Once again I find myself writing out of the experience of pilgrimage to Shikoku. Like sesshin, pilgrimage has the capacity to shake up our lives: as we drop the regular routines and the concerns of our everyday lives and entering into a sustained period of practice, we create space for necessary truths to emerge. Quite often these openings happen during
The highest ideal of the Western tradition has been to restructure our societies so that they are more socially just. The most important goal for Buddhism is to awaken and put an end to dukkha “suffering” due to the delusion of a separate self. Today it has become obvious that we need both: not just because individual transformation and social transformation complement each other, but because each project needs the other.
Xuefeng’s Turtle-nose Snake, Case 22, Blue Cliff Record Here we encounter four great Chinese Zen masters, Xuefeng, Changqing, Xuansha and Yunmen doing a little snake dance together. It’s a lovely case because it shows us both the humour and the insight of these old fellas. Look out for that snake! It might bite you … if you’re lucky.