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The Ox by Fashi Lao yue

The Ox by Fashi Lao yue

In the first yoga sutra of Patanjali we find a necessary instruction for the spiritual aspirant. It is simple and clear. This is the beginning of instruction in yoga. Patanjali That’s how it starts. And what is this beginning of yoga, it is to learn and practice a spiritual method to unite with the Godhead. […]

Martha by Ming Zhen Shakya

Martha by Ming Zhen Shakya

There is a problem, central to religious life, which the Bible, with exquisite brevity, states for us in Luke Chapter 10: verses 38-42: Now as they were traveling along, He entered a certain village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. And she had a sister called Mary, who moreover was listening […]

To What….Do You Ascribe Things? By Fashi Lao Yue

To What….Do You Ascribe Things? By Fashi Lao Yue

When something goes your way, do you ascribe it to your skills….to luck….to good fortune? When something turns sour, do you ascribe it to your childhood….to misfortune….to bad luck? In any situation we tend to ascribe things to a source which is often something about our small self or some aspect of the material realm. […]

What are the Most Important Zen Sutras?

What are the Most Important Zen Sutras?

    Ask the Master What are the most important sutras?   We are sometimes asked what are the most important sutras of our tradition? I often answer, which ones are not important? Everything teaches us. Our roots come from Chinese Buddhism and our Chan tradition embraces all the sutras of the Mahayana, all the […]

How to Find God on the Zen Path: The Heart Sutra, The Thread of Love

How to Find God on the Zen Path: The Heart Sutra, The Thread of Love

  What no eye has seen or ear heard….. In the Zen tradition there is a ritual for tending to and disposing of the remnants left after burning a stick of incense. When the incense burns down it leaves a tiny bit of incense in the ash which is still in stick form. It is […]

Connections: Religion & Spirituality

Connections: Religion & Spirituality

Connections by Ming Zhen Shakya, OHY All religions at their base level – the level at which they intersect the plane of ordinary citizens – are merely civilizing media. They post their Commandments, Precepts, Yamas and Niyamas; and through the nearly foolproof means of threatened punishment and promised reward, impose law and order on a community. […]

The Flake of Soap

The Flake of Soap

The Flake of Soap By Fǎshī Lao Yue As I washed my hands a small leaf-shaped flake broke off from the slippery soap bar and rested in my hand. It was leaf-shaped like a laurel leaf. It lay in my palm, pale and thin. It didn’t look much like the olive green parent which was […]

Mirror, Mirror: The Riddle of Self Reflection, The Seeker

Mirror, Mirror: The Riddle of Self Reflection, The Seeker

By Fa Shi Lao Yue….We are the Light of the World Are we at words? I hope not. My purpose in writing this essay is to offer a spiritual practice of examining what comes out of our mouth. In other words, to scrutinize what we say about our world, whether it is the world of […]

On Being a Master: Sinking into the Mud

On Being a Master: Sinking into the Mud

  ON BEING A MASTER When discussing what a “master” is or can be in our tradition with Yao Xiang Shakya, in preparation before her Master Transmission, she said “I feel being a master is sinking further into the mud so the lotus may rise higher”. And indeed, knowing we sink into the mud so […]

I Went for a Sunday Morning Swim

I Went for a Sunday Morning Swim

A Study in Desire and Letting Go By Yao Xiang Shakya   It sounds lovely, doesn’t it….to go for a morning swim. Well, actually it was but not without the possibility of obstacles. As I’ve thought about this the obstacles are akin to the undertows in the ocean, the rip tides, the jellyfish, crabs and […]

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