Sesshin teishos

No Gate

‘The Great Way has no gate” is the beginning of Wu-Men’s verse from his preface to The Gateless Barrier. This talk explores the Preface and the Postscript of Wu-men’s great work. It also raises the deep questions of ‘Why am I at sesshin? What is the Barrier for me?’ This talk by Jane Andino, roshi, was the first teisho of

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Zhaozhou’s “Wu”

A monk asked Zhaozhou, “Does the dog have Buddha nature, or not?” Zhaozhou said, “Wu.” Peter Bursky takes up Zhaozhou’s famous “Wu” (Mu) koan, diving into a scholarly take on its etymological beginnings and usage in Taoist thought & practice, whilst envisioning a freshened take on its endless depths through the ‘named’ and ‘nameless’ of Taoism.  This talk was given by

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The Whole World is Medicine

Gillian Coote, roshi explores Yunmen’s koan in light of the pressures and stresses of our lives, especially the climate emergency, and ways we may awaken to these dharma gates. This talk was given at the SZC Spring sesshin in 2019

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Ordinary Mind – Nothing in the Way

Settling into samadhi on the zafu at sesshin 
on the first day is often attended by a jungle of thoughts, fleeting or solid – daydreams, schemes – 
and here lies our greatest challenge. In this teisho, Gillian talks about different ways to gather focus by using koans, breath counting or shikantaza. This talk was given on Day 1 at SZC’s

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Dogen & Buddha Nature

The question, “What is Buddha?” or, “What is Buddha Nature?” is a constant theme within Buddhism. Dōgen, the founder of Sōtō Zen Buddhism in Japan, has something interesting to say on this topic. Dōgen tells us that: Buddha Nature and becoming a Buddha always occur simultaneously. Paul Maloney, roshi explores in this talk, some of the implications of this statement,

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The Creative Dance

Jane Andino, musician and apprentice Zen teacher, delves into our understanding of the creative and expressive world as it relates to our Zen practice. She uses Case 82, Blue Cliff Record as an entry point into this discussion. This talk was given on day 4 of the SZC Winter sesshin 2019

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Dependent Co-Arising

Our ancestral teachers spoke of Zen as not relying on words and letters, but they did not neglect words and letters. They used words. They were not used by words. From the records of their sayings, it is clear that they were well versed in the Buddha’s sutras, as were their students. Unlike those people raised in Buddhist cultures, who

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Walking the Way

Maggie Gluek, roshi, while wandering with Henry David Thoreau, wonders how we can open the Dharma gates of ease and joy? Caught in ideas of the importance of self, isolated from the world, and following a stream of self centred conditioned thoughts, we fail to be aware of the world around us – the scent of grasses or the colour

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Bodhisattva Vows

Maggie Gluek, roshi helps us understand and experience what it means to be a Bodhisattva and connect deeply with the vows: The many beings are numberless, I vow to save them; greed, hatred, and ignorance rise endlessly, I vow to abandon them;dharma gates are countless, I vow to wake to them;the Buddha’s way is unsurpassed, I vow to embody it

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Sickness and medicine

Medicine and sickness cure each other, all the earth is medicine, where do you find your self? Gillian Coote, roshi, examines Yun-men’s words about our own sickness and suffering – as individuals, as family members, in relationships at work or in the sangha, and as members of this society and this vast interdependent mahasangha – the sickness of the air,

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