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    Zen Teaching of Instantaneous Awakening

    A Classic Zen text written in the 8th century by Hui Hai. He was a student of Ma-tsu and from the same line as Hui Neng, Huang Po and Rinzai (Lin-chi).

  • Don't Take Your Life Personally

    Ajahn Sumedho urges us to trust in awareness and find out for ourselves what it is to experience genuine liberation from mental anguish and suffering.

  • Perfect Wisdom: Prajnaparamita Texts

    The Short Prajnaparamita Texts were composed in India between 100 BC and AD 600. They contain some of the most well known Buddhist texts such as The Perfection of Wisdom in 700 Lines, The Heart Sutra, and The Diamond Sutra.

  • Fingers and Moons, by Trevor Leggett

    Trevor Leggett points to the truth beyond words, beyond explanations and methods.

  • Experience Beyond Thinking: Practical Guide to Buddhist Meditation. An easy to follow guide to Buddhist meditation and the reflections of an ordinary practitioner. Used as a guide by meditation groups.

    An easy to follow guide to Buddhist meditation.

  • Understanding Karma and Rebirth A Buddhist Perspective

    Meditations and exercises to help us understand karma and rebirth and to live from the unborn moment.

  • The Old Zen Master by Trevor Leggett

    Stories, parables, and examples pointing to the spiritual implications of practical events in daily life.

  • Teachings of a Buddhist Monk

    Modern practical teachings from an American monk living within one of the oldest Buddhist traditions.

Misunderstanding, by Trevor Leggett

Yoga Narasimha, Vishnu's Man-Lion Incarnation, India (Tamil Nadu), Chola period (880–1279). © Metropolitan Museum of ArtA teenage disciple asked the advice of a senior in the Yoga group he had joined. ‘My parents don’t understand me at all – we are always having rows. Why shouldn’t I have pictures of nudes on the walls of my room, like my friends do? I wanted to put one up in the hall too, but they raised hell over that. Why should I have to listen to them? I think I’m a natural rebel, and I won’t just meekly conform.’

The senior said: ‘Do you really get that much pleasure from these pictures?’

The teenager considered. Then he said: ‘Well, as a matter of fact, no. I think that clothes are like the sauce with a meal; they increase the pleasure. I don’t care much for bare meat. But all my friends have them up, so I do too.’ Continue reading

Many Spikes, by Trevor Leggett

An Indian Yogi Tied to a Palm Tree. Willem Schellinks.Sometimes people complain that there are many things that go wrong for them. There are innumerable little worries about personal relationships, and not being able to afford this or that, or the noise of the traffic and so on and so on. They feel, “If only I were a millionaire, everything would be all right. Of course some people would dislike me but they would keep their mouths shut. And all these other little troubles would disappear if only I was very rich. Continue reading

Cabinet Making, by Trevor Leggett

Drop-front secretary © The Metropolitan Museum of ArtIn the inner training, we can think of our actions as preparing and fitting together hundreds of pieces to make an elaborate cabinet, which symbolises the central purpose of a directed life. They have to be carefully shaped and fitted together, then they make a beautiful cabinet. We often do not realise clearly that all our actions are of the same nature: they are bits for the ‘cabinet’ which is being made. One piece is as important as the other; some are bigger, some are smaller, but they are all important. Continue reading

All The Keys, by Trevor Leggett

Enko-ji's (圓光寺) 'Four Seasons' (四季草花図 -Shikisokazu) Fusuma (襖) painted by Watanabe Akio. @KyotoDailyPhotoIn the great house of the personality, with it’s attics and lofts and cellars there are some rooms which are habitually used, some which are seldom used, some which are avoided, and some which are locked with no access at all. Yoga training at first includes getting used to some of the less frequented rooms and learning to use what is in them. As it progresses the house owner finds he is able to go somewhere that he has avoided, and he will occasionally find some little treasure there. Continue reading

The Saving Lie, No Lie, by Trevor Leggett

Hill of '100 steps',  Shinryu-sha (神龍社).  @KyotoDailyPhotoLying is forbidden in the classical ethics of Buddhism, and in the Indian spiritual traditions generally. There are subtle discussions on whether mere silence can be a lie, and also whether a formally correct statement is a lie when it is known that it will be misunderstood. There is an historical incident from the period of the wars in Japan, which highlights some of these points.

After a battle a fugitive fled into a Zen temple and the priest hid him under the floor boards of one of the buildings. Continue reading

Balance, by Trevor Leggett

Wood bark on grassIn Judo there are hundreds of different throwing techniques and manoeuvres and students in the early months of training hope to learn a new one every week or so. Some teachers refuse, and tell then to keep practising away at just a couple. Other teachers do in fact demonstrate many different tricks.

The fact is that however many tricks a student may have in his repertoire, he will not be able to do any of them, because he has no balance. While he is making the moves which are designed to upset the opponent he begins to be upset himself. Sometimes he loses his balance so completely when trying to do a complicated movement at speed that he even falls over. Continue reading

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