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On Turning 75

[Asked for his reflections on turning 75 (on June 3rd), Genpo Roshi recorded his thoughts about it with his fiancée, Charlotte Juul. This is an excerpt from that conversation.]

C:  Your birthday is coming soon, and I know that every five and ten years in your life has normally been a big shift. So I’m wondering if there’s anything that comes up for you now, as you are about to turn 75?

G:  . . . In two weeks it will be 20 years since I created the Big Mind process, so now I have an opportunity to see how it’s evolved and developed, and I’m kind of looking at well, what’s next? I was sitting with this just the other day, and in a way absolutely nothing came up. And I thought, “Aha! Maybe that’s what’s happening on my 75th birthday — nothing!” Maybe that’s what I’m adjusting to.

Since we moved to Boulder I’ve been reflecting a lot on Maezumi Roshi and Trungpa Rinpoche, and how very young both of them were when they died. Trungpa Rinpoche died in 1987 at 47, and Maezumi Roshi died in 1995 at 64. So here I am 75-to-be, and I realize that in some ways they didn’t have the opportunity that I have. I’ve been gifted this chance, this opportunity, to actually grow older.

Seeing through Koans

I find koans very helpful and useful when I am trying to make a teaching point, using a koan to bring out a particular point. So I might be talking about, let’s say, karma, and then talk a little bit about how Hyakujo used the fox and related it to cause and effect and karma.  So I will quote that koan and give my understanding of it, but the koan…

May This New Year Bring More Unity

As 2018 comes to an end and we begin a new year, we are in a time of crisis where many are feeling hopeless, and fearing there’s no future for our children’s children. Old ways are no longer working. It is time for a change, and change is what must happen. Polarization is intensifying, leading to separation and conflict. Conflict and wars occur when two seemingly opposing sides draw lines…

In Memoriam, Roshi Bernie Glassman

  As many you have already heard the world has lost a great Bodhisattva and master. Bernie Tetsugen Glassman passed away yesterday. Roshi Bernie was Maezumi Roshi’s first Dharma Successor and the founder and creator of the Zen Peacemaker Order as well an influential Zen teacher. In January 2016, Bernie suffered a stroke, and was fighting cancer. He died Sunday morning in Massachusetts. He was 79. Roshi Bernie has had…

How I see the future of Big Mind

(From an introduction to a Big Mind Facilitator Training, September 23, 2018) It’s now almost twenty years since I first discovered Big Mind, and it’s evolved.  In that evolution what I’ve realized about the process and also about myself, is that I seem to come up with things in intervals of decades.  About 2009 I realized that almost ten years had passed and I saw that Big Mind was going…

Beyond Awakening

We have never been so polarized as we are today in all walks of life. Conflict and wars occur when two seemingly opposing sides draw lines in the sand, when two apparent realities are seen as separate and threatening to one another. It is happening in all areas of our society, religious, political, economic, racial, and moral. When we make these artificial separations we are already at war with the…

Genpo Roshi gives Inka to three of his Dharma successors

Genpo Roshi has given Inka Transmission, conferring the title of Zen Master, on three of his Dharma successors in the Netherlands, June 2018: Final Seal of Approval for Maurice Shonen Genko Knegtel Shonen: True ThoughtGenko:   Esoteric Light    Beyond thought and no thought,     Neither thought nor no thought,Is where you shall find True Thought! Given bySoten GenpoJune 26, 2018 Final Seal of Approval for Niko Sojun Tenko Tydeman Niko:  Broad LightSojun:…

What Is Big Mind/Big Heart Zen?

Leer en español Big Mind/Big Heart Zen is a Western Path, Way and Community which aims to assist its followers in manifesting their fullest potential, realizing and actualizing their inherent wisdom and compassion, and living happy and joyful lives filled with love and compassion, free and at home in their own skin. Coming from the synthesis or apex of our absolute and relative nature, it encompasses the yin and yang…

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