The Shipping Forecast

The skies cleared as I flew over the Welsh coast and Anglesey on Sunday morning, which set the tone for my time in Belfast. I was collected from the sleepy airport by some sangha members who were also attending the jukai at Benburb; we arrived in time for lunch, where the sesshin participants were partaking […]

Dzogchen Ponlop

‘The term “ordinary mind” can be confusing if we understand “ordinary” to mean “mundane”. If that were the case, then “ordinary mind” would mean mundane consciousness, confused mind, klesha mind – a mind that is totally caught up in the this world of samsara. However, in this context, “ordinary” means “unfabricated”. When we experience this […]

Sharon Salzberg

‘Equanimity’s strength derives from a combination of understanding and trust. It is based on understanding that the conflict and frustration we feel when we can’t control the world doesn’t come from our inability to do so but rather from the fact that we are trying to control the uncontrollable.’ (Lovingkindness) Once I get back from England, […]

Uchiyama Roshi

‘Japanese people have a preconception that Buddhism is something special for a special kind of person. I repeat that the starting point of Buddhism is searching after the truth of the life of one’s self. Since it is the truth of the life of each self, it is only natural not to distinguish old from […]

Mumon

The blue sky, the bright day. It is most detestable to hunt around; If, furthermore, you ask, “What is Buddha?” It is like shouting your innocence while holding the loot.

Suzuki Roshi

‘When you do something with a purpose based on some evaluation of what is useful or useless, good or bad, more or less valuable, your understanding is not perfect. If you do things that need to be done regardless of whether the results are good or bad, successful or unsuccessful, that is real practice.’ (Branching Streams […]

Katagiri Roshi

‘Change is the basis of human life, so don’t attach yourself to birth or death, continuation or discontinuation. Just live right in the middle of the flow of change, where there is nothing to hold on to. How do you do this? Just be present and devote yourself to doing something. This is the simple […]

Dogen

‘Last night a clear wind blew down from the vast sky. This morning the cypress tree instantly attained buddhahood.’ (Extensive Record, discourse 81) I wonder what took it so long.

Mountains and Rivers and Planes and Trains 

It’s not often I get to set foot in four countries before lunchtime, but that is how my day was on Friday, taking two cars, two planes and two trains from France to England via Switzerland and Germany.  From Cornwall I had taken the train up to Bristol, had a cup of coffee with my […]

Fayan

‘A monk asked, “What is the thing toward which an advanced student should pay particular attention?” Fayan said, “If the student has anything whatsoever which is particular then he can’t be called advanced.”‘ (Zen’s Chinese Heritage)