shared with us, at great cost both to you and your family, Ekyo-san standing beside me, […]

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The Art of Giving

December 23rd, 2014 by | 10 Comments

[Excerpted from a conversation with Genpo Roshi recorded Dec. 18, 2015. Click here to request a link to the recording.] In Buddhism we have what we call the Paramitas, from the Sanskrit word meaning going to the other shore, the Paramitas being practices like vessels that can bring us to the other shore, from samsara […]

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In memory of Christy Svanemyr

August 6th, 2014 by | No Comments

Vegar Svanemyr, friends and Sangha members had a spreading of the ashes ceremony for Christy this past Friday in Little Cottonwood Canyon. August 1st was their five year wedding anniversary. Christy has been such a beautiful glowing light and a real loving spirit for all of us. She continues to be an inspiration both in […]

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Remembering Malgosia Roshi

June 29th, 2014 by | 7 Comments

Malgosia Jiho Braunek Roshi — a brilliant and clear light with an exceptional smile and presence. She was loved by millions who came to know her as a human being, as a film star, and as a true Bodhisattva. We met in 1983 when her husband Andrzej attended the first Kanzeon Polish Sangha Sesshin at […]

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The Power in Powerlessness

February 3rd, 2014 by | 5 Comments

In this excerpt from Genpo Roshi’s new book, The Fool Who Thought He Was God, Sebastian, who believes he is God and has committed himself to a mental institution, is attempting to clear up the confusion about power and powerlessness by answering his sane brother’s question, “Why is it that I feel so inadequate and powerless […]

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Some emptiness just hurts more than others

August 21st, 2013 by | 7 Comments

Big Heart on an unconditional level, in other words where there are no boundaries, it’s also not going to be stressful, if we’re really there.  When we’re in the ‘conditional Big Heart,’ and it’s dependent on conditions – which is not truly Big Heart, but our heart is open – that can be stressful of […]

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Just Live It.

August 7th, 2012 by | 3 Comments

Genpo Roshi was interviewed last week by Kelly Carlin for a live radio broadcast. Here are some of his thoughts: The past almost two years have been a period of intense self-reflection.  I’ve done some teaching, but it’s been really a time when I’ve reflected more than I have since 1972.  And I’m even thinking […]

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A Mothers Day Gift

May 11th, 2012 by | 23 Comments

In this consciousness work there is a big difference between our internal mother and our biological one. Our biological mother is a unique person with all her personal issues. Our internal mother has none of this, she is completely free from it all and is unconditionally loving. Your biological mother may have had more than […]

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Year of the Dragon

February 7th, 2012 by | 94 Comments

As we move into the new year I want to let you all know where I am now in my journey. I am writing this on the Chinese New Year, the year of the Dragon. I trust it will be a better year for us all and a year of great transformation for the world. […]

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The Wonder of Teaching

December 2nd, 2011 by | 9 Comments

I have written and spoken often of the two roots of the Big Mind process being my experience and training as a Zen monk and teacher for the past 40 years under the guidance of my own teacher Maezumi Roshi, and the insights of Western psychology, particularly the Voice Dialogue method of Doctors Hal and […]

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Selling water by the river

November 28th, 2011 by | 17 Comments

“Selling water by the river” is a famous Zen phrase, said to have been spoken by a Zen Master to describe his forty years of teaching. Why would you buy water from someone standing beside the river, when you could just as easily put a cup down and scoop some up for yourself? Furthermore, Zen […]

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We’d rather be right than happy

November 21st, 2011 by | 12 Comments

Student: Why do you emphasize that ideas, notions, hopes and expectations are the problem? Roshi: The thing we are most attached to, of course, is what I call my self, which includes my ideas, notions and beliefs about who I am. So this “I” and whatever I call Me, My or Mine are the most […]

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Taking sanity for granted

November 13th, 2011 by | 16 Comments

Student: In the voice of sanity and disowned sanity, I just realized that it’s so much taken for granted in this practice, at least by me. As you said, it’s always there, but you have to choose it and not just take it for granted because it’s always there. Roshi: That’s right. Well, we know […]

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Real freedom

November 2nd, 2011 by | 14 Comments

This is a response to a question from a reader of Genpo Roshi’s most recent post, “Having No Preference”.   What I mean when I say to be really free, and the reason why I call it the most difficult thing in our practice, is that in my experience one can have numerous experiences of […]

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Having no preference

October 28th, 2011 by | 35 Comments

Student: We often hear the comment, “Just have no preference and everything will be fine.” It sounds straightforward and yet it seems impossible to practice in today’s world. Can you say more about this? Roshi: There was a time in the 80’s and early 90’s when I saw it this way. Today, more than 20 […]

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