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Rochester Zen Center Teisho (Zen Talks)

By Rochester Zen Center

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Dharma talks by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede and others. Roshi Kjolhede is abbot of the Rochester Zen Center and Dharma heir of Roshi Philip Kapleau.

Customer Reviews

Long-time listener, disappointed by recent episode

For several years, I lived on East Ave in Rochester, NY and sat regularly at RZC, and attended sesshin. These talks are (mostly) recordings of teisho delivered by Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede after sitting on Sunday mornings. They are usually very helpful, and many inspire sober reflection and greater resolve in my practice. I moved away years ago, so I'm grateful to have access to these.

That being said, I was unpleasantly surprised by the 7 July 2015 teisho. From about 1:30 to 3:00 in this particular talk, Roshi Kjolhede expresses a disturbing idea about compassion in relation to gender--I hesitate to call it sexist, since that is an oversimplification of the spirit of what he says. Nonetheless, it reveals a strong bias that he does not attempt to qualify, namely, that women are more naturally compassionate than men. Shortly after two minutes, he even invites those listening to "think of the men in your life, think of the women in your life--who is more likely to be there [...] when you need help?"

I paused playback at that point, just to process what he'd said. I've met and spoken with Roshi Kjolhede, and received dokusan from him. And although he is (titles aside) a living man, feet on earth, married, etc., he does not usually intentionally lead people to hold opinions about things like this. I don't think I had ever heard him express such a strong gender bias until this. I listened to the rest of the talk, but this thought was very hard to dispel--the content of the talk was actually rendered even more relevant, but the voice delivering it was no longer neutral.

Of course I disagree with the sentiment he expresses--in my life, men and women have apparently been equally capable of feeling compassion, and of behaving with compassion. But this is beside the point, which is that I don't think I can listen to Roshi Kjolhede anymore.

A great resource

As a new member of the RZC, I am glad to have these as a way to "catch up" with Roshi's teishos and talks from others. As mentioned, the sound quality is first rate. The teishos are extremely practical, and not dense at all.

A great resource even for beginners like me.

The real thing...

Plenty here. Dig in. Excellent audio quality that is lacking in many other podcasts of this nature.

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Rochester Zen Center Teisho (Zen Talks)
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  • Category: Buddhism
  • Language: English

Customer Ratings