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‘Searching for the Platypus’

written by Anja Tanhane

Giving ourselves permission to approach life with greater openness automatically taps into our compassionate heart centre. This is the difference between nihilism, a disconnected emptiness, and the Buddhist shunyata, an interconnected emptiness. It is easy to confuse basic assertiveness with an exaggerated sense of entitlement, and nihilism with shunyata. The Zen path asks for a disciplined life, yet also a life which isn’t rigid or judgmental.

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‘Choice in every moment’

An article written by Anja Tanhane,

first published in Prajna magazine, 2009.

‘The clarity of a joyful mind,

The openness of a compassionate heart,

Freedom from self through mindfulness,

The gentleness of letting be.’

These are the aspirations I formulated for my Zen practice a few years ago. I have just returned from a four day Zen retreat, I’m listening to Coldplay, and outside in the garden, after a morning of hail and rain, the birds are singing. ‘At any moment you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it’ writes the great Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, and I am aware of my cluttered mind, my love of music, the flux of openness and cold-heartedness I present to the world in my daily life.

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