Hongzhi

‘Although empty of desires, with deliberations cut off, transcendent comprehension is not all sealed up. Perfect bright understanding is carefree amid ten thousand images and cannot be confused. Within each dust mote is vast abundance. ‘ (Cultivating the Empty Field)

Fayan

‘A monk asked, “What is the ultimate teaching of all buddhas?” Fayan said, “You have it too.” (Zen’s Chinese Heritage) This is the fundamental point. Can you believe it for yourself?

What I think about when I am riding

One of the notions I tend to rabbit on about when I am teaching is to let go of goals – it was one of the messages that struck me when I first read Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, and I think it is a useful way to steer people away from their usual tendencies and have them pay […]

Dogen

‘This mountain monk has not lectured for the sake of the assembly for a long time. Why is this? Every moment the Buddha hall, the monks’ hall, the valley streams, and the pine and bamboo endlessly speak on my behalf, fully for the sake of all people. Have you all heard it or not? If […]

Sharon Salzberg

‘Desire – grasping, clinging, greed, attachment – is a state of mind that defines what we think we need in order to be happy. We project all of our hopes and dreams of fulfillment onto some object of our attention. This may be a certain activity or outcome, a particular thing or person. Deluded by […]

Lama Rod Owens

‘The Heart Sutra tells us that form is emptiness and emptiness is form; if that’s true, then our practice is to try to recognize the integration of form and emptiness, and to let ourselves sit in the utter discomfort of that. From this discomfort emerges a greater capacity to hold space for contradictions. Ultimately, we […]

Ta Hui

‘Old Yellow Face (Buddha) has said, “When the mind does not vainly grasp past things, does not long for things in the future, and does not dwell on anything in the present, then you realize fully that the three times are all empty and still.” You shouldn’t think about past events, whether good or bad; […]

Falling into Preferences

Regarded from one side, an entire range; From another, a single peak. Far, near, high, low, all its parts Different from the others If the true face of Mount Lu Cannot be known, It is because the one looking at it Is standing in its midst                   […]

Bankei

‘The mind of the Buddhas and the minds of ordinary people are not two different minds. Those who strive earnestly in their practice because they want to attain satori, or to discover their self-mind, are likewise greatly mistaken. Everyone who recites the Heart Sutra knows that  “the mind is unborn and undying.” But they haven’t sounded […]