Entries by Gemmon Casimir Ostyn

At the source there is silence

Don’t go back into the past stirring up cold ashes to find the truth. Don’t mistake dreams of the future for reality either – for the living, warm reality, reality that is always here, that pulses. This is a choice to make: to be here together as the day is rising, as nature is wakening. […]

The unifying absorption

One can begin to practice for all sorts of personal reasons: to have a more successful life, a better health, higher intellectual capacities… In fact, at the beginning, people often mistake the Way of the Buddha for a means of personal development. But soon other more profound questions on the meaning of life arise. What […]

Absolute, free from doubt, such is the Dharma

It is always good to remember that zazen is no ordinary meditation. Zazen is to experience reality as it is, one’s inner reality as well as the outer reality. Hōkyō Zanmai is a fundamental text in our school, of which the title could be translated as the Samadhi of the Precious Mirror, the Samadhi of […]

Zazen is a request from the depths of our mind

Last weekend, fifteen persons or so came to discover Zen practice. On the first day, after sitting in zazen, a person decided to leave: “I haven’t come to sit.” But Zen is nothing but zazen. No one can be forced to practice zazen. Kodo Sawaki wrote: “Zazen is a request from the depths of our […]

The leaves keep falling

In a sutra, Buddha says: To practice the Way is to put right all that has been upset. To put right all that has been upset, that can be difficult. When he awakened, Shakyamuni Buddha said to himself: “My fellow human beings are not going to accept my teaching because their mind is upside down”, […]

It’s by practicing that we understand

Someone asked Master Dôgen: – Why do say that zazen is the great gate that cannot be by-passed? For a person considered as one of the greatest philosophers of mankind, Master Dôgen gives an unexpected answer: – I say that zazen is the grate gate that cannot be by-passed because my master before me said […]

The finger pointing at the Moon

To study the Way, to practice the Way, is to study oneself. To study oneself is to forget oneself. To forget oneself is to become one with all beings. To practice the Way is to forget oneself. To study the Way is not to study in the academic way, in books. To study is to […]

The greatest danger is to be afraid

The greatest danger is to be afraid. Our answer to fear is to try to anticipate. We want to know beforehand, we want tomorrow to be certain. And so we keep thinking, we keep thinking… We think about polishing weapons. We think about building walls. We think about making shields. We want to know the […]

Because we are life, we practice life

Master Nangaku – this story took place in China – saw his disciple Baso practice zazen with deep conviction. So he said to him: ‘But what are you actually trying to do?’ The disciple answered: ‘I’m trying to become a Buddha’. So Master Nangaku took a tile and started to rub it. The disciple Baso […]