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How to Make the Right Choice: Guishan Cuts a Snake by John Daido Loori Roshi

How to Make the Right Choice: Guishan Cuts a Snake

by John Daido Loori Roshi

Title Details

Audio Original
Running Time
50 Min.


Zen Buddhism emphasizes meditation as the means to study ourselves and understand who we truly are. The Mountains and Rivers Order of Zen Buddhism (MRO) was founded in 1980 by American Zen Master John Daido Loori, Roshi. The MRO is an organization of associated temples, practice centers, and sitting groups in the United States and abroad. Daido Roshi is the abbot of the MRO's main house, Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Tremper, NY, and Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei is resident teacher at the MRO's New York City affiliate, Zen Center of New York City: Fire Lotus Temple. The MRO seeks to provide modern training that integrates spiritual practice with daily life. Dharma talks are an essential aspect of Zen training, and the talks offered here were given at both Zen Mountain Monastery and the Zen Center of New York City.

Every day we are faced with moral decisions, and it's often difficult to know how to act. If there's a snake in our garden, do we kill it? If our co-worker is stealing from the company, is it our obligation to speak up? What if we tell our children not to lie, then the phone rings and we ask them to say we're not home? In this compelling talk, Daido Roshi explores the role of morality and ethics in our lives.

Many people think that Zen Buddhism is not concerned with ethics, but, in fact, 16 moral precepts form the core of Zen practice. These precepts differ from precepts in Western religions, and include statements such as "Affirm life: do not kill" and "Manifest truth: do not lie". Roshi stresses that these precepts are not regulations, but are in fact creative; we need to develop a flexibility that allows us to respond to life's challenges as they arise. He offers advice on overcoming the blocks created by our own thinking and grasping, thereby allowing us to live our lives in a fresh way without causing harm to ourselves or others.

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More Details

  • Published: February 2006
  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: H041945
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