meditation

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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Engaged Buddhism

A tribute to Peacemaker Bernie Glassman, roshi  Perhaps more than ever before, we need to take wise action in our fractured world with its global problems of climate change, rise in natural disasters, refugee crisis, economic and political instability.  Wise action requires both an inner and outer revolution, not just more reactivity based on the old paradigm. If we do

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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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All Moments are the Time Being

‘The reason you do not clearly understand the time-being is that you think of time only as passing. In essence, all things in the entire world are linked with one another as moments. Because all moments are the time-being, they are your time-being.‘ Dogen Time can measured in seconds, minutes, hours, weeks, months, semesters, years and, more poetically, by the

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Coming home

Gillian Coote, roshi, explores the anguish of Bodhidharma’s student, Huike, standing in the snow, desperate for his mind to be at peace.  When resolved, this is an experience that Zen students have described as ‘coming home’ – body and mind and this moment, perfectly at ease, completely present. This teisho based on Case 41 of the Wumen Kuan was

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Sickness and medicine

Medicine and sickness cure each other, all the earth is medicine, where do you find your self? Gillian Coote, roshi, examines Yun-men’s words about our own sickness and suffering – as individuals, as family members, in relationships at work or in the sangha, and as members of this society and this vast interdependent mahasangha – the sickness of the air,

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Who is this ‘I’?

All the harmful karma ever created by me since of old On account of my beginningless greed, hatred and ignorance Born of my body, speech and thought I now acknowledge openly and fully In the Purification gatha which opens our sutra service the “I” is salient and crucial. Let’s get it straight right away, in the first person, this

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A Blade of Grass

The Buddha points to the ground and declares “Here would be a good place to erect a temple.” In this talk, Jane Andino looks at this case from the Book of Serenity and reflects on what that temple might be for us. She also investigates the traditions of our lay practice. This Dharma talk was given at a zazenkai in September 2018

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