s t r e a m i n g

practical spirituality

What Is Nirvana ?   [ 2:10 ]   July 16, 2015   San Francisco
Videographer: Adam Tebbe, Zen in America 

The Secular Buddhist podcast
Episode 299 •  Pause  Breathe  Smile : Awakening Mindfulness When Meditation Is Not Enough [ 44:42 ]  August 11, 2018.

Meditation is sometimes thought of as a passive relaxation technique. And I’ll admit, those three words together rub me the wrong way. Meditation is, to me, an active, alive way of being, and that is often far from relaxing, though of course it can be. But to think of the full breadth of contemplative practice as “a technique” is doing a great disservice to the change which can occur by realizing there is no distance between you, and living this very life.

Episode 175 • Pro-Active Sila [ 43:20 ] June 29, 2013.

Gary Gach speaks with us today about sila, the pro-social behaviors of Buddhism — Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood.

Recent events around radical, violent activities from Buddhist monastics in Myanmar have stirred some controversy about the validity of Buddhist practice. It seems that Buddhism isn’t really what it’s all cracked up to be if monks are encouraging violence, let alone enacting it themselves. But are they behaving according to the precepts of the tradition? This is a slippery slope as we run the risk of falling into the No True Scotsman fallacy — no real Buddhist would do these things! To really understand what is, and is not, acceptable action for someone identifying as Buddhist, it might help to learn a bit about sila, the ethical conduct portion of the Eightfold Path.

Episode 143  • Finding the New in the Mix [ 48:25 ] November 19, 2012.

With so many different ways of engaging with Buddhism in the West, it’s hard to not only find what resonates most for us, but to even tell what’s what. Is contemporary Western Buddhism a messy goulash, or wonderfully colorful and tangy salad? Are we really doing Rinzai, or is this particular practice Soto Zen? And frankly, does it matter as tradition evolves?

We see practices under various names like mindfulness finding their way into our culture. We see children being taught to rest their mind in the breath in public classrooms, and their parents benefitting from it in the workplace. This ever changing landscape provides a freshness to the practice that interests those who would otherwise not find it, but also opens up the doors to the social change that our traditional forms can help create.

Full Awareness of Breathing  [ 50:06 ]  February 14, 2017  Berkeley
Haas Business School student-run course on meditation
Recording:  Chuck Huggins

Introduction to Buddhism  [ 1:47:15 ]  April 28, 2011   Sydney NSW
Talk offered to a hundred high school students at Centre for Ethics, Newington College, co-sponsored by Dialogue Australasia    Recording: G G

Buddhist Wisdom in Uncertain Times   [ 58:02 ] July 28, 2009 Book Passage Corte Madera. Videography & titles by FORA.tv

Ancient wisdom traditions have deep resonance in these uncertain times — not that there’s more suffering than ever before but that more people are aware of suffering. Now that humans are capable of relieving needless suffering, we’re discovering our positive potentials for great happiness and innate goodness. (Have you heard the saying? “Train your mind and change your brain!”) Might you already be a bit Buddhist, and not yet realize it?

Insights at the Edge.  [ coming ]

Episode 3,469 • New Dimensions Radio.   [ coming ]

MINDFULNESS : Full Awareness of Breathing  [  47:50  ]  May 7, 2016  Corte Madera
Opening for Sustainatopia

Seated in a large circle, attendees introduced themselves . Gary Gach then offered the circle a session of mindfulness. Recording begins mid-sentence ; the speaker has to talk over an air-conditioner which provides a drone throughout .:.  Recording by:  G G

cultural work

Inaugural Reading of Ko Un’s Flowers of a Moment  [ 25:55 ]   2009  Berkeley
Sharing an evening at Moe’s Books with poet George Albon, upon the publication of Flowers of a Moment by Ko Un, translated by Young Moo Kim, Brother Anthony of Taizé, & GG
Audio recording: Owen Hill.
by Li Bai (李白, Rihaku) Tang dynasty
Quatrain (jueju, 絕句, 绝句) ‘made new’ by CH Kwock & GG Gach. Published in Rattle #36, Tribute to Buddhist Poets
Recorded March 21, 2014, G G
All Ways  [ 0:44 ]
brief fragment from All Ways, by GG : published in Rattle #36, Tribute to Buddhist Poets
Recorded March 21, 2014, G G
Springtime in Loyang  [ 00:32 ] 
by Bó Jūyì (Po Chü-i, 白居易) Tang dynasty
Quatrain (jueju, 絕句, 绝句) ‘made new’ by CH Kwock & GG Gach. Published in Rattle #36, Tribute to Buddhist Poets
Recorded March 21, 2014, G G
Poetry Reading at Tuesdays at North Beach   [ 32:33 ]  December 5, 2017  San Francisco

Gary Gach reads Bijan Jalali, Edmond Jabès, Sufi poet Alireza Rosha, 3 Chinese Zen poems, selections from 10,000 Lives by Ko Un SSN, + a poem or 2 of his own; preceding Clive Matson reading 1 poem (also 30 minutes; not recorded). Introduction by Jack Hirschman, series curator.
Begun in 2008, as a project of the San Francisco Friends of the Public Library. Tuesdays at North Beach is a highly-respected, weekly poetry series celebrating internationally acclaimed poets and showcasing local talent. Past guests have included Jonathan Richman, David Meltzer, San Francisco Poet Laureate Diane di Prima, California Poet Laureate Al Young, and freshly-discovered poets from their sister program, Poets 11.


Sufi Poems by Alireza Roshan [ 5:23 ] Memorial for Al Mutannabi Street Starts Here, Great Overland Bookstore.  2016.

The 2007 bombing of Al-Mutanabbi Street — Baghdad’s cultural and intellectual center named for a 10th century poet — inspired San Francisco poet/bookseller Beau Beausoleil to mark the day as an attack on all who cherish freedom of expression through writing, reading, publishing, painting and graphic images, and conversation at bookshops, cafes, and public gatherings. In 2017, readings were scheduled across the US & UK, and in Baghdad, Berlin, Dubai, Paris, Quebec, Venice, Sydney, and Vancouver. In this video, Gary Gach reads 20 brief poems from The Book of Absence by Alireza Roshan, translated from Persian by Erfan Mojib, with GG.

Video recording: Persis Karim.


Public talk presented 7PM  at Nalanda West, Seattle, Washington, prior to a haiku workshop there the next day. To paraphrase from the introduction: This talk explores bringing our creative expression to the Path, to learn some of the profound and ancient history and practices of using language to deepen our experience of our lives, and our minds, and to make the world a more compassionate place.
Mindfulness & the Way of Haiku   [  1:10:24 ] October 13, 2014  Santa Cruz
Inter View : Gary Gach & Mark Gonnerman Autumn Seminar, Sofia University, Presentation Center, Santa Cruz Mountains, Los Gatos, California Evening keynote followed the next day by ginko ( haiku nature walk ) 10AM to 3PM
Beyond Mindfulness : : Poetry from What Book!?  [ 10:13 ]Dharma College,  August 4, 2015

Upon sudden notice, Gary Gach opened the packed Beyond Mindfulness panel at Dharma College, an event held as part of the first Bay Area Book Festival, & which also formed an extramural capper to the Mindfulness & Compassion conference at SFSU — — reading mostly from his anthology What Book!? :   Pledge & Just Made It by Lawson Fusao Inada; Enough by David Whyte; ” Robert Frost & I … “  by Ngodup Paljor; Love After Love by Derek Walcott; Check Up by Patricia Donegan; and, by this time realizing he’s actually on stage without prior notice, getting a little nervous as he read Ring of Bone by Lew Welch.

Bennett Buchanan, videographer.


Host: Steward Cheifet

 The advent of the computer and the internet provided a totally new platform for story telling. This program looks at a new paradigm for novelists using interactive technology. Demonstrations include writers.net, hooked.net, thetherapist.com, writers.com, and the Alsop Review. Also features collaborative fiction and cyber comics. Guests include Gary Gach, Chris Werby, Mark Dahlby, and Jaimes Alsop.