Robert Aitken Roshi discusses in this orientation talk the different paths people may take in seeking to put their minds at rest. Some pursue intellectuality, mind control, asceticism or meditation. The middle path does not deny a degree of any of these pursuits, it is the degree to which these means are pursued that can be problematic for the success
How can I find my way in the Dharma? How shall I proceed? This is the gist of the sincere questions Chao chou put to his teacher, Nan Ch’uan. Their dialogue—found in case 19 of the Wu Men Kuan– is most instructive and illuminating, not to say evergreen. Ordinary mind is the Tao! We’re in the midst of spring. Flowers are blooming,
Zen student Janet Selby takes us on a journey to Japan to walk from temple to temple on the Island of Shikoku. She describes what it’s like to take every step as it comes and enjoy not knowing what may lie ahead. Along the way she draws the landscape, people and temples, and sometimes even what is served for breakfast.
Riley Lee is one of the world’s foremost performers, composers and teachers of the shakuhachi, an end blown bamboo flute. The shakuhachi has been used by some Zen sects as part of their meditative practice, calling it suizen (“blowing meditation”). In the shakuhachi tradition a collection of original pieces of music (“honkyoku”) are passed down from teacher to student in
The highest ideal of the Western tradition has been to restructure our societies so that they are more socially just. The most important goal for Buddhism is to awaken and put an end to dukkha “suffering” due to the delusion of a separate self. Today it has become obvious that we need both: not just because individual transformation and social transformation complement each other, but because each project needs the other.
Xuefeng’s Turtle-nose Snake, Case 22, Blue Cliff Record Here we encounter four great Chinese Zen masters, Xuefeng, Changqing, Xuansha and Yunmen doing a little snake dance together. It’s a lovely case because it shows us both the humour and the insight of these old fellas. Look out for that snake! It might bite you … if you’re lucky. This talk
Will Moon discusses the adventuring mind, playing on the extreme edge of life and how one moment can sometimes have serious consequences. He explores, drawing from his own life, how the extreme behaviour of a wilderness adventurer can provide rich and intense experiences that can become addictive, and its importance in one’s life can overshadow everything. He describes some of his early days of climbing on the big