Zen

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 Fox

Allan Marett revisits Case 2 of the Wumenguan and explores it anew in the aftermath of performances of his play, Oppenheimer, which has been described as a teisho on Baizhang’s Fox in the form of a Japanese Noh play. Recorded at the Rohatsu sesshin in December 2018

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Build a Seamless Tomb

On the occasion of Robert Aitken Roshi’s centenary, Maggie Gluek, Roshi asks how each of us can uphold his legacy – the timeless teaching of the Buddha Dharma – in the context of Case 18 of the Blue Cliff Record (National Teacher Chung’s Seamless Tomb). And makes an excursion into the relevance of poetry to our Zen tradition. 2017 Spring sesshin Day 3

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The Beardless Barbarian

Allan Marett explores Case 4 of the Wumenguan (The Gateless Barrier), Huo-an’s Beardless Barbarian. The Barbarian in this case is, of course, Bodhidharma, the fifth century monk who brought Zen Buddhism from India to China. He is usually depicted with a flourishing beard, and his beard is also referred to in the books and poems. So what does it mean to

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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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