Peter Bursky

Poisonous Snake

Peter Bursky explores ‘Qinglin’s Poisonous Snake’, Case 59 of the Book Of Serenity In this talk we meet a couple snakes on the road in the form of a monk and Ch’ing-lin Shih-ch’ien. Their dialogue explores the shape shifting nature our practice takes when we embody the endless dance of form and emptiness. Knowing that everything is empty is fine, but unless

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Ordinary Mind is Tao

Peter Bursky finds relief in Nan-ch’uan’s light and lucid statement “Ordinary Mind is Tao”, case 19 of the Wu-men Kuan. Rather than asking us to stop fighting ourselves to craft something better, it asks us to feel our moment to moment experience as a way forward to a life of flowing simplicity and grace. This talk was given on day

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Where are you going?

In a couple millennia’s worth of meditation instruction we find a wealth of shared experience that has allowed teachers to craft useful teachings that help point students in the right direction. In our inherited traditions of Buddhism, Taoism and Ch’an, various approaches to guidance arose out of the insights these traditions collectively experienced. The most obvious approach, which resonates most

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Zhaozhou’s “Wu”

A monk asked Zhaozhou, “Does the dog have Buddha nature, or not?” Zhaozhou said, “Wu.” Peter Bursky takes up Zhaozhou’s famous “Wu” (Mu) koan, diving into a scholarly take on its etymological beginnings and usage in Taoist thought & practice, whilst envisioning a freshened take on its endless depths through the ‘named’ and ‘nameless’ of Taoism.  This talk was given by

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Zhaozhou’s Cypress Tree

A monk asked Zhaozhou, “What is the mind that Bodhidharma brought from the west?” Zhaozhou said, “The cypress tree in the courtyard.” Peter Bursky explores Zhaozhou’s well-known Cypress Tree koan from the perspective of some of the traditions greatest trouble makers, including Zhaozhou, Bodhidharma and Iron beak Jiao.The realisation that cuts away all time allows us to experience the exact

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What is the point?

As all things are buddha-dharma, there is delusion, realization, practice, birth and death, buddhas and sentient beings. As myriad things are without an abiding self, there is no delusion, no realization, no buddha, no sentient beings, no birth and death. The buddha way, in essence, is leaping clear of abundance and lack; thus there are birth and death, delusion and

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The Morning Star

Peter Bursky explores the Buddha’s experience of seeing the Morning Star when he was sitting under the Bodhi tree. Yamada Roshi once said, “the basis and central focus of Buddhism is the enlightenment experience of Shakyamuni Buddha.” Rohatsu (8 December) is normally the day on which we, together with Zen communities throughout the world,celebrate the Buddha’s realisation. This talk –

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