Talks by Zen Roshi, Lola McDowell Lee

by I & A Publishing

This is a series of newly digitized talks by spiritual teacher, Lola McDowell Lee, spanning two decades—from the early Seventies through the Nineties.

Lola was a Zen Roshi whose Rinzai lineage included Doctor Henry Platov and renowned Zen master, Shigetsu Sasaki. Lola was a religious scholar as well as an ordained Christian minister.

While the talks are focused mainly on Zen and Buddhism, Lola drew on many spirit ... 

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Podcast episodes

  • Season 2

  • Once we understand we are not the masters of our thoughts—but victims—we can stop cooperating. Lola Mar 17, 1985

    Once we understand we are not the masters of our thoughts—but victims—we can stop cooperating. Lola Mar 17, 1985

    Zen Roshi, Lola McDowell Lee, recounts tales of Master Fugai. Lola gives a detailed explanation of meditation. How the word meditation, historically, has been thought to mean thinking, pondering. But in Zen it’s just the opposite. In Zen meditation you sit, and can watch your thoughts go by, but you do not get swept up by them. If you observe closely you’ll start to see that your thoughts create a circular pattern… over and over, and at the center of this circle is a point with which you are identified: anger, or greed or some other kind of self-centeredness. Once we understand we are not the masters of our thoughts—but victims—we can stop cooperating, stop remaining a victim of them. When you sit, don’t cling to thoughts or emotions. Just sit. And be. Zen is not something you just read in a book. It is an encounter with reality. Also, Lola discusses how religions can broadly be divided into two different approaches: the path of the heart and the path of the mind. You can pursue God through your heart—with love. Not romantic love, or sexual love. But God’s love, or agape. Lola Mar 17, 1985

  • The tale of the visitor who asked Zen master Bankei what miracles he could perform. Aug 6, 1989

    The tale of the visitor who asked Zen master Bankei what miracles he could perform. Aug 6, 1989

    Zen Roshi, Lola McDowell Lee, discusses how we’re all waiting for the most extraordinary teacher. We want only the best. The tale of the visitor who asked Zen master Bankei what miracles he could perform. His answer is lovely Zen. Lola lso, understanding the concept of “don’t know.” It’s very difficult. We all prefer to be clever, which obscures our original mind. If you recognize the original mind, will you reincarnate? Bunka says it won’t matter to you. That is the interest of the ego. Listen to the teacher with no inner commentary. The unconditioned is pure consciousness. Even in our dreams we have a censor that doesn’t allow some material to come up from our unconscious. (Lola has a bad cough through this talk). Aug 6, 1989

  • Easter of 1985 - What Zen practitioners can learn from the story of Christ's Resurrection. Apr 7, 1985

    Easter of 1985 - What Zen practitioners can learn from the story of Christ's Resurrection. Apr 7, 1985

    Zen Roshi and ordained Christian minister, Lola McDowell Lee, gives this talk during Easter of 1985. She explores the Resurrection of Christ. You can experience the Resurrection yourself. Your deathless existence is within you. It is the Godseed. The tale of the king who leaves his three sons each a bag of seed and asks them to best preserve them in his absence. The seed must die in order to grow. The tale of a man walking peacefully among the throngs racing through Pompeii during the volcanic eruption. Also, how during our practices we grope inside ourselves. At first what we find may puzzle us, but eventually what we will find is magnificent. Apr 7, 1985

  • Second in a series about using Transactional Analysis in Zen - the Child, Parent, Adult. Lola Oct 13, 1983

    Second in a series about using Transactional Analysis in Zen - the Child, Parent, Adult. Lola Oct 13, 1983

    Zen Roshi, Lola McDoweel Lee, explains how we all call ourselves an I, but there is only one—which everyone appropriates for themselves. Eventually our thoughts, voices, identifications eclipse the I. We adopt styles from lots of people—actors, ministers, anyone who appeals to us. The second in a series about the Transactional Analysis approach of Child, Parent, Adult. Child enjoys the moment through feeling, often irrationally. The Parental Voice then comes in to caution the child. The Adult brings reason. But Adult reason alone is not the answer. Lola Oct 13, 1983

  • Learning to work with three elements of our identity: the parent, the child and the adult. Oct 6, 1983

    Learning to work with three elements of our identity: the parent, the child and the adult. Oct 6, 1983

    Zen Roshi, Lola McDowell Lee, explains three parts of our psychology working against each other --the parent, the child and the adult. The child’s impulses and emotions shouldn’t be in control. The parent alone can be dominating.The adult hold to reason only, which can make for a flat life. Some part will be dissatisfied. Ideally, we become a part of all three. The Buddha doesn’t choose one. He takes the middle path, a the center of all three. Three stages of our development: 1. We do something and are aware we did it. 2. We ask ourself “What am I doing?” 3. We are going to do something, but our awareness stops us. Pratyahara means being present. Awareness, mindfulness, stops you. It is difficult to repent without putting your ego back into it. True correction is reform. Insults are meaningless unless you accept them. How to sit with this? Be mindful and you can have the spontaneity of the child and the reason of the adult and parent. Then the three become one—the single I. Oct 6, 1983