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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.

Snatching the Whiskers of a Dragon, by Master Kusan

元 龍虎圖 軸 Dragon Artist: In the style of Muqi (Chinese, ca. 1210–after 1269)After ascending the dharma seat, and looking to all the four directions, Master Kusan said, ‘Today is the beginning of this three-month retreat. Within the assembly present here now — do each of you brave men intend to go through with this retreat? Those of you endowed with the Dharma Eye, speak! What is an extraordinary person (an awakened mind)?’

The assembly remained silent. After a pause the master gave a shout and said, ‘The oranges of Cheju-do and the apples of Taegu — do you know where they fall? One pill of golden cinnabar (the medicine of the immortals) swallows all the Dharma realms, and exudes many marvellous mani­festations. Everyone is Vairocana. Everything is a store of flowers within which the Sam­bhogakaya of the Buddha dwells. Do you understand this? You must be as audacious as someone trying to grab the eyebrows of a living tiger or to snatch the whiskers of a flying dragon. Then you will know. A poem says: Continue reading

False Thought, by Ch’an Master Lai-kuo

Translated from the Korean by Martine and Stephen Batchelor

Dainichi Nyorai is known as the Supreme Buddha of the Cosmos in Esoteric Buddhist thoughtWhen people first make the resolve to realize enlighten­ment, they fear false thought. Those people who have sat for a long time fear drowsy con­fusion. I say that people like these are not capable of doing the work, and don’t have a share in liberation from birth and death. Why is that? Be­cause they don’t realize the scope and sphere of their false thinking, and what is more, they don’t know the places to which their drowsy thinking takes them.

You should understand that from beginningless kalpas past until the present, that which has ascended into the heavens is just your false thinking, that which has fallen into the hells is just your false thinking, that which has transformed into a cow or a horse is just false thinking, that which wants to cultivate the Way is just your false thinking, that which wants to put an end to birth and be liberated from death is just your false thinking, and that which wants to accomplish Buddhahood and become a Patriarch is just your false thinking. Continue reading

Chant the Wind, by Kusan Sunim

Bodhidharma in the grounds of a Japanese Zen Temple © DSR

Bodhidharma

I venture to suggest to this assembly: ‘Even in a dirty place the true nature of all beings is always pure.’ It is like a lotus flower unsmeared by muddy water. In an accomplished per­son it does not increase and in a sentient being it does not decrease. So, have you com­pletely awakened to it or not? The wise person, say something! Truly, what is this thing? HAK! You must observe the moon over the shadowless ground and chant the wind, then you will realise it!

~~~~~~~

The wonderful Dharma, being like a lotus flower, transcends everything.
Only when tranquil and without hindrance will you encounter
Vairocana Buddha.
If you have not removed pride, then truly you are a fool.
When seeking the Way, if you grasp at the form, you will be ensnared in the pheasant’s net.

Continue reading

Self and Body Disappear, by Myoljin Sunim

The first time I came to Korea in 1975, the first nun I talked to was Myoljin Sunim. Two years later we spent a memorable three-month retreat together. Fifteen years after that I was directed to a small temple in the outskirts of Seoul to meet a highly respected, veteran nun meditator, and there she was again — Myoljin Sunim! We were overjoyed at meeting once more after so long.

Martine Batchelor

In the Lotus Sutra it is said: ‘One has to experience difficulties and suffering in order to develop wisdom.’ From this text we can learn the right way to live.

We are all born in order to perform a certain task. There is not a blade of grass which has no name. Even people who perform negative actions have their place. If I see someone perform a negative action, I reflect that I must not do such a thing myself. The negative person, therefore, also has to be born.

Buddha giving teachings. Image from a Sutra scroll

Buddha giving teachings

Goodness can come out of badness, but badness does not come out of goodness. For this reason the world is impartial; it is the way of the One Vehicle. Everything can come on board this One Vehicle — animals, human beings, and everything. This is the vehicle propounded by the Lotus Sutra.

It is difficult to be a good nun, a great responsibility. We must be extremely careful of each thought and not go astray. If our thoughts go in the right direction, then realisation is easy. Continue reading

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