mindfulness

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

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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,

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The Heart of Practice

Upon his Awakening, the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni said, “Wonderful, wonderful, now I realize that all beings are buddha, only their ignorance and attachments prevent them from realizing this fact.” The term Buddha means “one who is awake,” and it is this experience that is the very heart of our Zen practice, in fact all Buddhist practice. So, if

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The Koan Mu

Maggie Gluek, roshi, describes how old Chao Chou offers us a key to the gateless barrier, a word that is no word that opens the door to everything. And in which Wu Men with his long comment shines a light on the practice of Zen. Don’t go thinking you’ve heard this all before! This teisho was given on Day 1

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What are you doing here?

Paul Maloney, roshi, examines the question of what, if anything, is to be attained through the practice of Zen. While we may feel that we know WHY we are here in sesshin, the answer as to what are we actually DOING, now that we are, may not be so clear. This is a commentary on Case 28 of The Iron

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Facing fear

Fear of death is the fundamental human fear, fear of the loss of self its corollary.  What does it mean to face this fear, as opposed to running away from it? Where does one find true refuge from fear? How does the Dharma invite the practice of no-fear? These are some of the questions Maggie Gluek, roshi, addresses in this

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Perfection

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?!!

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I Want Nothing

Gillian Coote, roshi explores ‘Beginner’s Mind’  including Suzuki Roshi’s thoughts on the matter, and how this mind is the heart of our practice, whether we’ve been practising for two weeks or a hundred years. This talk was given at the zazenkai in April, 2018

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Awakening Your Green Buddha

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

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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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