Essay

Finding Peace

Beloved Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh passed away peacefully at his root temple Tu Hien Temple, in Hue, Vietnam at the age of 95 on January 22, 2022. Thay (Vietnamese for teacher) was a world-renowned spiritual leader, prolific author, poet, relentless peace activist. As a pioneer of engaged Buddhism, Thay adopted the slogan, “There is no Way to Peace,

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Where are you going?

In a couple millennia’s worth of meditation instruction we find a wealth of shared experience that has allowed teachers to craft useful teachings that help point students in the right direction. In our inherited traditions of Buddhism, Taoism and Ch’an, various approaches to guidance arose out of the insights these traditions collectively experienced. The most obvious approach, which resonates most

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The Great Freedom

After such a quiet period on the roads during lockdown, here in the Blue Mountains since Freedom Day we have had cars streaming up the Mountain highway, heading for Freedom. So I thought it might be a good time to explore what that word ‘freedom’ means for the follower of the Buddha Way. In case 1 of the Wu-men Kuan,

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Just this, just this

Daily routines don’t always follow a predictable schedule. Though if we can stick to some sort of schedule where we can fit in our daily practice it certainly makes it easier. I’ve been contemplating how to integrate practice into daily life when there is no routine or schedule. Plenty of zen practitioners encounter this aspect of how to practise when

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Found in Translation

Buddhism took about 500 years to peregrinate to China and another 500 or so to evolve towards Ch’an via Taoism. One of my heroes is Xuanzang, whose epic twenty-year journey from China to India and back in the 600’s was impelled by his goal to bring back sutras and translate them, a journey that later became a 15th century Chinese

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Change

Daily routines don’t always follow a predictable schedule. Though if we can stick to some sort of schedule where we can fit in our daily practice it certainly makes it easier. I’ve been contemplating how to integrate practice into daily life when there is no routine or schedule. Plenty of Zen practitioners encounter this aspect of how to practise when

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Coming to our senses

Encountering the soundscape at Kodoji is one of the treasures of sitting in the magical valley. Bird songs, rain songs, wind songs, cricket songs, kitchen songs, to name a few—natural and naturally merging with the mind. With the sound of deep silence holding everything there. Only the occasional shrill ring of the telephone can be disturbing, setting up a scurry

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No Fear

“With no hindrance in the mind; no hindrance and therefore no fear; far beyond delusive thinking, right here is Nirvana.” Heart Sutra. Recently we had International Women’s Day on March 8, and the Women’s March 4 Justice Rally on March 15. I came across this relevant excerpt from ‘The Hidden Lamp’ by Florence Caplow and Susan Moon. It’s from Dipa

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What is the point?

As all things are buddha-dharma, there is delusion, realization, practice, birth and death, buddhas and sentient beings. As myriad things are without an abiding self, there is no delusion, no realization, no buddha, no sentient beings, no birth and death. The buddha way, in essence, is leaping clear of abundance and lack; thus there are birth and death, delusion and

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Speech

Words! The Way is beyond language, for in it there is no yesterday, no tomorrow, no today. Verses on the Faith Mind Now that we are talking more together as a Sangha with our online Zoom sessions, I’m struck by how the discussions on Dharma topics are unfailingly insightful, full of community wisdom, often humorous, and always generous. What a

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