Archive | Dharma & Teachings

Henry

Message form Henry: Rohatsu Reflections

What a joy it is to be able to go deeper into our human nature, then return to the world that so needs all the love and help we can give… Some reflections on our Rohatsu retreat that ended yesterday… First – as ever – it was Mountain Cloud’s strongest retreat ever! In fact, though […]

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Henry

Message from Henry: Overcoming the Unwholesome

In our contemporary culture we don’t address evil sufficiently, according to the writer Martin Shaw. That’s why we have so much of it dominating our culture. Even in the spiritual realm today we may prefer the transcendent, the exalted, the sublime over the recognition and uprooting of the unwholesome. But older cultures, oral cultures, spend […]

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Henry

Message from Henry: Doubt

The opposite of doubt is faith. Some markers of it would be: gratitude to the sangha, humility before the practice. Try not to let the demon doubt come between you and your practice. For incalculable eons, according to the old scriptures, we have labored in darkness, unable to find the way and be liberated. Now […]

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Henry

Message from Henry: Essential Unnecessary Work

Zazen…that place where nothing needs to be done… The great majority of our practice in the early years will not touch on awakening. It will be the daily, hourly, momentary commitment to try to be more aware of the present moment, to see our unhelpful tendencies, to feel the energies that drive our lives, and […]

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Henry

Message from Henry: No Knowing

The groundless ground springs forth. There is “breakthrough practice” and self-study “present moment experience” practice. Tending the garden of now. Or knocking through the walls of the house, tearing it down. It would be nice to think both kinds of practice lead to the same place, to some mythic land of redemption. Heaven, nirvana, enlightenment. […]

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Henry

Message from Henry: The Opportunity of Suffering

…our very suffering is our greatest opportunity and teaching. We may or may not be theistic by temperament or upbringing, but may still believe in the intrinsic benevolence of creation – of the universe existing, and of our place in it as conscious beings. Yes there is all the beauty and love and generosity and […]

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Science and Practice Notes

Western science begins in a kind of humility, with an assumption that we don’t know. Practice is similar or comparable. It begins with humility also – not in a self-blaming way, but in an acceptance that when it comes to our suffering, we ourselves are likely the problem. ~ Henry Shukman   Image: Water Lily […]

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Henry

Message from Henry: Deep Dive

Everything goes back to front. Another analogy for practice: there was a 1950s movie about attempts to break the sound barrier. The pilots would climb exceptionally high in their jets then aim at the ground. They would dive as fast as they could. Alas, as they got close to the sound barrier, they kept crashing. […]

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Nothing to Understand

There’s nothing to understand. Do you understand a caress or a flower? I’m just. If you try to understand your mind as if it was a puzzle to solve, or try to understand which direction your life is going to be able to direct it to the best you are wasting energy and breath. Life […]

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