Essay

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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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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