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...
Don’t Know Mind

Don’t Know Mind

A young monk tentatively asked the Master, “Teacher, why did Bodhidharma come from the west?” The Master looked out the window and said, “The cypress tree in the courtyard.” The Zen Master whacks his stick against the floor. You’re startled, heart racing, eyes...
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...

There is Just Now

Please, please see it: everything is alive. Great, great Alive. This is the happiness of all happiness. And this “now here” can never be destroyed. The light of your eternal life is shining brightly, now. What joy there is in this radiance! Please, take care of...

Like a Mountain

Like a feather that is blown wherever the wind takes it, a weak and undisciplined mind is easily influenced by its environment and can be blown off the path. Until your mind becomes like a mountain that no wind can move, take care of who you mix with, and how you...

The Split and Oneness

To understand how delusion arises, practice watching your mind. Begin by simply letting it relax. Without thinking of the past or the future, without feeling hope or fear about this thing or that, let it rest comfortably, open and natural. In this space of the mind,...
Right Here. Right Now. Buddha.

Right Here. Right Now. Buddha.

To say that you are a practitioner is to miss the mark What is there to practice if you nodded yes when the teacher talked about intrinsic buddha nature. To say there is practice says that there is a practitioner that is on a quest to some distant goal that they some...

The Sound of the Bell

Listen to the Eternal Sound of the Bell The magnificent sound of the temple bell shakes the dawn and awakens all living creatures from a dream world. As the brilliant morning sun reddens the eastern horizon, wake up and listen to this bell. Its clarity sings of...
Buddha’s Last Words

Buddha’s Last Words

An almost tremendous disservice has come about from the human need to lift the Buddha up and place him on a pedestal of perfect purity. We miss out on the richness of the complete story of Buddha. This is why Shunryu Suzuki said, “Kill the Buddha if the Buddha exists...
Take A Good Look At Yourself

Take A Good Look At Yourself

Take a good look at yourself. You are already saved. You are originally Buddha. You are overflowing with happiness and glory. To talk of paradise or heaven is to be talking in your sleep. Take a good look at yourself. Transcend time and space, and you’ll see...
Your Body Spaceship

Your Body Spaceship

You’re Body Spaceship Student: I have challenge. I guess it’s more of an insight – well it’s a bit of both. Zen master e: A challenging insight Student: An insight about my challenge. It’s interesting that you talked about at the beginning about...
The Three Wise Men of Buddhism

The Three Wise Men of Buddhism

We must always remember that we truly know nothing of the Buddha. The sutras are marketing. Rustling up the right kind of people for this product. The sutras were all about building faith. The Buddha was gone. Mahākāśyapa who the Buddha entrusted with the sangha was a...
Abwoon Mantra Chanting

Abwoon Mantra Chanting

Abwoon The Christian Mystic path is probably one of the most beautiful and life transforming paths out there. And one of the practices found in it is the chanting of certain phrases – Abwoon being one of them. They say it’s significant when you “officially”...