Katagiri Transcripts

Zen Dharma Talks by Dainin Katagiri Roshi, transcribed and read by Kikan Michael Howard.

Dainin Katagiri Roshi was one of the prominent Zen masters who brought Soto Zen Buddhism from Japan to America. Audio recordings of his talks, recorded from 1979 to 1989, are made available by Minnesota Zen Meditation Center, but since he was a non-native speaker and the recording quality varied, he can be difficult to understand. Here these talks are carefully transcribed and read by second-generation student Kikan Michael Howard, with the intention of staying as true as possible to Katagiri Roshi’s words, while smoothing out the grammar to make them easier to understand.

Episodes Date

Katagiri Roshi introduces a long-running series of talks on The Blue Cliff Record, a renowned collection of one hundred koans (or “public cases”) in the Zen tradition. The first case is the famous sto...
May 25, 2021
If, as the Diamond Sutra says, there is no dharma which the Buddha Shakyamuni has experienced, no dharma which the Buddha Shakyamuni has preached, then how does the Buddha experience and preach the dh...
May 18, 2021
Why is the the perfection of generosity the most important quality in Mahayana Buddhism, and what is true generosity, and true love? Katagiri Roshi explains how generosity relates to emptiness, or vas...
May 11, 2021
What is a Buddha, and what does a Buddha experience? Katagiri Roshi describes three kinds of enlightenment: kaku (awareness), satori, and sho (realization or verification). He explains three aspects o...
April 20, 2021
Why should we not be disappointed with this world, if there seems to be nothing to help us? To answer this question, Katagiri Roshi examines the aspect of Buddhist teaching that is no perception of se...
April 5, 2021
The conclusion to the series of talks on Fukanzazengi takes place during a dramatic thunderstorm, the sounds of which Katagiri Roshi integrates into the talk. The Buddha does zazen during a thundersto...
March 22, 2021
Katagiri Roshi talks about “body and mind dropping off” from a different angle, from a psychological point of view. This talk focuses on samskara, which is usually translated as ‘impulses’, one of the...
March 16, 2021
Katagiri Roshi talks about the difference between zazen itself and seeing zazen “before zazen” or “after zazen”, using the example of Genshi Shibi in “One Bright Pearl”. In an extended question and an...
February 16, 2021
Katagiri Roshi discusses the meaning of the line, “In surveying the past, we find that transcendence of both un-enlightenment and enlightenment, and dying while either sitting or standing, have all de...
January 28, 2021
Katagiri Roshi examines the meaning of the line “from the first, dullness and distraction are struck aside” from another angle. He talks about three different kinds of zazen (sitting meditation), and ...
January 19, 2021
Katagiri Roshi reviews the six-component system for understanding zazen that he introduced in the previous talk. He further discusses the relationship between regulation of body and mind, samadhi (one...
December 22, 2020
This is the first of seven talks on Fukanzazengi, Zen Master Dogen’s universal recommendations for how to practice zazen (seated meditation). This series of talks took place during a seven-day sesshin...
December 11, 2020
Katagiri Roshi discusses the fundamental point that the Diamond Sutra teaches: “‘A’ is ‘A’, but ‘A’ is not ‘A’, this means ‘A’ is really ‘A’.” He explains the meaning of negation in Buddhism, how it r...
November 26, 2020
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