Essay

Freedom

Freedom comes in those moments when we are truly freed from our conceptual way of experiencing life, we directly experience the moment, no longer looking at everything through the lens of dualism. Those moments can be fleeting and, in a sense, as Zen practitioners it is our life’s work to, to free ourselves from the world of dualism and all

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Let Go, Turn Around, Return Home

I can’t remember enjoying an autumn as much as I have this one. The golden light, the cool freshness of the air, the daily colourful progress of liquid ambers on our street, trees we’d actually never fully taken cognizance of before. The virtue of relative confinement has meant coming to appreciate the vividness of the local geography, what is right

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Requiem

No doubt many of you are feeling a range of emotions in the face of the long summer drought and devastating fires that have scorched and ravaged our beautiful vast and wide sunburnt home. Our house is indeed on fire, these are the biggest out of control fires any country in the world has ever known.Our large semi-arid country is

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Wise Hope

Lately a Mountains dharma buddy has been signing her email “Towards wise hope”, and it made me consider how Wise Hope is a wonderful paramita for modern times. The phrase comes to us from the writings of Joan Halifax in which she explores suffering from the Buddhist perspective, and looks at the processes of transforming our response to it. It’s

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Spring

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” Rainer Maria Rilke For the last three months – all of winter – I have been practising in a different dojo, with a different daily routine and a body that must only bear weight on one leg so as not to interfere with its miraculous

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Immanence

Paul Maloney, roshi, explores what is meant by Buddha Nature. The Zen Buddhist view on the human condition can be summarised by the following proposition of Hakuin Zenji, in the conclusion of his Song of Zazen. “This very place is the Lotus Land, this very body the Buddha.” If this can be believed, then I think it follows that there

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Letting Go

“Greed, hatred and ignorance rise endlessly. I vow to abandon them.” Our vows at first seem to be impossible contradictions but each time, as we say them with trust, the impossible finds some translation into our daily life. I find the word “abandon” interesting. It’s possible to imagine the valiant bodhisattva in shining white robes dispelling evil desires, just saying

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Engaged Buddhism

A tribute to Peacemaker Bernie Glassman, roshi  Perhaps more than ever before, we need to take wise action in our fractured world with its global problems of climate change, rise in natural disasters, refugee crisis, economic and political instability.  Wise action requires both an inner and outer revolution, not just more reactivity based on the old paradigm. If we do

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All Moments are the Time Being

‘The reason you do not clearly understand the time-being is that you think of time only as passing. In essence, all things in the entire world are linked with one another as moments. Because all moments are the time-being, they are your time-being.‘ Dogen Time can measured in seconds, minutes, hours, weeks, months, semesters, years and, more poetically, by the

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Who is this ‘I’?

All the harmful karma ever created by me since of old On account of my beginningless greed, hatred and ignorance Born of my body, speech and thought I now acknowledge openly and fully In the Purification gatha which opens our sutra service the “I” is salient and crucial. Let’s get it straight right away, in the first person, this

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