Ordinary Mind is The Way – Koan

Ordinary Mind is The Way – Koan

Koans are Catalysts Koans (KO-ahns) are paradoxical questions and stories that defy our usual, heavily conditioned approach to answering questions using thought and words. The answer gained through the understanding of the koan is not expressed in thought or words,...
Cultivating Unshakeable Faith

Cultivating Unshakeable Faith

Often times when the word faith is mentioned, it is assumed that its context is religious. Particularly in monotheistic religions, faith is referred to as something one has in a god; so for instance, many people have faith in the power and providence of God to help...
Shikantaza – Just Sitting

Shikantaza – Just Sitting

Shikantaza translates as, quite simply, “just sitting”.  Shikantaza is the central practice of Soto Zen Buddhism. In this practice, there is no requirement for focusing on an object or idea when seated in a meditative posture. Instead, the practitioner...
Not Knowing & Zen Practice

Not Knowing & Zen Practice

Born in 1904, Shunryu Suzuki was a Japanese Zen master who settled in San Francisco in 1959 and was instrumental in introducing Zen practice to the western world. A phrase of his, ‘Not Always So’ became the title of a book, the publication of a series of...
The Five Hindrances

The Five Hindrances

The Buddha taught that there are five mental states called “the five hindrances” that negatively impact our ability to free our mind. The Five Hindrances are: Sensual desire (desire for sensory things) Ill will (negative feelings towards others and...
Zazen: The Heart of Zen Practice

Zazen: The Heart of Zen Practice

In Zen Buddhism, the heart of the practice is zazen, or seated meditation. Zazen is the vital meeting point of body, breath, and mind, and provides a way for inquiry into the nature of reality. It is a simple practice with the potential to bring great joy and clarity...