Japanese Zen nuns in the 20th century

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Many were the subjects of grievances of the Zen nuns at the dawn of the 20th century. According to the regulations of the Soto tradition, women had to wear only the black robe of the novices; they had no access to any teaching, even lay or monastic; they could neither lead a temple nor participate in decision-making concerning their tradition; and their training as nuns was much longer than that of their male counterparts, sometimes three years longer.

Women in the History of Zen

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One prejudice presented to us as historical fact is the idea that women were not involved in the highest levels of Buddhism and the development of Zen in Japan. Historical sources show us this to be wrong.

Kikyomon – The Standard of the Tortoise-Shell Mirror

Zhanglu Zongze, (Ch’anglu Tsung-tse) died 1107, was a Chinese Ch’an Buddhist abbot noted for writing the Chanyuan Qinggui (Zen’en Shingi),  ‘The Rules of Purity in the Chan Monastery’. Written in 1103, it is the earliest surviving book of monastic rules for Ch’an Buddhist monasteries, running to some ten volumes in all. The Kikyomon, ‘The Standard […]

Online zazen every week

During the COVID-19 epidemic closures, several IZAUK Dojos and Groups continue to offer online zazen & ceremony schedules between six and a dozen times a week. All of them welcome interested practitioners. In addition, from time to time events are relayed from AZI European Zen Centres to which IZAUK is affiliated HOW TO JOIN IN […]

Guy Mokuho Mercier – Zoom kusen

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From 19th December 2020 onward, Senior Teacher Guy Mokuho Mercier’s Saturday morning zazen sessions have been relayed to the UK via Bristol Zen Dojo’s MIXLR channel, with simultaneous translation. His teaching during this period has focused on Great Master Keizan, and especially on the Zazen Yojinki. Here, we provide English translations of his kusen on […]

Guy Mokuho Mercier – Asquins sesshin – October 2020

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Kusen given at a retreat at Asquins, France – October 2020 “I am”, an undeniable state which is the Awareness-Presence in which beings and the world of impermanence unfold. Useless to search for a way to attain it. As Master Dogen says: “It’s always already there”. When a baby learns how to walk, it falls […]

The Six Paramitas – commentaries by Guy Mokuho Mercier

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We are pleased to share here (with the author’s permission) an introduction to and commentary on the Six Paramitas, which first appeared in Tenborin publications. About Guy Mokuho Mercier As one of AZI’s Spiritual Council, Zen Teacher Guy Mokuho Mercier provides guidance for many of IZAUK’s dojos. He regularly leads Zen days, weekends and longer […]

Sutra Chanting Resource Collection

Click a link to download / print out a PDF version of any text you need for ‘virtual dojo’ sessions: 1. Hannya Shingyo, Shigu Seiganmon, Ji Ho San Shi 2. Kesa Sutra 3. Sandokai 4. Daihi Shin Dharani 5. Eko of the Patriarchs 6. Eko of the Matriarchs 7. Hannya Shingyo Eko 8. Deshimaru’s Short […]

Issho Fujita – A Fresh Outlook

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Lotus posture

My notes from Issho Fujita’s visit to London 2018 – Shin Yū Claire Ruddick A brief history of the Buddha – Four stages Buddha grew up in a palace protected from the negativity of the world. One day he encountered old age, sickness, death and a monk. Shocked at seeing suffering for the first time […]

III. Zen and zazen – by Nancy Nanshin Amphoux

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Red blossom

‘A practice called zazen’, I said. What is a practice? Although I do not know much about Christianity, I should say that the practice of Christianity is prayer and active charity. The essential practice of Zen is zazen. Since there have been human beings, and in a different form even before that, there has been […]

The mind of awakening of the Bodhisattva by Guy Mokuho Mercier – June 2017

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by: Mokuho Guy Mercier : About Shantideva: Shantideva was an eighth century Indian monk highly renowned in the Mahayana tradition of Buddhism. Like Shakyamuni, he came from a royal family, but renounced his royalty to devote himself to meditation. He was ordained a monk at Nalanda, a monastic university, where he continued to study the sutras, and […]

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 […]

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