Auckland Zen Centre: Dharma talks from Richard von Sturmer

Richard von Sturmer has a long history in Zen: from 1993 to 2003 he lived and worked at the Rochester Zen Center, a Buddhist community in upstate New York, then in 2004, back in New Zealand, he co-founded the Auckland Zen Centre along with Sensei Amala Wrightson. He has given many Dharma talks at the Centre, and some of them are collected here. Richard is also a writer and poet. Six collections of his writing have been published including: A Network of Dissolving Threads (AUP, 1991), Suchness: Zen Poetry and Prose (HeadworX, 2005), Book of Equanimity Verses (Puriri Press, 2013), This Explains Everything (Atuanui Press, 2016) and Postcard Stories (2019).

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2022-04-12 Sun Face Buddha, Moon Face Buddha

Updated about 1 year ago.

How Zen masters approach death and how their dying can act as their final teaching.

Shortly before his death, Master Mazu (Ma) and his attendant had this famous exchange, recorded in the Blue Cliff Record:
Blue Cliff Record, Case 3
Great Master Ma was unwell. The temple superintendent asked him, “Teacher, how has your venerable health been in recent days?”
The Great Master said, “Sun Face Buddha, Moon Face Buddha.”

In this Dharma talk given at the Auckland Zen Centre, Richard von Sturmer explores this exchange and what we can learn from it.

Automated transcript