City Cave Zen

Teachings by Dogo, Scottish Zen Buddhist Monk

by Dogo

An apology without amends is no apology at all. To acknowledge causing harm while offering no atonement or explanation is to deliver a taunt. “I'm sorry” is only an apology if it is followed by a comma, not a period.

#zen #buddhism #atonement #apologies #remorse #makingamends #palmofthehandteachings #dogobarrygraham

by Dogo

Some people in the Buddhist world like to talk of “noble silence,” or, even, “Noble Silence.” Silence is neither noble nor ignoble; it's silence. If we try to make it more than it is, we make it less than it is, by imposing our small story on it, so that we experience not the silence, but our ideas about the silence.

#zen #buddhism #mindfulness #meditation #dogobarrygraham

by Dogo

Once in a saintly passion I cried with desperate grief, “O Lord, my heart is black with guile, Of sinners I am chief.” Then stooped my guardian angel And whispered from behind, “Vanity, my little man, You're nothing of the kind.” — James Thomson

Self-loathing is the same narcissism as self-adoration. Vanity prefers to be Satan than just another ordinary sinner. Contemplative practice is not about learning to love, or accept, ourself, but getting over ourself.

#zen #buddhism #samsara #ego #narcissism #dogobarrygraham

by Dogo

Of the Three Treasures — the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha — the third is the most important, because it contains the other two.

#zen #buddhism #triratna #community #palmofthehandteachings #dogobarrygraham

by Dogo

Thank you, pillows. Thank you, mattress. Thank you, sheets. Thank you, duvets. Thank you, floor. Thank you, ceiling. Thank you, walls. Thank you, windows. Thank you, door. Thank you, electricity. Thank you, water. Thank you, gas. Thank you, neighbourhood. Thank you, city. Thank you, country.

Continue, with or without words.

#zen #buddhism #gratitude #mindfulness #meditation #animism #dogobarrygraham

by Dogo

When does our journey end? When we realise we were never on a journey.

#zen #buddhism #dukkha #samsara #suffering #palmofthehandteachings #dogobarrygraham

by Dogo

More than ten years ago, I realised I had never seen a good English translation of The Kannon Sutra, a.k.a. Enmei Jukku Kannon Gyo, so I decided to attempt one that was both accurate and easy to chant. This is the result, Romaji followed by English. (Note: in our sangha, we still chant it in Japanese.)

ENMEI JUKKU KANNON GYO

KAN ZE ON NA MU BUTSU YO BUTSU U IN YO BUTSU U EN BUP PO SO EN JO RAKU GA JO CHO NEN KAN ZE ON BO NEN KAN ZE ON NEN NEN JU SHIN KI NEN NEN FU RI SHIN

TEN-LINE LIFE-PROLONGING KANNON SUTRA

Kanzeon Veneration to the Buddha The Buddha is my origin The Buddha and me — no separation The Three Treasures and me — no separation Bliss outside of time, pure freedom from self First morning thought: Kanzeon Last nighttime thought: Kanzeon Thoughts, thoughts arise from the mind Thoughts, thoughts are nothing but the mind

#zen #buddhism #chanting #liturgy #kannonsutra #enmeijukkukannongyo #dogobarrygraham

by Dogo

We are conditioned to live our entire life in the belief that it will be better someday.

#zen #buddhism #dukkha #samsara #suffering #palmofthehandteachings #dogobarrygraham

by Dogo

Our weekly online sangha meetings have been going very well, with — thus far — people in Scotland, Cornwall, Italy, Croatia, France, and various American states doing zazen together. Our little group ranges from newcomers to people who're in their second decade of practicing together. It's been going so well, I think this ought to be the future, or at least a large part of the future, of Zen practice.

Of course, it's good for people who live near one another to practice together in the same physical space. But so much of Buddhist practice in the west has involved flying hundreds, or thousands, of miles to sit together in meditation or visit teachers. I knew an American monk who made an annual flight from the American Southwest to the Netherlands... to sit in a zendo for a week. Not only is this the practice of the affluent (what some of us call The Upper Middle Way), its contribution to global heating is unconscionable.

Some of the ways we've been living during lockdown should be continued when the pandemic is over. Frivolous air travel should not resume. Buddhist practitioners who don't have a local sangha can practice together virtually, and local sanghas can also be part of the international sangha. Jikan, daishin and I plan to open a zendo near Garelochhead in Scotland, where we'll hold sesshin (meditation retreats), and we plan to stream those online. Dokusan can be done by a video phone call.

#zen #buddhism #meditation #onlinezenpractice #mindfulness #virtualzendo #onlinedharma #dogobarrygraham #jitsi

by Dogo

Stone, River, Mountain Zen is a new group blog with writing by me, daishin and Jikan.

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