Blue Collar Zen

by spiritual folk-tales & conversations, at the Detroit Zen Center

Come into the tea-room & with Zen monks Hwalson, and his student Myungju, at the Detroit Zen Center, as they read spiritual folk-tales, and share conversations about them.

Podcast episodes

  • Season 4

  • Cutting up of the Ox

    Cutting up of the Ox

    A simple cook teaches his ruler (the Emperor) about the Tao.

  • Season 3

  • Yielding, with the 4 Adepts

    Yielding, with the 4 Adepts

    The 4 Adepts is a story read from the Chuang Tzu. The theme is 'yielding'. Story read by Abbot Hwalson Sunim, then a conversation afterward together with Vice-Abbot Myungju Sunim. On the 4 Adepts (Taoist Sages): As Adept Cart becomes sick and faces death, he shares with us & his fellow sages his own fearless and yielding view of death, as a simple extension of the eventual passing of all things.... This version of Chuang Tzu has been translated by David Hinton, and is part of his collection The 4 Classics (of Taoism). Thank you for listening...

  • Let Go?

    Let Go?

    Welcome to the 3rd season. A man journeys home through misty mountains & beauty in old Korea. As previous karma follows his path, he meets with unexpected fortune, & terror. Letting Go, written by Zen Master Daehaeng, presents us with a story to which we might all relate. Zen Master Daehaeng (1927 - 2012) was a Buddhist nun began her spiritual life at the age of 8 in Korea, before its split into North & South. As an enlightened master, she taught for more than 40 years at the Han Ma Um Center (founded 1972), and broke many of the traditional roles in Korean Buddhism, by having both male & female disciples, and teaching that people from all walks of life could practice & awaken to their true nature.

  • Red Bean Porridge Bubbling

    Red Bean Porridge Bubbling

    Enter the world of Zen nuns. A common kitchen nun finds her teacher's instruction simple enough, but eventually the endless work & burden of cooking in the zen community becomes a serious complication in her quest for mental, emotional & spiritual peace. Frustrated, hastily she makes the fire to prepare the winter solstice dish -- red bean porridge -- and winds up at the brink.

  • Season 2

  • A Little Talk about Evening Things Out

    A Little Talk about Evening Things Out

    Six thousand years ago two Taoist masters were on a walk. Master Timid Magpie asked the elder Master Noble Tree a question about the Way of things. Some questions are timeless, felt in the heart of ancient humans as deeply as we feel them in our own hearts & minds. Welcome to my teacher's tea room, where we share this story, and a simple conversation about it. Today's podcast weaves meditation, Taoism, chickens & eggs, Zen, practice as a routine, and other subjects. We hope you enjoy the winding road of this morning's Christmas story.