Essay

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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?!!

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

post categories

Popular Class