Essay

Save a Ghost

In our Miscellaneous Koan collection there is a koan that asks us to “Save a ghost”. It offers us a rich contemplation on the nature of salvation, and what manifesting that salvation for others looks like. The great vow of saving the many beings means bringing forth our practice, which in turn means actualising the Bodhisattva path and responding to

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ME ME ME!

Recently, I was fortunate to be invited to attend a ceremony at the retreat centre Karuna in Katoomba. The occasion was the gifting of a bowl which had held the ashes of Thich Nhat Hahn. This was a gift from the Mountain Spring monastery in Bilpin in the Blue Mountains to Karuna. Apart from the Plum Village monastics who conducted

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All Things Pass Quickly Away

These words are dedicated to Tony, who fully lived his wild and precious life with generosity and love, until June 20 this year. The disease Tony had, MND, is known as the One Thousand Day Disease, but we didn’t know this when he was diagnosed. We knew the disease was a muscle thief, and grieved when his hands seized up,

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What is not a mistake?

Today I’m sitting at home feeling quite fatigued. My partner and daughter Lily both have Covid and I potentially have it. Apart from tiredness and the occasional cough, we are all doing ok. I’m feeling a great sense of gratitude to all those scientists, researchers and all the other people that worked so hard in a short amount of time

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Finding Peace

Beloved Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh passed away peacefully at his root temple Tu Hien Temple, in Hue, Vietnam at the age of 95 on January 22, 2022. Thay (Vietnamese for teacher) was a world-renowned spiritual leader, prolific author, poet, relentless peace activist. As a pioneer of engaged Buddhism, Thay adopted the slogan, “There is no Way to Peace,

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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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The Great Freedom

After such a quiet period on the roads during lockdown, here in the Blue Mountains since Freedom Day we have had cars streaming up the Mountain highway, heading for Freedom. So I thought it might be a good time to explore what that word ‘freedom’ means for the follower of the Buddha Way. In case 1 of the Wu-men Kuan,

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Just this, just this

Daily routines don’t always follow a predictable schedule. Though if we can stick to some sort of schedule where we can fit in our daily practice it certainly makes it easier. I’ve been contemplating how to integrate practice into daily life when there is no routine or schedule. Plenty of zen practitioners encounter this aspect of how to practise when

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Found in Translation

Buddhism took about 500 years to peregrinate to China and another 500 or so to evolve towards Ch’an via Taoism. One of my heroes is Xuanzang, whose epic twenty-year journey from China to India and back in the 600’s was impelled by his goal to bring back sutras and translate them, a journey that later became a 15th century Chinese

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Change

Daily routines don’t always follow a predictable schedule. Though if we can stick to some sort of schedule where we can fit in our daily practice it certainly makes it easier. I’ve been contemplating how to integrate practice into daily life when there is no routine or schedule. Plenty of Zen practitioners encounter this aspect of how to practise when

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