Encouraging Words

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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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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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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Meeting Kuan Yin

The Bodhisattva of Compassion is a salient figure in the Mahayana tradition and in our Zen sutra service. She (he!) manifests in different genders and forms which speak to us in slightly different ways. But her means are always generous, whether in pronouncing the deepest wisdom, portraying great action, modelling how to be embodied, showing the way of non-separation. In

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One Road

“Where is the one straight road to nirvana?” Jane Andino considers in detail this question posed by a travelling monk, and how we today can be everyday pilgrims walking along Kan-Feng’s One Road. This story comes from Case 48 of the Wu-men Kuan. This teisho was given on day 4 of the online Winter sesshin 2021.

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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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True World

Jane Andino delves into the inner layers of a story where a monk encounters a nun Shih-chi or True World. Jane unpacks the exchange between these two people and looks at what the word ‘true’ might mean for us. She also comments on the paramita of aspiration. This story is told in Case 3 of the Wu-men Kuan. This teisho

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