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Suffering Earth: Chao Chou's Cypress Tree by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold

Suffering Earth: Chao Chou's Cypress Tree

by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold

Title Details

Audio Original
Running Time
49 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.

The 21st century is a critical time for our environment. Global warming, pollution, deforestation: the problems are large, and it's easy to feel helpless. Yet it's important not to get lost in despair; we can be serious about environmental problems and still be joyful. This ability is crucial not only for dealing with the environment, but also with spiritual practice. The earth's crisis is a physical manifestation of the crisis within us; if we don't see the one, we won't see the other. We can address the crisis within ourselves by awakening to the earth as a living being with a mystical reality, a living being that can show us how to deal with ignorance and delusion. If we let it, the earth will help us heal ourselves, which in turn allows us to heal the earth.

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