Author: Miles Murphy

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Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

“Just keep in mind the feeling ‘I am’, merge in it, till your mind and feeling become one. By repeated attempts you will stumble on the right balance of attention and affection and your mind will be firmly established in the thought-feeling ‘I am’.” Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj The steel wheels on the subway wail as the...

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On Losing My Head (and that’s a good thing!)

“Well my heart’s runnin’ round like a chicken with its head cut offAll around the barn yard falling in and out of lovePoor thing’s blind as a batGettin’ up, fallin’ down, gettin’ upWho’d fall in love with a chicken with its head cut off?”Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields – A Chicken with its Head Cut...

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This is it! (It really is!)

“Not knowing how near the truth is, people seek it far away -what a pity! They are like him who, in the midst of water, cries in thirst so imploringly.” -Hakuin I set out up the path, deep into the forest, pausing every few moments to locate myself in my body, in my mind, in the...

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Three Beats to the Bar

In 1958 Jack Kerouac wrote a semi-autobiographical novel entitled the “Dharma Bums”, loosely based around his early experiences of Buddhism, both in California and in the mountains in Washington State.   Kerouac takes on the character of Ray Smith an itinerant American wanderer. The other principal character in the novel, Japhy Ryder, was, in real life, the...

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Into the Void

Case number 46 of the Gateless Gate (a collection of Zen koans or puzzles) challenges us: “Master Sekiso said, ‘From the top of a pole one hundred feet high, how do you step forward?’  An ancient Master also said that one sitting at the top of a pole one hundred feet high, even if he has...

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Practice IS Perfect – The Truth According to Zen

One of the first things Buddhists ask each other upon meeting is, “Do you have a regular practice?”  You see, the thing that distinguishes Buddhism from many other spiritual endeavours is that it is all about “practice”.  Buddhism is not about faith.  Buddhism is not about devotion.  Buddhism is not about belief.  Buddhism is about discovering...

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Tell Me Who You Are

“You knock at the door of reality,shake your thought-wings, loosenyour shoulders,and open.” Rumi I sat before my partner, contemplating the instruction she had given me, “Tell me who you are” I closed my eyes and felt my entire body transformed into a great bellows.  My hands moved in front of me squeezing the bellows in and...

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Water and Ice

Down along the creek, a sudden thaw has broken the ice into thick blocks and here, where the creek widens and shallows, a heavy wind has helped to push up the pieces, like giant, upended dominoes, twisting them into a formidable defense against the onslaught of spring runoff.  Around the makeshift dam, the creek fills and...

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Everything is Burning

The clerk at the counter in the pharmacy was telling me that earlier in the day an elderly woman had presented a winning lottery ticket – worth $100,000!  How exciting!  Wow, I thought, what I couldn’t do with that.  My mind spun off in a hundred directions at once…Buy a little property (that little cabin on...