Mysticism

Mystical Texts: The Cloud of Unknowing

The Cloud of Unknowing is a classic mystical text that was written by an anonymous English monk in the 14th century. It’s a guide to contemplative prayer but with an agnostic approach that’s very similar to Zen, once you get past the religious language. The main message of the text is that God is ultimately unknowable… Continue reading Mystical Texts: The Cloud of Unknowing

Buddhism · Meditation

The Dark Face of the Mindfulness Craze

“Mindfulness is the skill of thinking you are doing something when you are doing nothing. One of the good things about mindfulness is that you get to do a lot of sitting down. Sitting down is good for the mind because so much positive energy is stored in the lap.” The Ladybird Book of Mindfulness… Continue reading The Dark Face of the Mindfulness Craze

Buddhism · Dharma Diary

Fearlessness in the face of a hot spoon

There’s a Buddhist story I like about overcoming the fear of death: a Zen monastery was under attack by an infamous warlord and his army. All the monks fled, except for the abbot who sat peacefully in front of the shrine. The warlord entered the courtyard and approached, pulling out his sword. He shouted at… Continue reading Fearlessness in the face of a hot spoon

Book Reviews

Review: Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki

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