Photos by @KyotoDailyPhoto

True Peace of Mind, by Harada Sekkei Roshi

Many people think Zen is something difficult. However, the Chinese character used for ‘Zen’ means ‘to demonstrate simplicity’. As this character implies, Zen is an extremely clear and concise teaching. Zen is also said to be the Buddha-dharma itself. The Chinese character for ‘Dharma’ is written with the components for ‘water’ and ‘to leave’. This implies that water flows from a high place to a low place. Zen, then, is to realise the Truth (the natural principles of things) which is completely separate from the judgement and intervention of the ego-self…

Renunciation and Simplicity, by Corrado Pensa

The virtues (paramis) always work in a relationship of mutual cooperation. There is an organic necessity for these positive energies to work together; they are mutually supportive. There is support between formal practice and the virtues, and among the several virtues.

From a distance we might say that practice seems to be simple, and in a sense it is—it’s the simplest thing in the world. In another sense, however, it is a complex and interacting structure…

When you are on Retreat, by Ajahn Sumedho

When you are on retreat, restrictions are placed on your physical actions and speech. But there are also mental restraints and limitations. You are not to simply let your mind go wild or indulge in fantasies. Instead, you are to learn to bring the mind into the present.

Motoko Ikebe, by Arthur Braverman

Historically, the Japanese have considered women to be the proper interpreters of the teaching of the gods. In fact, the first spiritual and political leader of Japan on record was Himiko (or Pimiko), a queen whose authority was based on her religious or magical powers. She was a Shaman who the Chinese chronicles describe as unmarried with a thousand women attendants and one man, and who spent her time with magic and sorcery. She was a mediator between the people and their gods…