Koshin Paley Ellison returns with Raghu to explore social action, suffering, pleasure, honoring it all, hungry ghosts, taking risks, and getting untangled.
Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison, MFA, LMSW, DMIN, co-founded the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, which is the first Zen-based organization to offer fully accredited ACPE clinical chaplaincy training in America. He is the academic advisor for the Buddhist students in the Master in Pastoral Care and Counseling program at New York Theological Seminary. Check out his upcoming book, Untangled: Walking the Eightfold Path to Clarity, Courage, and Compassion. Learn more about Koshin and his offerings at zencare.org.
Social Action with a Conscious Center // Ram Dass, Polarity, & Equanimity
Welcoming longtime friend, author, and Zen teacher, Koshin Paley Ellison back to Mindrolling, Raghu invites him to apply how his new book, Untangled: Walking the Eightfold Path to Clarity, Courage, and Compassion, can help us release our self-identification with the ego-driven ‘movie of me’ we consistently find ourselves stuck in. To begin, they discuss how to engage in social action with a conscious center, and how Ram Dass transmuted polarity and hatred.
“When I was a kid my dad introduced me to Ram Dass. We went to see him, and I think Reagan was president at that time. Ram Dass was sharing that on his altar he would have a picture of Reagan next to Maharaj-ji. And he said, ‘Until I see them as the same, I won’t really understand what love is.'” – Koshin Paley Ellison
Raghu & Koshin dive into social media, service, & paying attention, on Ep. 299 of Mindrolling
Getting Untangled // Suffering, Pleasure, & Honoring // Hungry Ghosts & Nourishment (17:27)
Raghu and Koshin dive further into themes and quotes from Untangled, exploring how rather than running away from what’s difficult, if we can actually honor and move into our suffering, we can begin to untangle ourselves by getting curious about the root. From here, they discuss spiritual bypass, hungry ghosts, and showing up in a loving way, sparking Raghu into an epiphany about a Krishna Das and Bernie Glassman song/prayer.
“Our suffering, our tangles, our discomfort, our distraction, has to be honored, and appreciated, and recognized, and moved into, so that we can actually then get curious about what causes that.” – Koshin Paley Ellison
Koshin & Ethan Nichtern discuss a wholehearted approach to practice, on Ep. 20 of The Road Home
Relationship & Asking for Help // Taking Risks // Loving Attention (38:22)
Koshin and Raghu discuss how we can traverse relationships, focusing in on the importance of therapy and asking for help. Next, Raghu shares the Krishna Das story of Maharaj-ji tell him, “Courage as a very important thing,” prompting Koshin to share the importance of taking risks. Koshin tells a story showcasing how often what someone needs is the simplest offering of our humanity.
“We forget what is most needed is putting our hand on someone’s shoulder, embracing them when they need an embrace. Often what’s helpful is so ordinary—holding someone, if they’re having trouble speaking, going down and leaning in. Often we forget what’s most necessary is our loving attention.” – Koshin Paley Ellison