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.
The opening paragraph in a much loved text Faith in Mind by the Third Zen Patriarch, Seng T’Sang, are very affirming and have direct implications for our practice. The Supreme Way is not difficult it simply avoids picking and choosing. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised, Make the smallest distinction however and heaven
Will Moon discusses the adventuring mind, playing on the extreme edge of life and how one moment can sometimes have serious consequences. He explores, drawing from his own life, how the extreme behaviour of a wilderness adventurer can provide rich and intense experiences that can become addictive, and its importance in one’s life can overshadow everything. He describes some of his early days of climbing on the big
Teisho by Subhana Barzaghi, roshi ‘Cultivating the immeasurable quality of joy’
Teisho by Maggie Gluek, roshi ‘Wumen’s One Treasure’ Case 62 from Blue Cliff Record
Jeff Ward, Sensei talks about Silent Illumination
Teisho by Subhana Barzaghi, roshi ‘My heart is not yet at peace’
Jeff Ward, Sensei gives meditation instructions about Silent Illumination or Shikantaza