There’s a saying in English “Practice makes perfect”, but in our Zen practice we actually drop ideas of perfection and non-perfection. We practice just to practice, without any gaining idea. I make this point because it’s so easy to get caught up in the emotion of “that was a good sitting” (pat on the back) and “why can’t I concentrate?!!
Now more than ever before we need a genuine greening of the mind. We are facing climate change and an environmental crisis that affects all beings. This requires an inner and outer transformation to meet the challenges of our time. In this Dharma talk Subhana Barzaghi roshi, helps us recognise that to hear the earth’s cry, is to realise there is no separation between
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
You were curious about Zen Buddhism so one day you turned up at an orientation. You liked the silence and the challenge of paying attention and so you came back. Soon it became a regular part of your life. You listened to podcasts, found some helpful apps and read widely about the Buddha’s enlightenment. You believed the best was yet
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
Maggie Gluek, roshi discusses the challenges that teachers face in having to open their mouths in order to teach in the face of a subject that seems to elude description or comprehension through logical means. She takes up Case 19 – Xiangyan’s ‘Up a Tree’ – from the Entangling Vines collection. This talk was given at Rohatsu sesshin 2013
Subhana Barzaghi, roshi talks about silent illumination (or shikantaza) and addresses some of the misconceptions about it. She stresses that whether students are koan students or shikanataza students, our practice in Zen is the same. Subhana also sees the need for shikantaza students to engage with and to be guided in their practice by a teacher’s counsel. This Dharma
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