Practicing Awakening in These Very Times

This talk is from 2021. It was supposed to be about Cyber Zen, given my experience with such and the pandemic it seemed a fitting topic. However, I spent most of the time talking about the importance of awakening in our Soto tradition, telling a bunch of awakening stories of ancients and moderns like Katagiri Roshi.

So this is a version that a student edited and we've retitled it.

In the talk, I mention some data about the number of times Dogen used one of several characters for awakening in his Shobogenzo that I thought some of you might like in print, so I've copied that below. Thanks to Kokyo Henkel for this research and sharing it.

1155 uses of one of three characters commonly used for awakening,

Sho (verification) 446/38.6%;

Go (awakening opposed to delusion; satori) including 372/32%;

Kaku (awakening as if asleep; satori), 337/29%

Shikantaza: 6 (once every 200 pages)

Also if you view to the end, you'll hear me quote Suzuki Roshi saying,

"It's not that satori is unimportant, but it's not the part of Zen that needs to be stressed."

Kokyo, a third generation successor of Suzuki Roshi has said, "Maybe this was true for a bunch of acid-soaked hippy seekers looking for total enlightenment on their first day of zazen in 1967 - but maybe it does need to be more stressed in the corporate and ethics-based Zen world of 2021."

I hope you enjoy the talk.