Archive | Dharma & Teachings


Dogen: Portrait

If you take this portrait of me to be real,
 Then what am I, really?
 But why hang it there,
 If not to anticipate people getting to know me?
 Looking at this portrait,
 Can you say that what is hanging there
 Is really me?
 In that case your mind will never be
 Fully united with […]

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Message from Henry: Mysterious Zero

The self is a process of holding on and resisting. It holds on to its own imaginary self-ness. Sitting in an old stone shed among a compound of buildings dating from 1420, in southern Scotland… Outside, above and around the little room, trees sigh and hiss as the winds move through. Beech, sycamore, spruce mostly. […]

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Video: The Moment That Still IS …

I was given this greatest opportunity of all opportunities – to be a human being. ~ Henry Shukman Based on his own direct experience of dying without dying, Henry Shukman talks about … the moment that still IS … where there is no seer … nothing but pure awareness. It is the pivotal  turning point of […]

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Message from Henry: Friends

One recent Sunday my father-in-law took me to the Quaker house in the village of Ettington, Warwickshire, seven miles from their home. Built between 1681 and 1684 as one of the first Friends’ meeting houses in England, it’s a stone cottage comprising one well-proportioned room, its rough plaster walls hung with woven rush matting (a […]

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Koan: Seizei the Poor

A monk, Seizei, asked Master Sôzan in all earnestness… Seizei is alone and poor. I beg you, Master, please help me to become prosperous. San said, Venerable Zei!  Yes, Master! replied Zei. San said… You have already drunk three cups of fine Hakka wine and still you say that you have not yet moistened your […]

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Message from Henry: London

back to the breath… empty core… great space… Sitting outside my brother and sister in law’s house, in the back garden, facing the brick wall at the back of the house, on the cool paving. Morning. Sunny day, blue sky, a rug of sunshine hanging on the garden wall. The rest of the garden in […]

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Henry Shukman: Shinku and Shunyata

 “Being here is not what we take it to be.”   Henry Shukman shares his thoughts on shinku and shunyata, true vast emptiness, as defined and encoutered in Zen and Buddhist traditions. The text for this blog is taken from the short video clip featured at the end of the post.  Henry’s words are in italics. ****** Henry […]

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Henry Shukman: Who is it that Lives?

I and all beings, and the whole great earth together have simultaneously attained the way. ~Shakyamuni Buddha Henry shares his thoughts on Shakyamuni Buddha’s pre-awakening journey as he finally resolved, his burning question: “Who is it that lives?” The young Indian prince, Shakyamuni, wasn’t satisfied with his advantaged life. He had a burning need to penetrate […]

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Dogen: Zazen Practice

  The moon mirrored By a mind free Of all distractions; Even the waves, breaking, Are reflecting its light. ~ Zen Master Dogen ~~~ Text from the Zen Poetry of Dogen: Verses from the Mountain of Eternal Peace,  by Steven Heine. Image: Water Moon, by AhmedRadwan, CC0 Public Domain.

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