There are koan stories that obliquely look at blame, shame, getting it wrong, embarrassment and a host of other possible difficulties that every human being, perfectly imperfect, experiences every single day, that reveal how a Zen person is with this stuff. Does a Zen person blush with shame? Quake with anxiety? Flutter with insecurity? If not, why not? Gillian Coote, roshi looks into a couple
Zen literature is full of invisible female sages. Here we meet a roadside teacher who gives wise counsel to monks searching for the way to Mt T’ai, the sacred mountain that is home to Manjusri, the bodhisattva of wisdom. Who is visible or invisible after all? Chao chou, acting as an undercover agent, declares that he has seen through her.
Maggie Gluek, roshi explores Hell. Where is its locus? Why does Chao chou say that are enlightened teachers are the first to go there? How do you support others in the depth of pain? How does suffering transform? This teisho, ‘Enlightened Teachers Fall into Hell’, was given by Maggie Gluek, roshi at Rohatsu sesshin 2023
Huang-po, instructing the community, said:‘All of you people are gobblers of dregs; if you go on travelling around this way, where will you meet Today? Don’t you know there is no Zen teacher?’ This is the last teisho of sesshin. Later tomorrow when we go forth in the world, the treasure of sesshin is here. We vow to meet Today. In the
In his ‘Song of Realising the Way’, Yungchia says: It speaks in silence In speech you hear its silence The Great Way has opened and there are no obstacles. It’s difficult to practise listening unless our minds become quiet and our thoughts aren’t clamouring for attention, or for expression in speech. We practise noticing thoughts and returning to the count
On the great road of Buddha ancestors there is always unsurpassable practice, continuous and sustained. It forms the circle of the way and is never cut off. Between aspiration, practice-enlightenment, and nirvana, there is not a moment’s gap. Continuous practice is the circle of the way. —Eihei Dogen As we herald in the New Year, we kick start our practice