15 - 18
Retreat: Ingen Breen in Norfolk.
April 5 - 9
Retreat: Ingen Breen in Sweden
June 8 - 13
Retreat: Tenshin Reb Anderson Roshi in Sweden
June 15 - 24
Retreat: Tenshin Reb Anderson Roshi in Felsentor Switzerland
Major Dancing Mountains Retreat
to be confirmed.
Visit the Diary
for further details.
Bodhisattva is the Hearer of the Cries of the World. And one of the
characteristics of Avalokiteshvara is that she manifests herself in
accord with the circumstances. So she always presents herself in a form
that's appropriate to what's going on. In the Bowery, she manifests
as a bum. Tonight, in bar-rooms across the country, she'll manifest
as a drunk or as a motorist on the highway, or as a fireman, or a physician,
always responding in accord with the circumstances, in a form appropriate
to the circumstances. How is that? Every time there's a stranded vehicle
on the side of the road and a motorist stops to help Avalokiteshvara
Bodhisattva has manifested herself. Those characteristics of wisdom
and compassion are the characteristics of all beings. All Buddhas. We
all have that potential. It's just a matter of awakening it. You awaken
it by realizing there's no separation between self and other. Do not
think of the bodhisattva as a being separate from yourself. When we
see and hear the suffering of others and respond to that suffering,
we are the heads and arms of the bodhisattva."
Daido Lori (June 14, 1931 – October 9, 2009)
As our northern
world slowly tilts into midwinter darkness in this sixteenth edition of
Mountain Silence we explore the meaning of compassion, one of the four
pillars of Buddhism. The original Sanskrit word is ‘karuna,’
which means ‘active sympathy, gentle affection and a willingness
to bear the pain of others’. When The Buddha was asked by one of
his followers if compassion was a part of their practice.
“No,” the Buddha answered. “The cultivation of compassion
is all of our practice.”
The quote by great western Buddhist teacher John Daido Loori heading this
editorial perhaps captures the essence of the ideal of compassion. Avalokiteshvara
Bodhisattva is not some ethereal presence out there, not separate from
us; her potential expression is there wherever suffering is found.
One teacher recently also grounded the ideal very pragmatically when he
advised; ‘when you come upon a situation that leaves you bewildered,
or questioning how you can help, ask yourself what would Avalokiteshvara
(that is (I)) do here?’ If we can do this; ‘We are the heads
and arms of the bodhisattva. By developing experientially these deep,
powerful feelings of compassionate connection with others we may discern,
however dimly, the subtle but beautiful reflections of universal interconnection
that are symbolised by Indra’s Net.
Despite the materialism that is so evident in our culture at this season
there does glow in the depths of our being that human desire to be kind
to each other. This light cannot be completely extinguished despite the
global suffering we witness within us, through our relationships, and
In Buddhist monasteries all over the world a Rohatsu Seshin is held between
the1st and 8th of December. This celebrates Sakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment
as he saw Venus, the morning star, arising at dawn after 40 hours of deep
meditation. A potent reminder that even in the deepest darkness our essential
Buddha nature can shine through as when we see another’s suffering
and alleviate it with skilful means.
Reb Anderson Roshi
I’ll begin with a story that I tell many times.
It’s a story that occurred supposedly in China maybe 1200 years
ago. Read more...
few Thoughts on Compassion
Francis Checkley, Anryu Ciu
Just to hear the word "Compassion" is
evocative of noble actions, altruistic concern for others, charitable
endeavours towards those who suffer physically, mentally or emotionally.
and the Radiant One – A Tale of Long Ago
By Kogan Muju
“It is wonderful, truly
marvellous, how serene is the good Gotama's appearance, how clear and
radiant his complexion, just as the golden jujube in autumn is clear
and radiant, just as a palm-tree fruit just loosened from the stalk
is clear and radiant, Read more...
- Compassion in Action
Ji Den Dai U
me respectfully remind you:
Life and death are of supreme importance.
Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost.
Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken!
Take heed! Do not squander your life...Read
Steps to a Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong
In November 2007 Karen Armstrong
an author and commentator on religion whose work I have long admired
learned she had been awarded $100,000 prize by TED Read
The Hebden Bridge Sangha
continues to flourish and grow. We are still meeting twice a week
and invariably welcome newcomers to the group on a Sunday evening.
Mountains Zen Sangha (Totnes)
By Francis Anryu Chiu
As in life, Sangha is
a continually changing phenomenon here in Totnes. We meet each
Tuesday evening for two 30 minute periods of Zazen, walking meditation
(kinhin) and chanting. Read more...
Breen - November 2011
Michael Elsmere (Kogan Muju)
towards the medieval courtyard of Dartington, Devon with Ingen
Breen a teacher from San Francisco Zen Centre who is here in
Totnes to hold two practice days with the local Dancing Mountains
Sangha. Read more...
Call of the Sea
By Guido Montgomery
The sea is calling, I know what to do:
Go to her and give her my all.
For she is so loving, faithful and true,
I trust her to cherish my soul. Read more...
By Angyu Devin Ashwood
Is it this?
By Albert Einstein
being is part of the whole,
called by us Universe,
a part limited in time and space. Read more...
issue of Mountain Silence
The Spring edition will have
a theme around "Devotion". We welcome your articles, poetry, pictures,
letters, retreat reflections and book reviews! Spring issue publication
date: 21st March, deadline for submission of material 1st March.