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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
Transcription of Talk given at Crosby Hall Sesshin 2010
I’m going to speak a little about the origins of Mahayana Buddhism -how it relates to our practice and Dogen’s thinking. I’m going to focus on the ideas that are most relevant to us.