Allan Marett

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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