Chan / Seon / Zen

Ten Verses on Oxherding, Zen master Guoan Shiyuan

In Zen, a herdboy’s search for his lost oxen has served as a parable for a practitioner’s pursuit of enlightenment since this Buddhist sect’s early history in China. In the eleventh century, the Song-dynasty Zen master Guoan Shiyuan (active ca. 1150) codified the parable into ten verses (gāthā), recorded and illustrated in this handscroll…

A moment of realisation, by Diana St Ruth

A moment of realisation about the way we operate in the world can open doors in our mind for the light to come in and bring insight. It may cause us to cringe a bit when we reflect on how we’ve been in the past, a very uncomfortable feeling. On the other hand…

The Four Vows. Harada Sekkei Roshi

As expressed in these words, we vow to awaken to the Way of Buddha. To receive the precepts means that by repeatedly making repentance, it is possible to awaken to the Dharma and this is why we chant these vows. Using these four vows as a common guide for all mankind…

The Illusion of Attainment, by Kusan Sunim

In the course of one’s practice it is as though one has to take hold of the hua-t’ou [Koan] two or three times anew. At the stage of emptiness when nothing at all appears, one clings to the emptiness. Like­wise, at the stage of vivid quiescence and the emergence of the brilliant spiritual light, one clings to this brilliant light…