Category Archives: zen

Jump into the river

In this blog, I want to explore the difference between meditating on the river bank and jumping into the river of life. an old friend I went for a walk with an old friend. Actually she has not been my … Continue reading

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Parfit, Napoleon and Me

If there is a number one question for zen meditation practitioners, it’s probably: How do I integrate my meditation practice in my daily life? I’ve witnessed many Q and A sessions with a zen master and somebody always asks this … Continue reading

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zen catechism

Catechisms are doctrinal manuals often in the form of questions followed by answers to be memorised. A christian example: Q. What is the chief end of man? A. To glorify God and enjoy Him forever. next question: Q. How may … Continue reading

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What are you thinking?

I’ve read about a scientist who went upstairs to change for a dinner party. When the guests arrived, his wife went looking for him and found fast asleep. He said: “I found myself upstairs, with my tie in my right … Continue reading

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Great doubt

Some would say it is encouraged in zen: great doubt supposedly leads to great enlightenment. Take Hakuin’s word for it. Or don’t. That is equally fine with me. The trouble is that you are always encouraged to doubt within the … Continue reading

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Doing nothing

Wei wu wei It’s a taoist concept, translated as the action of nonaction. Lao Tzu describes it: “Thus, the wise man deals with things through wu-wei and teaches through no-words. The ten thousand things flourish without interruption. They grow by … Continue reading

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enlightened dishwashing

Is dishwashing going to be different when we’re enlightened? No. There will always be chores. One zen master famously said that these details are all there is to life. After enlightenment, dishwashing might become even more important. In fact, it … Continue reading

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Meet the real sceptics

Originally, the word sceptic meant “One who looks.” As mentioned in the famous quotation from Sextus Empiricus: “And the sceptics, they are still investigating.” In this quote, he compares sceptics to dogmatists. There are positive dogmatists: people who know the truth. … Continue reading

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What’s good?

I’m reading excerpts from the diary of Maura O’Halloran, an Irish woman who lived in a zen monastery in Japan in the eighties. “Respect life,” she says. “Not because it’s right or good or moral but because it is.” This … Continue reading

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Kiss your Self goodbye

It’s the buddhist way to look at ourselves and the universe: conditioned arising. Buddhist scholar Walpola Rahula calls it the buddhist theory of relativity. There’s no maths involved in what comes next: When this is, that is. This arising, that arises. … Continue reading

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