Zencare Podcast

Listen to dharma talks from the teachers and guest teachers of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. Buddhist teachings are woven into topics such as contemplative care, engaged Buddhism, social change, meditation and stillness, dealing with addiction, being with suffering, and the arts and challenges of care for the self and others.

48:39 2022-07-28
“What helps to enrich us and make us strong is not favorable circumstances, but failure, misfortune, or illness. What matters most is how we take misfortune. The saying ‘A branch of plum blossoms harmonizes fragrantly with snow’ teaches us how to de...
16:28 2022-07-25
If you do, you can. If you don’t, you can’t. When you say you can’t do what can be done, It means you haven’t set out to do it. —Junkyo Oishi (1888-1968)   Pulling from Zen Seeds, Shundo Aoyama Rōshi’s timeless book on life and practice, Ko...
25:02 2022-06-17
“Prajnatara asked, ‘What amongst all things is the greatest?’ Bodhidharma said, ‘True nature, of all things, is the greatest.’”   In this dharma talk, Sensei Koshin shares a koan describing the meeting between Prajnatara and Bodhidharma, whic...
24:57 2022-06-02
Fear can lead us to do regretful, hateful, and even violent things. Lion’s Roar & NYZC’s new online course Medicine for Fear is inspired by Zen teacher Eihei Dogen’s essential instructions for awakening. The course, featuring Sensei Koshin and Sense...
23:10 2022-04-29
“To devote ourselves to everything we encounter and throw our life force into doing just that is quite different from simply exhausting our energies playing with toys.” —Kōshō Uchiyama Rōshi   In celebration of the Shakyamuni Buddha’s birthday...
25:49 2022-04-08
“How are you cultivating that space of no separation in each moment?”   Koshin Paley Ellison delivers a talk on the importance of commitment in relationship, whether it be commitment in how you show up for others in your community or the steadiness y...
21:19 2022-03-18
What are the ingredients that go into your decisions today?   Sensei Chodo delivers a vulnerable dharma talk on a koan in which you find yourself trapped in an impossible situation and asks: “How can you get out?” Though koan practice is unusual in t...
36:27 2022-03-11
“Big mind, then, is not a matter of meditation on some vast floating spatial dimension. It is the practice of entirely devoting your life to each and everything that you encounter, no matter what it might be.” As the New York Zen Center continues in i...
57:38 2022-03-01
For more than a decade, NYZC’s Foundations in Contemplative Care has transformed the lives of individuals from across the country and around the world by supporting the integration of spiritual practice and caregiving. In this info session (recorded on ...
29:24 2022-02-18
“How can you embody being settled into the Way?”   In this dharma talk, Koshin Paley Ellison cites our Zen ancestor, Dōgen Zenji, who, in his various guides explains that those who hold positions within sanghas are monks “settled in the Way”. Ko...
22:13 2022-02-04
“It is not valid to equate a fact, as real as it may seem to be, with the truth. It is just self deception. We deceive ourselves by believing a fact that exists in our mind is an absolute truth” —Kōshō Uchiyama   In this dharma talk, Koshin Paley...
44:55 2022-01-28
“What I would encourage you to do is to reflect on: how you how you’ve deceived yourself this past year, how you’ve made excuses, and how can you take responsibility.”   On the eve of the new year, Koshin Paley Ellison and Chodo Robert Campbell ...
18:54 2021-12-18
“If you just surrender your life to the dharma, then you no longer have to worry what the future will bring. You will bring forth the future out of your surrender. Just drink tea and the dharma will come to you. You don’t have to chase it. It is chasi...
28:31 2021-11-20
“I’ve been practicing for twenty years and it’s so wonderful that I’m still not sure what practice is.” Sensei Shinzan Palma joins the NYZC sangha to deliver a dharma talk on the varying dimensions of practice. He shares his own journey in under...
27:06 2021-11-13
“Maintaining the sangha and showing up to serve the Buddhadharma is something beyond us, beyond ‘me’.”   Sensei Koshin delivers a dharma talk on perseverance and dedication to practice. He shares the story of Parsha, the 10th ancestor of Shakyamu...
28:31 2021-11-01
“When we give to others, we give without expectation or reward. We give without attachment to the gift or the recipient.” —Shakyamuni Buddha   Chodo Robert Campbell delivers a dharma talk on Dāna, the Pali word for generosity, or as Chodo refers t...
21:00:00 2021-10-04
“Can you find the steadiness of your practice even when you don’t want to? Can you show up even when you’re not feeling well in your body-mind?”   During the last practice period and in the midst of a full day Zazenkai, Koshin Paley Ellison deliv...
23:59 2021-08-14
“Many of us use spiritual practice as a transaction. We say to ourselves, ‘if I log in enough hours, I will get something.’”   In this dharma talk, Koshin Paley Ellison draws from one of this year’s practice texts, Bendōwa, in which Eihei Doge...
25:36 2021-07-24
“If I can practice having tenderness and compassion for my own experience, it’s like having a couple of extra windows in your house. You can then see what other people are going through and then we can have companionship.”   Further expanding on Be...
33:23 2021-07-10
“Zazen has nothing whatsoever to do with whether you’re sitting upright or lying down.”   Examining one of this year’s Commit to Sit practice texts, Koshin Paley Ellison reflects on the teachings of the Zen ancestor, Eihei Dogen, and how they rel...
27:42 2021-07-03
“How do you experience the sound of raindrops as they land on the surface of the water? The breeze against your face if you’re flying in the sky? Or are you just ambling through your life with closed eyes? Stuck in your ‘I, I, I’, ‘me, me, me’...
24:08 2021-06-26
“All people throughout the world are, without a doubt, equally imprinted with Buddha nature.”—Eihei Dogen   As the Zen Center begins to slowly open its doors for in-person sits, Koshin Paley Ellison addresses the different ways in which we defile o...
27:03 2021-06-12
“Part of our practice is to educate ourselves about history but also about how we work with our rage; how we work with our feelings of difference.”   On May 30th, 2021, the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Massacres, Koshin Paley Ellison discusses the ...
31:21 2021-05-29
“What do you do in the face of horror, the face of fear, the face of the unknown? How do we give each other the courage to dig into curiosity and generosity?”   As conflicts in the Middle East spawn rising tension and animosity, Koshin Paley Ellison ...
32:55 2021-05-22
“How can my actions today foster and nourish other people’s spiritual lives?”   Drawing upon Case 33 of The Book of Equanimity, Koshin details the interaction between Sanshô and Seppô, in which the younger monk addresses his senior with contempt....
21:39 2021-05-15
“Treading the Mountain Path,  The Violets Fill My Heart, With indefinable gracefulness. Though no one pays any attention to the violets along the path, they still bloom, quietly beautifully elegantly.“   —Basho   In this recent dharma talk, Chodo...
27:36 2021-05-08
“The world is a beautiful place to be born into, if you don’t mind a touch of hell.”   On one of the final days of our last practice period, Koshin Paley Ellison discusses the importance of getting up, even after failing miserably. He also asks us ...
26:14 2021-05-01
“But the curse of this charm is exile from the unlucky, how gifts make you deaf to the sudden shout   of a man camped in the ravine, make you blind to the dirty face of a woman with a cardboard sign.   Without hunger, it’s easy to be heartless. With...
24:42 2021-04-24
“There is not a single thing that is not Buddha.”   On the night after the center’s first Shuso empowerment, Chodo Robert Campbell discusses the importance of the Shuso, or senior student. As someone who had gone through this training period himsel...
22:35 2021-04-13
“We are here to feel all of the waves, from the great joys to the great sorrows.”   In this Sunday morning dharma talk, Koshin Paley Ellison discusses the need and the difficulty of opening and closing (when appropriate) to life. As he describes it, ...
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