Zen

  • The Platform Sutra of Hui-neng Paid Member

    This edition of The Platform Sutra is another translation and close reading by Bill Porter, b.k.a. Red Pine. Clark Strand turned me onto his Heart Sutra, which I wrote about here. The Platform Sutra does not purport to be spoken by the Buddha, but rather is spoken by a buddha, Hui-neng, known as the Sixth patriarch of Zen or Chan Buddhism (and also called Huineng and in Japanese, Yeno or Eno.) The basic narrative that begins it is very well known, and runs something like this: The 5th Patriarch Hung-jen (or Hongren in a slightly newer anglicization) is growing old and asks his disciples to compose poems to demonstrate their understanding. Shen-hsiu, his best student, writes The body is a bodhi treeThe mind is like a standing mirroralways try to keep it cleandon't let it gather dust. More »
  • Zen Teachers write an open letter to Dennis Genpo Merzel Paid Member

    Dozens of Zen teachers have signed onto yet another letter to Dennis Genpo Merzel, imploring him to change his ways. With regret they note they have little hope he will. We received the letter today and it appears below, followed by Merzel's original letter of apology. A few of the signatories themselves have been directly linked to the mess or messes like it, as you may have read here, where we give some background to a series of recent revelations that rocked Zen communities. While the squeaky wheels in the White Plum Asangha have been getting all the oil lately, overlooked is the wonderful legacy of Maezumi Roshi, whatever his flaws, whose teachings continue to be passed along by his numerous heirs in thriving communities across the country. More »
  • Where is the ethical dimension of Buddhist meditation in Zen? Paid Member

    In a recent edition of The Eastern Buddhist, Professor Brian Victoria continues his criticism of the writings of D. T. Suzuki. (The article is here, in PDF. The Eastern Buddhist is published in Kyoto and the original organization was founded by D. T. Suzuki in the 1920s. TEB's openness to debate on Suzuki's writing and record is to be commended.)More »
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    shadow 4 from 108zenbooks Paid Member

    Every time I go to 108zenbooks I see—and read—something beautiful. This enso, "shadow 4", is stolen from there. Bows and thanks to Genju, the kind proprieter and artist. More »
  • Spring is Hers: Beginning Now is Everything Paid Member

    On the Sundays of April 17 and May 8 at 10am, Sensei Bonnie Myotai Treace will be giving meditation instruction and talks on the life and poetry of Buddhist nun Otagaki Rengetsu (1791–1875) at the Japan Society in New York. Myotai Sensei will be placing a particular emphasis on Rengetsu’s poems of resilience and new beginnings, and on the transformative capabilities of meditation, poetry, and art as spiritual practice.For ticket information, click here or call the Japan Society at (212) 715-1258. Myotai Sensei's website: 108 bowlsFurther reading: "The Sword Disappears in the Water" by Sensei Bonnie Myotai Treace More »
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    Buddhist Thoughts on Impermanence, Plutonium and Beauty Paid Member

    Lewis Richmond via the Huffington Post, More »