Sunday, 29 January 2012

The Heart Sutra and Fuekou.

After zazen every Sunday morning we go to the temple hondo to recite sutras. Each month has a new sutra from the Sotoshu standard sutra book. The Heart Sutra is the sutra we recite in January. After reciting the main sutra we also recite Fuekou (普回向), so I included it too. At the beginning you can hear some of the old folks taking a moment or two to get into time. It was 6am and just above freezing, so minds were not fully on the sutra until the head monk joined in to get everyone singing from the same hymn-sheet, so to speak.

In truth, I don't hold a lot of stead in the cultural forms, but this is the sangha I've joined, so I accept their ways.  

Thursday, 26 January 2012

The person you think you are.

Empty your mind of thoughts, and that what you think you are will disappear. That what you really are will be all that remains.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Sweeping troll turds off the porch.

When we sit in zazen we ignore the ramblings of our brain. You see, the brain produces thoughts like the arse produces farts. That's what brains and arses do. They can't help it, so we shouldn't curse them for it. The skill of zazen, whether we are practicing on the zafu or going about our daily business, is to not get caught up in our brain farts.

This is also true with regards to the brain farts of others. Other people's brains fart just like our own. We should understand this, and ignore their nonsense to the best of our ability, just like we ignore our own.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Why is zazen so hard?

If my understanding about zazen is right, then we are trying to kill ourselves on the cushion. Well, what I mean by ourselves is the intellectually manufactured self, the egoic self.

If you think for a moment about the machinations of the egoic self when challenged in our daily lives, how hurt it becomes, how angry it can become when it's attacked or criticised, then surely it's easy to understand why zazen can be so difficult. Could it be that the egoic self is putting up the fight of its life while we try to silence it in zazen? Is this what's described when Gautama Budddha fought with Mara whilst sitting under the Bodhi tree, when distractions of various kinds arose in his mind and threatened his mediation?