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Outside the worldly winds are raging. Inside is peaceful and calm. Where are you when the winds blow? When we accept life as it is, right now, without complaining or trying to grasp for more, we come to peace and spaciousness. We come to a freedom, where we are more capable of both inner and outer change. Seeing the 8 worldly winds of the human con…
 
No longer caught in the self-centred dream.I have given up seeking,Content just to beWith whatever this moment brings.This guided meditation is a contemplation on the alternative practice principles.A common error is often to take up practice as a means to an end, we often fall into the trap of thinking we practice in order to obtain enlightenment.…
 
In this guided meditation I explore the three phases of zen meditation practice. Moving from focusing on an object, through to open awareness and finally objectless meditation (or shikantaza or silent illumination) or what Dogen called “taking the backward step” where all duality between observer and observed dissovlnes completely.…
 
In this talk I focus on the three treasures and the three pure precepts and how an understanding of these precepts are essential to applying the ten grave precepts within the context of the koans of everyday life. The three treasures are the expression of the intrinsic nature or essential nature that the ten grave precepts are expressions of.…
 
We are always in the middle of life. Cultivating awareness of this most basic of facts can help to heal the damage that often arises from judging parts of our selves and our experiences. For example, every human has a desire for pleasantness and a desire to be free from pain. Judging this basic desire can do subtle violence to ourselves, banishing …
 
In this guided meditation, Jack Wicks, an OzZen facilitator, takes us on a journey through the practice of not-knowing. Not-knowing is a zen approach to seeing our lives more clearly and liberating us from suffering. Not-knowing means seeing through our tendency to believe that our thoughts are always an accurate and helpful description of reality.…
 
In this guided meditation we define psychological suffering as the activity of seeking and resisting. In the first phase of the meditation we pay attention to the different ways we seek to escape from this moment or resist being this moment. In the second phase we explore the two basic practices that resolve this activity – the practice of attentio…
 
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life." - John LennonIn this talk we explore the secret of peace and happiness – t…
 
In this guided meditation we go on a tour of the wheel of awareness and distinguish phenomenal consciousness from meta-consciousness. We then explore how we get lost in the normal process of dissociation called, getting caught in thoughts and then demonstrate how the technique of thought labelling is an example of meta-consciousness in action. The …
 
This year we begin a series of way-seeking mind talks. These are traditional to Zen Buddhism. Practitioners give a kind of psychological-spiritual autobiography of how they were drawn by the way-seeking mind to discover “the way” to their true self. I would like to thank Jack for accepting my invitation to give this talk, which I hope inspires more…
 
This talk begins with a discussion of the work of the twentieth century philosopher Edmund Husserl and the practice that he called the epoche (bracketing our beliefs and concepts about self and the world). I then demonstrate the epoche by exploring the text “The Invitation” by the contemporary spiritual teacher know as Mooji.…
 
In this guided meditation we begin with contemplating Dogen’s instructions on Zazen to “Now sit steadfastly and think not-thinking. How do you think not-thinking? Beyond thinking. This is the essential art of Zazen”. We then explore what we need to practice to be before thinking. What is being before thinking. Following the introduction I introduce…
 
In this talk I explore The Observing Self. I often say to my students, stand as Awareness, and be kind to self and others. Joko Beck said“That which observes cannot be found and cannot be described. If we look for it there is nothing there. Since there is nothing we can know about it, we can almost say it is another dimension” 1989: 123. In the end…
 
Underlying most forms of meditation is the basic act of returning: coming back to a meditation object (e.g., the breath, the body, a koan), drifting away, and then coming back, again and again. In this guided meditation, Rhys Price-Robertson encourages gentle exploration of returning in meditation, not with the idea that there are right or wrong wa…
 
Originally formulated by Joko Beck, the practice principles are common to all the different centres of the Ordinary Mind Zen School around the world. In this dialogue we explore our mutual understanding of the practice principles and how we can use them to remind us how to practice, both formally, in our Zazen practice, and informally in our everyd…
 
In this guided meditation Andrew takes us on a tour round the practice triangle to demonstrate the experiential shift in the sense of self as we move through these different ways of experiencing self. The first position is “self-as-content” (often known as the ego-self); the second position is the “self-as-process”, which is the beginning of negati…
 
All guided meditations take us on a journey to discover our true self. However, the map is not the territory but some maps can be more helpful than others. In this guided meditation, Andrew once again maps out the territory which points the way to our true self – even through consciousness is in a never ending process of transformation our true sel…
 
In this series of talks, we commence with developing our understanding of the Mahayana teachings about Buddha Nature and Awakening to our True Self. We conclude that although awakening to our True Self is necessary, it is not sufficient. After having awoken to our True Self, we need to do the hard work of integrating the Parts of the personality th…
 
In this series of talks, we commence with developing our understanding of the Mahayana teachings about Buddha Nature and Awakening to our True Self. We conclude that although awakening to our True Self is necessary, it is not sufficient. After having awoken to our True Self, we need to do the hard work of integrating the Parts of the personality th…
 
In this series of talks, we commence with developing our understanding of the Mahayana teachings about Buddha Nature and Awakening to our True Self. We conclude that although awakening to our True Self is necessary, it is not sufficient. After having awoken to our True Self, we need to do the hard work of integrating the Parts of the personality th…
 
In this series of talks, we commence with developing our understanding of the Mahayana teachings about Buddha Nature and Awakening to our True Self. We conclude that although awakening to our True Self is necessary, it is not sufficient. After having awoken to our True Self, we need to do the hard work of integrating the Parts of the personality th…
 
This is my last talk, in a series of talks, on Zen as religious practice. In the first part of the talk, I will summarise some of the reasons why I view Zen as a religious practice, and how I was drawn to Zen because of its teaching of the direct realisation of our true nature in this life – not in some future life to come. From the Zen perspective…
 
Neti Mushin Parekh is an Australian based Soto Zen Priest who has recently returned home from 20 years in the USA to establish the Twining Vines Zen Centre - Katto-an Temple in Canberra. Neti has received transmission in both the Diamond Sangha Koan lineage and the Shunryu Suzuki Soto Zen lineage. Neti will be giving what is called in the Soto Zen …
 
This guided meditation continues the meditation in part one of Ordinary Mind is Buddha:Ordinary mind is always here,Closer than close, nearer than near.In fact, its inseparable from who you truly are.Ordinary mind is Buddha.In Part One we focused on calm-abiding. In this meditation we focus Vipasyana (Inquiry leading to Insight). We start with expe…
 
This talk continues my discussion of revisioning religious practice for the 21st century. It is based on how I understand Buddhism to be evolving in the west and how I see OzZen as being part of what I am calling the fourth way: “The OzZen Way is an attempt to do a preliminary sketch of how we fit into the larger pantheon of global Buddhism, and th…
 
This talk is an invitation to begin to re-vision what it means to live a religious life in the 21st Century – in our time and place. In particular it explores the three major forms of Modern Buddhism has taken in the West: Religious Buddhism, Secular Buddhism and secular mindfulness. The talk concludes that Religious Buddhism, founded on “no-gain” …
 
“That which we most deeply yearn for is the thing that is already most fully present, already the very closest to us. Thus, our ancestral teachers, according to their own circumstances at hand, have always shown that Buddha is now, here. So, we place our focus now, here.”Harada Tangen.This guided meditation is in two parts. The first part is an int…
 
Poetry (and other art forms) have been part of Chan/Zen practice since its origins in Ancient China. This tradition has been passed down through excellent translations of classical Chinese poetry and Japanese Haiku. These works influenced western poets from the 1950’s onwards, to explore the wilds of the mind and the restorative power of wilderness…
 
This dharma talk will picks up from our Living without Walls dharma talk last fortnight (18.07.21) with a focus on making the Heart Sutra less abstract and more accessible and relevant to our lived experience. Hence rather than just giving a lecture, I introduce some mini-meditations to facilitate exploring how the world shows up when we start to f…
 
Trees, rooted into the Earth, inseparable from the Earth, entirely dependent, entirely interdependent, hosting a variety of flora and fauna, welcoming all. This meditation invites us to reflect on how we can be like the tree, allowing life to be as it is, allowing us to be as we are, including the parts of ourselves and the parts of life that we do…
 
The focus of today’s talk is part three of the heart sutra: The Bodhisattva Path. Sattva means being and bodhi means awakened. So, a bodhisattva is an awakened being or a being which aspires to awaken. In the first part of the heart sutra, Shariputra is asking Avalokiteshvara to teach him prajnaparamita. Prajna is wisdom and paramita means perfect …
 
Avalokiteshvara, clearly saw all five skandhas are empty, freeing us from all identification as a separate self and thereby releasing us from all anguish and distress. From the perspective of emptiness this body and mind is like a waterfall. A waterfall is not a thing but rather a name for a process of happening. Our name and date of birth are just…
 
The meditation has three parts. In the first part we will inquire into the question: who or what is thinking the thoughts? In the second part, we will inquire into how thoughts turn into stories and how we can become captive of those stories. In part three, we explore the crucial distinction between thoughts and experiencing the reality of what is.…
 
Both Zen and psychotherapy involve bringing awareness to endings, though they do this in different ways. Psychotherapy normally focuses on the big endings in our lives – finishing a job, a relationship breakup, losing a loved one – and can highlight our personal patterns of ending, patterns often developed to help us to avoid the pain of loss. Zen …
 
The Direct Path is the path of nonduality. It is found in all religious traditions. In Hinduism it is found as Advaita-Vedanta or Kashmir Shaivism; In Islam it is found as the way of the Sufi; in Christianity it is found in mystics like Meister Eckhart; in Buddhism it is found in Chan/Zen and Mahamudra and Dzogchen. We can say, it is simply being.…
 
This meditation considers the wisdom of relatively unstructured meditation practices, as are taught in the Ordinary Mind tradition. How do we show up when there is no obvious goal, when there are no detailed guidelines, and when there is no clear right or wrong way of doing things? How do we configure ourselves in an unstructured space? This medita…
 
This interview continues the exploration of the common ground between the teachings of Gurdjieff and Joko Beck. It begins with a brief biography of Elisabeth’s journey with the Gurdjieff teachings. The interview then stays on practice issues such as waking up through self-observation and self-remembering and non-identification. It also clarifies th…
 
Joko Beck often quoted an expression from the Hebrew Bible: “Be still, know I am”. It describes our practice of just sitting or silent illumination. Silence is the stillness – it is the anchor, the stabiliser that naturally allows clear seeing to arise. The light that illuminates all phenomena is awareness. The Buddha said be a light unto yourself.…
 
The Heart Sutra is a condensed version of much longer Heart Sutras. It really contains all we need. It teaches the direct path: seeing directly into our true nature. We can let go of all identities by coming this moment. The meditation then focuses on Consciousness. The mantra coming at the end of the Sutra can be seen as a summary of the whole sut…
 
This guided meditation presented by Dr Jed Blore invites an exploration of three interrelated questions: 'what are we doing?’, ‘why are we doing it? (or: 'why does it matter?)’, and, 'what are we hoping to gain?’. The exploration continues with an invitation to connect with a spacious, open awareness that is accepting of our ‘gaining ideas’ alongsi…
 
This talk begins with bearing witness to Anzac Day in the light of the Ten Precepts, starting with the first precept of bearing witness to the reality of violence and abuse, in myself and in the world. I then give an historical overview of how Anzac Day has evolved over the years since the 1920’s. I then explore what and who does Anzac Day currentl…
 
This meditation is a continuation of a series of meditations inspired by the Heart Sutra. The topic today is resting in sensations. Simply resting in our senses. As Joko Beck says in her book Nothing Special Living Zen: “Without awareness of our sensations, we are not fully alive” (p. 159). In this meditation we will be meditating on the first and …
 
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