Selected audio files or transcripts of dharma talks (Teishoes) given by our guiding teacher, Kritee Kanko, during Zen retreats. For accessing interviews, podcasts, articles and videos, please see this page.


Joshu’s Mu
Mu is the gateway to all subsequent koan work in our tradition. Why?
— Talk on Day 4 of April 2019 retreat: M4A audio
— Talk after a half day sit: MP3 audio

Brilliance and shadows of Zen tradition
— Joshu examines the two hermits: First day talk during May 2019 retreat focusing on gifts that Zen tradition can offer our ailing world (M4A audio)
— Kisagotami’s mustard seed: Second day talk during May 2019 retreat focusing on shadows of Zen tradition and importance of acknowledging our grief and shame (M4A audio)

Ordinary mind is the way
What is our collective responsibility in times of 2500 years of accumulated trauma? How do we restore natural “relaxed” “baby” trusting mind beyond fight, flight, freeze and fawn (excessive praise) (M4A audio)

Proceed on from the top of the pole
Talk on the last day of Rohatsu 2019 sesshin. Koan of belonging as we go out in the world. How do we create healthy communities that are necessary for inner and outer work? (M4A audio)

Zuigan calls his master
Talk on last of May 2019 retreat that addresses self-criticism, the need to distinguish between individual and systemic issues, internal family systems like dialogues and other healing methods. The talk invites us to ask, “Who is the master” “Who is listening?” and “Who is observing?” (M4A audio)

Ryutetsuma – The old female buffalo (Get drunk on Mu and strategize)
On the meeting of Zen and ancient Indian path of bhakti. And what we can we do after we have drunk the finest wine called Mu. Choboji Rohatsu 2017 (MP3 audio).

Nansen cuts the cat in two
Addresses “Not-two” and the relationship between different kinds of Mahayana and Theravada meditation techniques (MP3 audio).

Kyosei’s pecking and tapping
Why do we sit so much? How do we come down the mountain and enter a world full of individual and collective trauma? (MP3 audio)

Moshan’s Mountain Summit
On power inherent in a teacher’s role, patriarchy, bamboo breathing and Mu – from third day of September 2018 sesshin. (M4A Audio)

A Non-Buddhist Philosopher Questions the Buddha
Kanko’s first teisho to her root sangha in May 2013. Read the transcribed teisho here.

Golden carp is out of the net
On stepping out in the world after an intense meditation retreat and pregnancy of emptiness. Last day of September 2018 sesshin (M4A audio)

Layman Pang’s beautiful snowflakes
On the ongoing lack of socio-economic diversity in sanghas, planetary level ecological crises and how koans apply to non-violent direct action (see page 4 of Choboji newsletter).

Short articles

Why do YOU want to meditate? Ask yourself what makes you curious about meditation? When our question is clear, answer follows much more easily!

Koan training: Basics

Selfless self-compassion (along with guided metta meditation) – A student’s blog. Zen tradition usually doesn’t emphasize loving-kindness but we feel that self-care is crucial and can be selfless. What does it mean to fill our own cup before we start pouring nectar and healing for others?

Long articles

Ecodharma teachings

Three pillars of Eco-Dharma (sacred) activism
What are the ingredients of spiritually-rooted activism? Why is working on our inner equanimity and our education not enough? What happens when we work on our inner healing and also help others in our community heal but not pay attention to strategic education about what ails our planet? Why does our effort to engage in spiritually-rooted activism get derailed?

Eco-dharma community: How are ecodharma friendships different?
Many of us know what dharma communities look like. If we have meditated with a group before, we have seen at least one kind of dharma community! But how is an ecodharma community different? How does it mean to work for both inner “individual level” and outer “societal level” change?

One movement towards joy, health, harmony, kindness and justice
We have only so much energy and resources. There are so many social-justice, economic, political and ecological problems. Which problem should I focus on? And how is one problem related to another problem? This article explores intersectionality between many different socio-political issues!

For other articles, blogs, videos & presentations at the intersection of ecological crisis and spirituality, please see this page.

Ethics and transformation

The Zen circle and the human tangent. Why Zazen (in the times of scandals)?

Over the past few years, scandals surrounding several prominent Zen teachers have left a question mark in the mind of many aspiring meditators, and even advanced practitioners. If teacher after teacher has not gotten rid of his neurotic and manipulative tendencies after decades of practice, why should we have anything to do with Zen?  Why should we not throw Zen away from our lives? Read the entire article here.

If you have any questions and concerns regarding us, please visit this page to give us feedback or please contact our teachers and peers.

*In our tradition, the person who delivers a teisho/dharma talk uses koans to anchor the content and does not usually use written notes. The teisho is woven together at the time of delivery and the sentences are often not complete when the talk is delivered. To clarify the meaning, edits and additions are inserted after transcription.