An Invaluable Resource on a Major Stream of Buddhist Thought, Experience, and Practice

The Three Pillars of Zen: Teaching, Practice, and Enlightenment by Philip Kapleau


This is a book that, I think, people will come to having already cultivated a degree of awareness of some of the forms of Buddhism, and of their philosophies and approaches to practice. They may currently be developing their own practices and have even attended some sesshins.

Maybe they’re experiencing some dissatisfaction with aspects of this present practice and are looking for guidance in order to improve its course and correct their path. Maybe, in the absence of access to sesshins, other practitioners, or a teacher, they are looking for an alternative, substitute support system. Maybe they want to compare their practice with the form of Zen detailed here – to adapt or see if there is anything worth cherry-picking, adopting, and incorporating, which may make it more satisfying and rewarding.

If it is approached in this way, with a discerning mind formed of experience and direct knowledge, there is a lot that can be got, and maybe dismissed (until a later date?), from this book.

As many of us will approach this text within our own frames of experience and knowledge, it is up to the individual reader to distinguish between the good and the bad, the correct and the incorrect. Suffice to say that I did find much here to assist me in my own practice, both to correct and affirm certain aspects of it, and to complement my experience. And while there are aspects here that don’t speak to me at my present level of progress, who knows how this may be reframed as experience continues to evolve? Subsequently, I do consider this book an invaluable resource to have and to have had recourse to.

Whether you adopt or dismiss, there is a lot of well presented insight here from convincing sources, which a mind already on some kind of Buddhist or mindfulness path will find very rewarding and will get a lot from. It is easy to see why this book has been so popular for so long and why it is considered a classic in many circles. And while I feel, due to it being more of a text for people already on the path, it is not as transformative, life-changing, or revelatory as maybe other Buddhist or philosophic works, it still comes highly recommended from me.




Response to THE ECOLOGIST – Waste not, want not (4th March 2021)

It’s not only a question of how our food is sourced – though that is an issue: if we grew more of our own food, we would have more respect for it – but also of how much we demand and purchase in excess of our needs; thus creating waste – and inefficiency and environmental destruction at every stage of the food-production-and-consumption cycle.

This veneer of convenience sold shiny on our shelves hides so much wanton destruction to our living world, but it doesn’t take much to peel back the layer and reveal the secrets beneath. There is a reason companies, such as tobacco companies, don’t want labelling and/or images that betray the lies they are peddling: it does have an effect on their sales figures.

Therefore, it is worth, not only taking individual action to reduce our own role in this obscenity, but also to share the truths that lie behind these labels and words, to help raise awareness and hopefully have a positive influence on: other’s decisions and choices; regulators’ words and actions; and industries’ pragmatic responses.

It’s not a ‘plandemic’ but…we’re getting screwed over and unity is needed

This was first published on Estuary Stirrings

Dave A

According to some people, the world is divided between those who think COVID-19 is a genuine pandemic on the one hand and on the other, those who think it’s a co-ordinated ‘plandemic’ to enable the move towards a ‘one world government’ that would benefit the big corporations and screw over plebs like us. I’d like to let the people falling for this false dichotomy know that life is a lot more complicated and nuanced than that. That’s particularly the case in the crisis ridden late stage capitalism that we have to endure.

For the record, I don’t subscribe to the ‘plandemic’ view of events being manipulated by globalists intent on establishing a ‘one world government’. That requires a degree of global unity which just isn’t there. To take just one example, you only have to look at the rhetoric the US…

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Clarity, Intelligence, Integrity

Anarchism - A Collection of Revolutionary Writings

Anarchism: A Collection of Revolutionary Writings by Peter Kropotkin


‘Anarchy,’ a non-dispassionately abused and confused term, used as a tool to stoke fear and perpetuate the institutions it threatens. In a world of misinformation and misappropriation, a collection of writings by one of anarchism’s better known proponents offers clarity.

Polemical, yes, being, as it is, a collection of writings issued in pamphlet form or for public performance. But there are sufficient enlightened gems sparkling throughout to arouse a spirit laid dormant by the fear and apathy engendered by institutional indoctrination.

Being conditioned, as the majority of us are, to evermore elaborate and convoluted linguistic and discursive contortions built out of an imperative to obscure a central deceit – a fundamental faultline underpinning an ideological foundation – its straightforward, accessible, even ‘commonsense’, style may in some ways work against it as appearing akin in tone and style to the simplistic, populist, reactionary tracts that pollute so much popular discourse.

As an open philosophy created for and by us all, its analyses and conclusions are inherently accessible in nature, and apparently self-explanatory – but they are satisfying; being built upon a body of rigorous thought, observation, and experience, it robustly withstands and negotiates intellectual and academic scrutiny.

As a platform for political action, it may or may not convince: that is for you to decide. However, if this book does nothing more than demystify what ‘anarchism’ represents, which it does with clarity, intelligence, and integrity, then that is reason enough to recommend it in this world of misinformation and misappropriation.