Posted in Zen Buddhism

My First Public Talk

I gave my first “public talk” Tuesday night at the Zen Center. It was the first public talk we’ve had in a very long time, so no one from the public showed up. Except my husband – who is not technically a “member” of the Zen Center – so he sort of counts. Some of my sangha-mates were there, and it was nice to have their support.

My husband asked me a number of good questions. Some of them were from his Taoist perspective, others were from his trying to pretend to be a newbie. All were helpful. Some of my sangha friends asked questions, too. Other times, they jumped in and answered my husband’s questions. It was all quite lively and engaging. The question and answer period ran longer than my talk!

I’m relieved to have survived my turn. I’m pleased with how it went. My friends (and I include my husband in this) gave me some helpful feedback. I know the next time I come up in the rotation, I’ll do an even better job.


Ven. Dr. Myodo Jabo (Sandy Gougis) is a Zen Master and Priest in the Five Mountain Zen Order. She began studying Theravâdin Buddhism in 1998, adding Zen in 2003, and Vajrayana Buddhism in 2008. She currently practices in both the Zen and Tibetan traditions. Her Zen teacher is Most Ven. Wonji Dharma of the Five Mountain Zen Order, and her Tibetan guru is Lama Tsultrim Allione of Tara Mandala. In her free time, Myodo enjoys painting, jewelry making, and other creative endeavors.

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