Bodhidharma’s Outline of Practice

Bodhidharma’s Outline of Practice

Bodhidharma’s Outline of Practice There are many roads for entering the Way, but essentially there are only two:  entering through the Principle  and entering through practice. Entering Through the Principle ‘Entering through the Principle’ is awakening to...
Don’t Know Mind

Don’t Know Mind

Bodhidharma met the Emperor Wu when he first reached China on his dangerous voyage from India. When Bodhidharma appeared before him, the Emperor said to him, “I have built many temples and ordained countless thousands of monks; what is my merit?” Bodhidharma replied,...
Dharma Transmission

Dharma Transmission

In Zen-Buddhism, Dharma transmission is a custom in which a person is established as a “successor in an unbroken lineage of teachers and disciples, a spiritual ‘bloodline’ (kechimyaku) theoretically traced back to the Buddha himself.” The...
Going for Refuge

Going for Refuge

GOING FOR REFUGE Going for refuge and taking the precepts is the cornerstone of all the Buddhist paths. It usually becomes a turning point in a person’s life. One where they work toward an ideal – this ideal being shown to us through The Buddha – a...
The Heart Sutra

The Heart Sutra

THE HEART SUTRA The Bodhisattva of Compassion, Avalokateshvara, while in deep meditative concentration, absorption and curious inquiry, looked deeply into the nature of experience, penetrated fully to the intuitve realization of the emptiness of the skandhas and after...
The Perfect Enlightenment Sutra

The Perfect Enlightenment Sutra

The Perfect Enlightenment Sutra is one of the most popular and influential sutras in Zen. It was held in the highest regards by some of the greatest Zen Master’s like Zongmi and Chinul. The sutra itself is twelve chapters and the introductory section describes...
What Am I Koan

What Am I Koan

“Do you have a Koan?” That was the first question Korean Zen Master, Venerable Hwasun Yangil Sunim asked me. I had heard about Koans before – mainly from books. I didn’t really think they were essential for Zen practice. But here I was, sitting...
Zen Pointing Out Instructions

Zen Pointing Out Instructions

A quick and expedient way of awakening… The master takes his staff and points directly to your heart saying, Listen here! This! This! A thousand times this! The seeker is what’s sought. Originally the mind is pristine, vast and expansive like a clear blue...
MU

MU

The conceptual every day mind is never happy. It always wants something to chew on. It’s a hungry ghost and no matter how much information we feed it the mind will never be satisfied. “Does a dog have buddha-nature?” “Why did Bodhidharma come to China?” “Was the...
Zen and the Sutras – A Tenuous Relationship

Zen and the Sutras – A Tenuous Relationship

Zen is… “A special transmission outside the scriptures, not founded upon words and letters. by pointing directly to one’s mind, It lets one see into one’s own true nature and thus attain buddhahood.” (1)  The above statement from Bodhidharma is an...
Gems Along the Way

Gems Along the Way

In meditation we elongate a vital pause; a pause where thoughts return to their superficial place in the background and a vital, spacious energy returns to the foreground. With practice you come to this freedom of not being controlled by your thoughts. Real enjoyment...
The Original Pure Mind

The Original Pure Mind

To see the absence of thought is to have the six sense organs without stain. To see the absence of thought is to possess a knowledge inclined towards the Buddha. To see the absence of thought is to see things as they really are. To see the absence of thought is the...
The Transmission of Mind

The Transmission of Mind

All the Buddhas and all sentient beings are nothing but the One Mind, beside which nothing exists. This Mind, which is without beginning, is unborn and indestructible. It is not green nor yellow, and has neither form nor appearance. It does not belong to the...
Concerning This Great Matter

Concerning This Great Matter

 Concerning this great matter, the Tao, everyone has possessed it from the beginning. It is always with each of you. The difficulty is that from the very no-beginning-time the Wonderful Illumination has been covered over by seeds of passion, streams of thought, the...
Looking at the Mind

Looking at the Mind

Master Han Shan never really had any interest in worldly ways. He never felt drawn to riches, power or fame. He loved listening to Dharma Talks saying that, “A wonderful feeling would come over me as I listened. It was as if the Dharma was a song I once knew but had...
How Amazing

How Amazing

“Keep a mind that alights on nothing whatsoever.” When Hui Neng heard this line from the Diamond Sutra he had a great awakening and went off in search of a Master of the Way. After Hui Neng had made arrangements for his mother’s welfare, he took his leave. In less...
Pointing Directly to Mind

Pointing Directly to Mind

Directly Pointing to Mind Zen is… “A special transmission outside the scriptures, not founded upon words and letters. by pointing directly to one’s mind, It lets one see into one’s own true nature and thus attain buddhahood.” For years I followed the instructions of...
The Buddha Gave Up

The Buddha Gave Up

The Buddha Gave Up Before we get into the breadth and depth of Zen it’s good to know that this is a living lineage that goes all the way back 2500 years ago to its founder the Buddha. I am just one of a long line of Masters that have appeared to share the dharma, to...
Practicing the Presence of God

Practicing the Presence of God

Prayer is the orientation of all the attention of which the soul is capable toward God. —Simone Weil, Waiting for God One of the simplest methods of contemplation is “to practice the presence of God” as described by Brother Lawrence (1614–1691), a French...
No Thought

No Thought

Huineng, the Sixth Patriarch of the “Sudden Enlightenment” school of Zen, states: “Therefore ‘no-thought’ is established as the doctrine.” “Good Knowing Advisors, why is no-thought (wu nien) established as the doctrine? Because there are confused people...