Upaya Zen Center
By Joan Halifax | Zen Buddhist Teacher Upaya Abbot
About this podcast
This weekly Podcast includes the Wednesday evening "Dharma Talks (audio)" from Upaya Zen Center and supports our mission: to provide a context for community practice, education in Buddhism and social service in the areas of death and dying, prison work, the environment, womens rights and peace-work. Our vision focuses on the integration of practice and social action, bringing together wisdom and compassion.

Episodes (Total: 130 / Page: 1)
July 24, 2017 · 00:48:21
Episode Description: Sensei Kaz Tanahashi begins his talk by speaking about the Four Noble Truths. Sensei Kaz then introduces his own “Four Commonplace Truths.” He says, “no situation is impossible to change,” which is a more “positive” understanding of impermanence, as something we can take advantage of, rather than something that merely happens to us. The […]
July 17, 2017 · 00:41:53
Episode Description: Sensei Kaz Tanahashi begins this talk by introducing Dogen’s “Body and Mind” essay, which is the theme for the sesshin that started the day before. Sensei Kaz talks about completing the first translation of the essay into English, 40 years ago, and all of the work he has done translating Dogen since then. “We […]
July 16, 2017 · 00:50:14
Episode Description: In this closing session, the entire Zen Brain faculty participates in a discussion of the themes covered during the course of the program. Questions and responses are solicited from the audience, and the faculty wraps-up and says goodbye to one another and the program participants. To help keep these podcasts freely available, we hope […]
July 15, 2017 · 00:52:40
Episode Description: In his talk, Dr. John Dunne examines the western notion of retributive justice. Using as an example some inheritance he recently received, Dr. Dunne asks us, “Do I deserve that money?” Our commonly held notion of justice, he suggests, consists of inflicting suffering on people to create “balance.” Dr. Dunne then contrasts this kind […]
July 10, 2017 · 00:32:57
Episode Description: In this talk, Roshi Enkyo O’Hara analyses the first four lines of Dogen’s Genjōkōan. She tells us that she feels that the text is best appreciated as poetry, and begins by offering several possible translations of the title, before settling on her own translation: “showing up for your life.” As Roshi Enkyo describes the […]
July 9, 2017 · 01:15:36
Episode Description: In this session, the entire Zen Brain faculty participates in a discussion of the themes covered during the course of the day. Questions are taken from the audience. To help keep these podcasts freely available, we hope you will consider making a suggested donation of $25 to our Dharma Podcast Fund.
July 8, 2017 · 01:49:43
Episode Description: Dr. John Paul Lederach begins his talk, “The Inter-relational Systemic Ethics of Re-humanization” with three stories in which peace overcame widespread violent conflict. Dr. Lederach presents a four-part cycle: suffering, projection of blame, polarization, and dehumanization. He then suggests a view, the “inner-relational-systemic” which he believes can counteract the dehumanization which is the product […]
July 3, 2017 · 00:43:26
Episode Description: Sensei Genzan Quennell begins his talk with a discussion of Santōka Taneda, who was a wandering monk and haiku poet in Japan at the turn of the twentieth century. Taneda writes: “Just as it is/It rains, I get wet, I walk.” Sensei Genzan asks us, “Towards what are we walking?” He talks about how our […]
July 2, 2017 · 01:02:39
Episode Description: In his talk, “Developing an Integrative Framework,” Dr. Al Kaszniak examines the notion of moral reasoning. By presenting two simple thought experiments, he explores the extent pre-conscious emotional influences on our moral decision-making. Using fMRI studies, he explores the relationship between our conscience, sense of self, and selflessness. He proposes that lack of attention […]
July 2, 2017 · 01:12:43
Episode Description: In this session, Dr. Cynda Rushton explores a contemplative approach to moral and ethical issues in health care. After describing some of the difficult moral questions she faces in her work, she poses the question, “What are the values we want to bring into these situations, and into our everyday lives?” Dr. Rushton then […]
June 26, 2017 · 00:42:01
Episode Description: Steven Batchelor begins his talk by describing how realizing the nature of emptiness leads us to a fuller appreciation of beauty. He contrasts a cognitive experience of the Dharma, which comes from philosophical understanding, with an affective experience which, he says, “allows us to feel differently. It opens up a capacity for us to […]
June 25, 2017 · 01:04:41
Episode Description: In this session, the entire Zen Brain faculty participates in a discussion of the themes covered during the course of the day. Questions are taken from the audience. To help keep these podcasts freely available, we hope you will consider making a suggested donation of $25 to our Dharma Podcast Fund.
June 24, 2017 · 00:35:32
Episode Description: In this session, Evan Thompson, Rhonda Magee, and Richard Davidson engage in a dialogue and take questions about their presentations from the audience. To help keep these podcasts freely available, we hope you will consider making a suggested donation of $25 to our Dharma Podcast Fund.
June 19, 2017 · 00:43:55
Episode Description: Sean Murphy begins by telling the story of Bodhidharma’s encounter with the Chinese Emperor Wu. At the end of the story, the emperor asks Bodhidharma, “Who are you?” and Bodhidharma responds, “I don’t know.” Sean explores this notion of “not-knowing,” which is central to our practice. He suggests that “thinking is no more than a tiny […]
June 18, 2017 · 00:57:51
Episode Description: Dr. Richard Davidson begins his presentation with the sentence “The after is the before for the next during.” By altering our baseline, he proposes that meditation creates enduring change; contemplative practice engenders “altered traits,” rather than “altered states.” This concept is the basis for the title of his forthcoming book, Altered Traits. In his […]
June 17, 2017 · 01:12:57
Episode Description: Rhonda Magee begins her talk, “Deepening Social Justice Through Awareness and Compassion Practices,” by contrasting her professional identities (such as being a law professor and an academic) with identities that have been socially imposed upon her (such as being a woman and a person of color). Our identities set us up for certain experiences […]
June 12, 2017 · 00:39:36
Episode Description: In this episode, Matthew Denkatsu Palevsky gives a “way seeking mind” talk, the traditional first Dharma talk by a priest. In his talk, he examines a famous line from Dogen’s Fukanzazengi in the context of his own spiritual path. Dogen writes, “Stop searching for phrases and chasing after words. Take the backwards step and […]
June 10, 2017 · 00:44:42
Episode Description: In his talk entitled, “Ethics of Science and Experience in the Age of the Anthropocene,” Dr. Evan Thompson explores the relationship between science and contemplative practice in the context of our current geological age of human impact on planet Earth. Using the concept of the “lifeworld” originated by the German Phenomenologist Edmund Husserl, Dr. […]
June 9, 2017 · 01:05:58
Series Description: We live in a time of extraordinary moral and ethical challenges and moral suffering, at personal, social, cultural, environmental, and global levels. We need to understand more deeply the value of developing moral sensitivity, moral character, and moral resilience in a world imperiled by moral and ethical conflicts. We also want to explore the neural […]
June 5, 2017 · 00:43:42
Episode Description: Roshi Joan Halifax begins the talk by acknowledging the turmoil surrounding the Paris Climate Accord and the death of one of Upaya’s dear neighbors. Wendy Johnson then speaks about how her Zen practice was born out of her political activism, and how she met Soen Nakagawa Roshi in Jerusalem. “Dharma for me is rooted […]