Brian C Taylor


Here’s a video I’ve done on how to use a posture when meditating that helps to sustain upright alertness, relaxation, and stillness for extended periods.

The Roar of the Dragon - Here’s a recording of a talk and group performance I recently did at my Zen center. I introduced them to a John Cage-style “soundscape”, making compositions out of ordinary objects (in this case, a hand-crank food mill, water being poured, clacking wood, etc.). Cage, a Zen devotee, revolutionized avant-garde music in the mid-20thC, erasing distinctions between “noise” and “music,” “beautiful” and “ugly” sounds. He encouraged an embrace of that-which-is, and just listening. The talk is about 19 minutes, then at 19:20 there’s a 5-minute performance by the group; then discussion; then another 5-minute go at it, switching instruments.

Contemplative Christianity and Zen Buddhism - This link takes you to a talk I gave on Oct. 19, 2015 at the Ancient Dragon Zen Gate, a Soto Zen center in Chicago. The talk highlights some areas of teaching and practice that overlap in the two traditions.

Letting Go of Identity - Another talk at Ancient Dragon Zen Gate in Chicago, July 11, 2016. It’s about practicing in those times of difficulty when self-identity changes or seems to slip away, and how the core Buddhist teachings of impermanence and emptiness are helpful in those times.

The Benefaction of Sangha - Ancient Dragon Zen Gate talk on February 6, 2017. How community is helpful to individual practice, others in the group, and the world at large.

Early Japanese Zen Teachers in America and our Lay Practice - This is a talk I gave at Ancient Dragon Zen Gate on August 19, 2018. The talk looks at how the Zen missionaries of the 20th century brought a new emphasis to Buddhism: serious practice and study for lay people who live outside the monastery in homes and families and jobs, and the establishment of communities geared to their lifestyle. And it explores how this emphasis has not only flourished in the West, but has become the norm at many centers.

Lectio Divina (“divine reading”) is a form of praying and meditating with a text that was developed by medieval monastic communities. It moves from reading, to meditating, to praying, to contemplating. What follows is a talk I gave about this practice. Lectio Divina mp3