Zen

Does a dog have Buddha nature?

As the Chinese Year of the Dog begins – Gillian Coote, roshi explores the koan ‘Chao Chou’s dog’ which is the first case of the Wu-Men Kuan (The Galetless Barrier) This talk was given at 2013 Spring Sesshin held at Kodoji

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Silent Illumination Practice

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

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Faith

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

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Why do you do zazen?

Gillian Coote, roshi addresses the problem practitioners often have in explaining their practice to others. Answering ‘it helps me to remain calm’ or ‘to gain some insight’ reduces the practice to a very small part of what it is. Gillian takes up Case 30 of the Wu-Men Kuan, where this problem is reflected in the dialogue between Nan-yuëh and Ma-tsu,

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The Morning Star

Allan Marett explores the role of the morning star in the Buddha’s awakening and some of the ways in which this story  resonates with Indigenous Australian songs, dances and ceremonies about the Morning Star Dreaming. Rohatsu sesshin 2017 – Day 1

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The Four Vows

Robert Aitken Roshi discusses the Four Vows given by students who are taking Jukai. He describes what they mean to him, what they mean to the Sangha and what they mean metaphysically. This talk was given in 1985.

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The First Lesson of Zen

Robert Aitken Roshi discusses in this orientation talk the different paths people may take in seeking to put their minds at rest. Some pursue intellectuality, mind control, asceticism or meditation. The middle path does not deny a degree of any of these pursuits, it is the degree to which these means are pursued that can be problematic for the success

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Courage – Maggie Gluek, roshi

The task of offering “encouraging words” got me thinking about discouragement. “Courage” is at the root of both terms, deriving in the first instance from Middle English corage which means “heart as the seat of feeling.” The Zen path, like any path, presents obstacles and the possibility then of losing heart, maybe abandoning the project. How to proceed when you

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