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bell hooks says, “Beloved community is formed not by the eradication of difference but by its affirmation, by each of us claiming the identities and cultural legacies that shape who we are and how we live in the world.” How do we reconcile – can we reconcile – this affirmation of cultural identities and the value of difference with Buddhist concepts of Oneness and the illusory nature of the Self? How do we learn and practice cultural humility in order to become worthy vessels for the sacred stories of the people with whom we share public spaces, yet whom we know very little about? After this Dharma talk, by Mushim, was given at San Francisco Zen Center’s City Center, co-director of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship Dawn Haney wrote a related article titled “Is it possible to unravel racism in mostly white U.S. Buddhist centers?”

A Dharma talk given by Mushim on August 15, 2012 at the San Francisco Zen Center’s City Center.


Dharma talk on why we like being blown about by the Eight Winds (Worldly Concerns) of Gain and Loss, Praise and Blame, Fame and Disrepute, and Pleasure and Pain, even when buying into them repeatedly causes us suffering. How do we unplug from the reality show? What are the antidotes to setting ourselves up for the pain of losing when we crave the thrill of winning?

A Dharma talk given by Mushim on March 4, 2012 at the Gay Buddhist Sangha in San Francisco.


Dharma talk on the benefit of applying the cooling and steadying wisdom factor of equanimity  (upeksha; upekkha) to compassion, joy, and loving kindness.  The latter three Brahmaviharas, or Four Immeasurables,  may be experienced as more exciting than equanimity.  Yet, because it embodies a long run and big picture view, equanimity helps us to contact more of the complex and varied nature of reality.

A Dharma talk given by Mushim on December 4, 2011 at the Gay Buddhist Fellowship in San Francisco.

Dharma talk on Mindfulness and the Middle Way in Leading Others

What are the principles of a Dharmic approach to leadership? Can the Buddha’s teachings on the Middle Way make a difference when applied to leadership in our schools, organizations, families and spiritual communities? And what does any of this have to do with Harriet Tubman, the Zen concept of “mirror mind,” and the TED talk on how to start a movement?

A Dharma talk given by Mushim on August 14,2011 at the Gay Buddhist Sangha in San Francisco.


Dharma talk by Mushim

In support of the May 1, 2011 virtual sit supporting the Vallecitos Mountain Refuge People of Color Retreat, “108 Minutes of Peace”


Do we understand the true nature of impermanence? How can we practice letting go of what we cherish? Are we open to that experience being… surprisingly okay?

A Dharma talk given by Mushim on March 6,2011 at the Gay Buddhist Sangha in San Francisco.


What does it take to build the spiritual community in which we want to live? What’s the nitty gritty of “walking the path of peace” in a multicultural society? A Dharma talk given by Mushim on February 6, 2011, at the Sacramento Buddhist Meditation group



A Dharma talk given by Mushim Patricia Ikeda on Wednesday July 14 2010, at San Francisco Zen Center


Skillful Effort or Right Diligence is one of the eight aspects of the Eightfold Noble Path of practice. To hear the Dharma talk I recently gave at the Spirit Rock 2009 People of Color Meditation Retreat, go to my page at You can then download this talk or order it on CD. If you download it, a donation is requested so that Dharmaseed can continue this service of offering thousands of recorded teachings. The recommended minimum donation is $12 per talk. If you’re wondering, “Do I need to put more effort into my spiritual practice?” or thinking, “Why do I feel so stressed and burned out out by my practice when it’s supposed to be helping me?” then this talk might be of interest to you.