Allan Marett

No difference

“If there is even a bit of difference, it is the remote distance between heaven and earth.” This is a famous Zen saying that has been used many times by the masters of the past and present, but what does it mean? Difference between what and what? Allan Marett, roshi explores a famous exchange between Fayan and his pilgrimage companion Hiushan

Read More

Not Knowing

Not knowing is central to Zen practice. When Fayan and his companions were on pilgrimage, they ran into a snowstorm and took shelter at the temple of Dizang. Dizang asked him why he was wandering around on pilgrimage (a question that pilgrims frequently encounter) and Fayan replied, “I don’t know.” This story is from the Book of Serenity, Case 20,

Read More

Saving all beings

When Guishan thrusts his hoe into the ground it represents vast emptiness, but that’s not the end of the story. He then puts his hoe on his shoulder and heads off to work with his fellow monks—his sangha.  This story from the Book of Serenity reminds us of the importance of the bodhisattva path of helping all beings. This ancient

Read More

Changsha Goes on a Picnic

Allan Marett takes us into the great mountains where Changsha lived from around 788-868 and was renowned for his great fierceness (nicknamed ‘great tiger’). In this encounter the teacher, now older and far more settled, is challenged by the head monk on his return from a walk -“Where have you come from?” a familiar challenge, however in this case led

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

The Beardless Barbarian

Allan Marett explores Case 4 of the Wumenguan (The Gateless Barrier), Huo-an’s Beardless Barbarian. The Barbarian in this case is, of course, Bodhidharma, the fifth century monk who brought Zen Buddhism from India to China. He is usually depicted with a flourishing beard, and his beard is also referred to in the books and poems. So what does it mean to

Read More

The Morning Star

Allan Marett explores the role of the morning star in the Buddha’s awakening and some of the ways in which this story  resonates with Indigenous Australian songs, dances and ceremonies about the Morning Star Dreaming. Rohatsu sesshin 2017 – Day 1

Read More

Latest Posts

post categories

Popular Class