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Letting Go of Fantasy: Dongshan's Each Stitch by John Daido Loori Roshi

Letting Go of Fantasy: Dongshan's Each Stitch

by John Daido Loori Roshi

Title Details

Audio Original
Running Time
44 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.

How much of your daily life is taken up by fantasy? The reality is that most of us go through our entire day, indeed, our entire lives, caught up in make-believe stories. Although fantasy seems more compelling than everyday tasks like sewing, sweeping, or cooking, it's an incredibly wasteful activity that takes us away from the vivid world of the present moment. In Zen training, the first thing we do is start working on the fantasy: each time a thought comes up, we acknowledge it, let it go, then come back to the breath. We develop the ability to put our mind where we want it, when we want it, for as long as we want it there. It takes patience and effort, but eventually our senses bloom and we find ourselves totally present and full of appreciation for the moment-to-moment miracle of life.

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