You can now listen to a dharma talk by BZC’s dharma teacher and senior priest Greg Snyder: Emboldening the Bodhisattva Heart in Demanding Times (01/21/2017).
As we enter women’s month, this talk, offered on January 21 last year, the day of Women’s March, comes as a reminder of our demanding times. Here are some excerpts of the talk:
For me, I am in part sitting today in solidarity with a lot of people who are walking today. And although there may be many who may frame that as a protest, which in many ways it is, it is also an affirmation of human beings, people, who are being thoughtlessly cast aside. So, may we today, here and there, affirm everyone.
There are not times that are not demanding. Not to take away from the importance of this moment in time, but for a bodhisattva there are never not demanding times. There is never a time when the suffering of the world is not being put in our hands to respond to.
And what we may personally consider demanding is what we have allowed into the space that we understand as who we are. “Now, this affects me in a very direct way because it touches who I am.” But who I think I am is this limited little tinny thing, right? If we let that grow, than other things are who I am. The child soldiers in our country, that we call gangs – are they me? If they are, then we’ve had demanding times for a while. The slave trade of women all over the world – is that me? If so, then we’ve had demanding times for some time. The coal miners in Appalachia, who have had their environment destroyed by massive corporations and left with no way of understanding what to do next – are they me? If we are, then we’ve had demanding times for a while.
It’s an interesting human habit to be able to say that I’m not willing to let another person’s reality in, but I expect them to be changed by mine. Not with the balanced expectation that I should be changed by theirs.
Greg Snyder will be leading a three-day sesshin, from March 16 to 18, on Renouncing Preferences, Unfolding Boundlessness. The registration for this offering closes March 9 and scholarship applications will be accepted until March 7.
You can find more dharma talks at the Audio Dharma section of this website.
Our programs are given free of charge and made possible by the donations we receive. If you would like to support Brooklyn Zen Center, please visit the “Giving” section of this website. A suggested donation of $10 per audio dharma talk is greatly appreciated.