Mirror of Zen

The Mirror of Zen is a text that was written by a teacher named So Sahn. He is one of the most revered Zen Masters in the history of Seon Buddhism. He was a Korean teacher and he tried to distill Zen teachings from over 50 sutras into a container that could easily be understood. […]

Paradox in the Diamond Sutra

No one claims the Diamond Sutra is an easy text to understand. It’s said to be so full of meaning that it can point us directly to Enlightenment, so of course it’s not an easy text. It would be crazy for someone to pick this text as their first class to teach at their local […]

Comparing Sutras

Since I’m teaching a class on the Diamond Sutra for the next six weeks, I expect it will be on my mind a lot. You can expect me to write about it for a while and I hope that’s ok. What’s significant about the Diamond Sutra is that it’s down to earth and it presents […]

Teaching the Diamond Sutra

In one week I’m going to start teaching the Diamond Sutra. It’s a six week class that will occur Wednesdays nights at the Rime Center from 7:45pm until 9:00pm. It starts on April 13th. You should come if you can. (a link to register for this class is posted at the bottom) I’m so nervous […]

The Heart Sutra: A Meditation Guide

  The Prajnaparamita Hridyam Sutra is a short text; it is about the length of a page. But it’s a very deep text. It’s title means The Great Heart of Transcendent Wisdom Sutra, but we usually just shorten it to Heart Sutra. It’s part of the Prajnaparamita school of texts, along with the Diamond Sutra and a […]

From the Lotus Sutra

The Lotus Sutra says this about a meditator. ‘In a quiet place he practices meditation by controlling the mind. He sits motionless like Mount Sumeru.’ This is an important instruction. Stillness and silence seem like simple things. When we have them is when we can accomplish the most. It’s possible to meditate when surrounded by […]

From the Confidence of the Mind Inscription

For reality to manifest here and now, do not distinguish between good and bad. To discriminate in this way is a disease of the mind, which obscures the realisation of the mysterious knowledge, and renders the practice of quiet study futile. Discrimination represents the labels we put on things. We label things as ‘good’ or […]

The Altar Sutra: Dhyana

The Patriarch gave this teaching: In our system of meditation we don’t dwell on the mind nor do we dwell on purity. Also we are active. As to dwelling on the mind, the mind often leads us to delusion. When we realize this, there is no need to dwell on it. As to dwelling on […]

Altar Sutra: On Prajna: Part 1

On Prajna (Wisdom) One day, after reciting the Heart Sutra, the Sixth Patriarch Huineng gave the following teaching: The great seed of Awakening is within all of us. It is because our minds are under delusion that we fail to realize this. This is why we seek advice and guidance from Masters and Teachers The […]

What is the Altar Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch?

The Altar Sutra is a Mahayana Buddhist text by the Sixth Patriarch in the Ch’an Buddhist tradition, Hui-neng. Hui-neng (638–713) is one of the most respected and revered figures in Buddhist history. He was an illiterate woodcutter who suddenly attained Enlightenment upon hearing the Diamond Sutra. He became the Sixth Patriarch in the Ch’an tradition. […]