Essay

The Heart of Practice

Upon his Awakening, the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni said, “Wonderful, wonderful, now I realize that all beings are buddha, only their ignorance and attachments prevent them from realizing this fact.” The term Buddha means “one who is awake,” and it is this experience that is the very heart of our Zen practice, in fact all Buddhist practice. So, if

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Perfection

There’s a saying in English “Practice makes perfect”, but in our Zen practice we actually drop ideas of perfection and non-perfection. We practice just to practice, without any gaining idea. I make this point because it’s so easy to get caught up in the emotion of “that was a good sitting” (pat on the back) and “why can’t I concentrate?!!

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Let Go!

You were curious about Zen Buddhism so one day you turned up at an orientation. You liked the silence and the challenge of paying attention and so you came back. Soon it became a regular part of your life. You listened to podcasts, found some helpful apps and read widely about the Buddha’s enlightenment. You believed the best was yet

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Faith

We’ve probably all heard the expression, “The great way is not difficult, it’s simply a matter of not picking and choosing.” The great Zhaozhou uttered these words, but he was not the first. In Verses on the Faith Mind (Xinxin Ming), the third Chinese ancestor, Sengcan writes, “The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences,” and

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Courage – Maggie Gluek, roshi

The task of offering “encouraging words” got me thinking about discouragement. “Courage” is at the root of both terms, deriving in the first instance from Middle English corage which means “heart as the seat of feeling.” The Zen path, like any path, presents obstacles and the possibility then of losing heart, maybe abandoning the project. How to proceed when you

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Sangha relations: Kodoji Family Picnic Weekend

There is a ‘precious heart-to-heart connection sangha members experience’. SANGHA Gillian Coote, Roshi recently reminded us at the AGM: ‘In this time of increasingly virtual relationships, the importance of face-to-face communication in handing on the live coal of the Dharma, as Robert Aitken Roshi did, is ever-greater. Turning up for sangha events maintains these connections, not turning up erodes them.  Sangha

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Frankland River Forest – 41A & B* – Diana Levy

It was war and the giants fell despatched by a scadgett, take this coupe and make of it a timber soup says the Forestry, so a yellow machine with a saw and a claw tracks its way to 41A, and the man inside with a job and a plan cuts the elders and shoves them, they’re pushovers, claws them into

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Faith in Mind – Subhana Barzaghi

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

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