Interview With Giuseppe Jisō Forzani

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Giuseppe Jisō Forzani has been the Director of the Sōtō Zen Buddhism Europe Office based in Paris since November 2009. He is Italian, and after a turbulent youth practised and studied in Sōtō Zen Buddhist monasteries in Japan, and was ordained there. He is married and has two sons. You are the director of the […]

A Ceremony for Jean at La Gendro.

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On Sunday 5th August a ceremony was held at La Gendronnière to commemorate the life of Jean Baby, an elder disciple of Master Deshimaru who died on Jan 1st of this year, aged 90. Jean was the founder of the Dojo of Strasbourg, and also (together with Nancy Amphoux) the founder of the UK branch […]

Farewell to Jean Baby

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At a UK sesshin held at Gaunts House in the early 1990’s, during zazen, Jean said, “Please don’t die before me” – Jean had already held his 70th birthday party on Denny’s Barge in Bristol in 1991. Now nearly 20 years later Jean Baby has died after being very ill, unable to walk with damaged […]

The Four Noble Truths

This is the first in a series of talks looking at different Buddhist teachings from a Zen perspective. I thought I’d start with the first sermon the Buddha gave, on the Four Noble Truths, look at what he said, and also the Zen attitude to this.

What-the-Sutra-Says: The Sandokai

The Sandokai is the work of Master Sekito Kisen (in Chinese: Shítóu Xīqiān) who was born in in southern China in 700 AD and died in 790 AD. This was an era in which Zen grew in popularity and began to emerge as a distinct school with many strong, dynamic personalities like Bodhidharma and Eno.

Ask-A-Godo: How do we reconcile those who want to practise Zen as a religion and those who don’t?

Often, when I give a talk, somebody asks: “Zen, Buddhism … are they a religion?” And I often reply, “As you like.” You can practise zazen as a technique for well-being, to feel better, to have a more interesting life, to be happier. That’s possible. It is also possible that you will achieve those goals to a greater or lesser extent.

Ask-A-Godo: What is Ku?

Someone from the British sangha has asked the question that a godo does not really want to answer. It is very difficult, in fact, to explain in a few lines what is covered by this word that refers to the foundation of the universe, the essence of each thing, ultimate reality…