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.
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.
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 […]
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 […]
Since 19th December 2020, Senior Teacher Guy Mokuho Mercier’s Saturday morning Zoom zazen sessions have been relayed from Lanau to the UK 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, as well as items from […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
One part of Zen practice is something called a mondo, which means question-and-answer. In my ten years with Deshimaru Roshi I asked very few questions, only three that I can remember. One day in Switzerland he spoke of the number of people who had come to practise Zen after losing some earlier faith or other. […]
My master Taisen Deshimaru Roshi was always asking,” What is most important? Right now, it may be this pain in your knee, this quarrel you are having, this touching of some person you love.” “What is most important” changes all the time. But what is really important? Even the person you love, the person who […]
‘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 […]
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 […]
“To study Zen is to study the self, to study the self is to forget the self…“ Dogen Zenji Jean Baby: Sesshin at Bangor. October 1995. “To practise Zen is to know the self.” It’s to be present to ourselves, to be present to our body, and to all that we are beyond our […]
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 […]