Encouraging Words

The Buddha Way

Jane Andino explores the term ‘The Buddha Way’ and what it means to embody it. She also looks at koan study as a practice method. This talk was given on day 2 of the Rohatsu sesshin 2019

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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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The Star

Rohatsu means the 8thday of December, the date traditionally commemorated as the day of the Budhha’s awakening. In this talk, Jane Andino looks at different versions of the enlightenment story, the sight of the Morning Star, and the significance for our practice. This talk was given on Day 1 of the Rohatsu sesshin 2019

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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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The Whole World is Medicine

Gillian Coote, roshi explores Yunmen’s koan in light of the pressures and stresses of our lives, especially the climate emergency, and ways we may awaken to these dharma gates. This talk was given at the SZC Spring sesshin in 2019

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Honouring our Ancestors

Gillian Coote, roshi tells the stories of some of our ancestors who appear in the dedications we chant in our sutra service, including Choro Nyogen and his internment poems (written in the USA during WWII). She offers the koan ‘Mu’, and reflects on this monk’s – and our – doubt that, though all beings by nature are Buddha, this can’t

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Ordinary Mind – Nothing in the Way

Settling into samadhi on the zafu at sesshin 
on the first day is often attended by a jungle of thoughts, fleeting or solid – daydreams, schemes – 
and here lies our greatest challenge. In this teisho, Gillian talks about different ways to gather focus by using koans, breath counting or shikantaza. This talk was given on Day 1 at SZC’s

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Old age, sickness & death

“In all of the worlds, what is most wondrous? That no man, no woman, though they see people dying all around them, believes it will happen to them” King Yudhisthira, Mahabharata, Hindu epic poem. Jill Steverson talks about the privilege and challenges she experienced being with her mother through her journey of frail age and recent death. Also how sharing

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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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