Buddhism

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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Dependent Co-Arising

Our ancestral teachers spoke of Zen as not relying on words and letters, but they did not neglect words and letters. They used words. They were not used by words. From the records of their sayings, it is clear that they were well versed in the Buddha’s sutras, as were their students. Unlike those people raised in Buddhist cultures, who

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Challenging Times

How do we meet the challenges of our times? And how does zazen change or save our world? Subhana Barzaghi, roshi explores the relationship between our inner and outer work in the world and the relationship between our mind and the environment. She draws on Case 32 from the Book of Serenity. This talk was given at Autumn sesshin 2019

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Be Wide Awake

Maggie Gluek, roshi talks about setting aside time and building spaces in your life where you can let everything else go and touch the place of practice in whatever form it might take. She uses Case 12 of the Wu-Men Kuan to explore how simple reminders can help to cultivate discipline. This talk was given on day 5 of the

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Everyday life

‘Carrying water and chopping wood’ is an ancient Zen description of the importance of being present now, and enjoying the simple gifts of everyday life. This talk was given by Subhana Barzaghi, roshi at Autumn sesshin 2019, day 4, at Kodoji

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Bodhisattva Vows

Maggie Gluek, roshi helps us understand and experience what it means to be a Bodhisattva and connect deeply with the vows: The many beings are numberless, I vow to save them; greed, hatred, and ignorance rise endlessly, I vow to abandon them;dharma gates are countless, I vow to wake to them;the Buddha’s way is unsurpassed, I vow to embody it

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Living & Dying

Paul Maloney, roshi explores the central human concern of dying from the point of view of the Buddha Dharma. Old age, sickness and death were everyday realities for people living in the time of the Historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, and they are realities for people in the third world today. But in our modern Western society, this fact that we are

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The Buddha’s Road to Awakening

Despite being orthodox Buddhism, albeit present in an unorthodox manner, the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, seldom appears in our koan curriculum. In fact, one can go for years without hearing anything about the Buddha’s life prior to his Awakening. In this talk Paul Maloney, roshi gives a brief overview of the various practices that the Bodhisattva Siddhartha undertook, over several years,

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