This week I’m reading What Makes you Not a Buddhist, a brilliant and lucid book from a Tibetan Buddhist master who doesn’t pull his punches. Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse gives it to us straight: so you think you’re a Buddhist? Think again! This book challenges common misconceptions about Buddhism, particularly those held by practitioners, and demonstrates… Continue reading Review: What makes you Not a Buddhist
This week I’m reading Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: a Zen classic from a brilliant master. The book is drawn from a series of talks given by Shunryu Suzuki on Zen Mind and how to practise. They’re divided into three sections that cover Right Practice, Right Attitude, and Right Understanding. The beginner’s mind of the title is… Continue reading Review: Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki
A Buddhist monk approached his teacher and asked the Zen Master, “If I meditate very diligently, how long will it take for me to become enlightened?” The Master thought for a moment, and then replied, “Ten years.” The student then said, “But what if I work very, very hard and really apply myself to learn… Continue reading How long does it take to become enlightened?
To celebrate Chinese New Year and the Year of the Monkey, I thought it would be fun to explore the background to one of my favourite TV shows: Monkey. It’s a cult classic and was on TV during my formative years in the 70s. We would rush home from ballet class (don’t ask) because I… Continue reading Monkey Magic! or How Buddhism came to China
On the night of creation, I was awake Busy at work while everyone slept. I was there to see the first wink and hear the first tale told. I was the first one caught in the hair of the great imposter. Whirling around the still point of ecstasy, I spun like the wheel of heaven.… Continue reading Beyond Words: a commentary on Rumi by Andrew Harvey
Riding free as air he buoyantly comes home through evening mists in wide straw-hat and cape. Wherever he may go he creates a fresh breeze, while in his heart profound tranquillity prevails. This Ox requires not a blade of grass. Now you’re starting to get the hang of this awakening business – but don’t get… Continue reading Ox Herding Pictures: Riding the Ox Home
The ox herding pictures represent the process of awakening as described in Zen Buddhism. Each image is a metaphor that reveals the internal stages of meditation – how awakening looks from the inside. In this series we’ll look at each picture and explore what they mean, but first a bit of background. The original drawings… Continue reading Zen Ox Herding Pictures: Introduction