Zen (Chan)

The meditation (dhyana) school originating in China that emphasizes "mind-to-mind transmission"
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    The Vision Cow Paid Member

    Based on the traditional Zen Ox-Herding SeriesThe traditional series of ten ox-herding pictures depict the spiritual journey from ordinary life through realization of emptiness, and the return to the everyday. The Vision Cow appeared one day on the way home from Drake’s Beach and became the basis for a modern updating of the ancient paradigm: a cow realizes its true nature and is saved from all suffering, benefiting all beings. Here are some notes on the series: 1 The Ordinary Life of Cows   Grazing, lazing, plenty of grass and lots of space. What’s not to like? Each is a chosen one. Who says there is no pleasure here? 2 Cow Regimentation More »
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    In It Together Paid Member

    I’ve been told—but I don’t know for sure—that you’re like me. If I could speak for you, I would say that you have a deep longing for oneness, a deep urge to return to your original face before your parents were born. The sutra just quoted talks about “the mountains and rivers of the immediate present.” How can you return to the immediate present? These mountains of the immediate present are the self before the emergence of subtle signs. Your existence in the immediate present is the self before the emergence of signs. More »
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    Leonard Koan Paid Member

               From Book of Longing, by Leonard Cohen, a collection of his poems and drawings from the last twenty years. Reprinted by arrangement with Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishing, ©2006 by Leonard Cohen More »
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    Simply Stop Paid Member

    “As I see it, there isn’t so much to do. Just be ordinary—put on your robes, eat your food, and pass the time doing nothing.” —Master Linji, Teaching 18 IN MASTER LINJI’S TIME, some Buddhist terms were used so often they became meaningless. People chewed on terms like “liberation” and “enlightenment” until they lost their power. It’s no different today. People use words that tire our ears. We hear the words “freedom” and “security” on talk radio, television, and in the newspaper so often that they’ve lost their effectiveness or their meaning has been distorted. When words are overused, even the most beautiful words can lose their true meaning. For example, the word “love” is a wonderful word. When we like to eat hamburger, we say, “I love hamburger.” So what’s left for the meaning of the word “love”? More »
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    Gardening at the Green Dragon's Gate Paid Member

    Every spring I receive my best gardening instruction from walking along the edge of our cultivated farmland. I walk just inside the fields, right up against the nine-foot-high deer fence, running my hand over the woven wire as I go. On this ragged borderline, I am forced to slow down. Sometimes I walk so slowly I can close my eyes. I smell the wild pennyroyal mint rising out of the wet eye sockets of small mountain springs just outside the fence. On the rim of these springs grows fetid adder’s tongue, Scoliopus bigelovi, thrusting its ill-scented flowers into the new spring air. The stench of rotting meat hovers over the strange, brown-speckled blooms as they uncurl, luring the flies that will pollinate them. I can feel the slow water of the pennyroyal springs seep out of the hillside and saturate the farm soil on my side of the fence. A good place for summer leeks, I tell myself. The mountain will keep the land wet well past June. More »
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    Think Not Thinking Paid Member

    People who are new to Zen practice have all kinds of weird ideas about the state of nonthinking. Some people envision it as some kind of trippy spaced-out sorta thing. I’ve even heard the term mushiryo (“not-thinking”) consciousness thrown around as if it was some way-cool and mysterious altered state. Some folks are even scared by the idea. But it ain’t like that, folks. In fact, it feels real nice to stop thinking. And it’s not nearly as difficult as people want to make it seem. You just kind of think not thinking. More »