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...
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...
The Miraculous Functioning of the ‘I’

The Miraculous Functioning of the ‘I’

Since the enlightened man, like white clouds over green mountains, is not fettered by any state, there is no right or wrong in any of his actions. He flows along according to karmic affinities like a blue stream in a deep valley, which winds without obstructions...
Song of Zazen

Song of Zazen

Hear this truth… It’s simple – it takes a humble and grateful heart to embrace it, to practice it, to discover and live by its wisdom. It brings unending blessings and mountains of merit to the one who looks within and sees their own self nature for themselves. In...

The “I am” Concept, the Root of Samsara

Nisargadatta had a shift in consciousness just before his death. He truly realized “Anatta” (no self) exactly as the Buddha taught. Nisargadatta: “Whatever I had thought earlier has now changed. What is happening now is that even the slightest touch of individuality...
Intense Meditation Practice

Intense Meditation Practice

If you find yourself dwelling on everything butthe huatou (inquiry: what is this that sees and hears?’), pause and take in what has happened: the huatou has been evicted by diversions and needless thoughts. Recall the pointlessness and eventual utter boredom of...
During Zazen

During Zazen

During zazen, neither loathe nor be charmed by any of your thoughts. With your mind turned inward, look steadily into their source and the delusive feelings and perceptions in which they are rooted will evaporate. This is not yet Self-realization, however, even though...

Hyakujô and the Fox

CASE 2: Hyakujô and the Fox Whenever master Hyakujô delivered a sermon, an old man was always there listening with the monks. When they left, he left too. One day, however, he remained behind. The master asked him, “What man are you, standing in front of me?” The man...

Joshu’s Dog

CASE 1: Jôshû’s Dog The monk asked Jôshû in all earnestness, “Does a dog have Buddha nature or not?” Jôshû said, “Mu!” Mumon’s Commentary: For the practice of Zen, you must pass the barrier set up by the ancient masters of Zen. To attain to marvelous...
Dealing With Anger

Dealing With Anger

“A monk decides to meditate alone. Away from his monastery, he takes a boat and goes to the middle of the lake, closes his eyes and begins to meditate. After a few hours of unperturbed silence,he suddenly feels the blow of another boat hitting his. With his eyes...