Susan Murphy Roshi on Earth as Koan


Emergence Magazine is an online publication with annual print edition exploring the threads connecting ecology, culture, and spirituality. As we experience the desecration of our lands and waters, the extinguishing of species, and a loss of sacred connection to the Earth, we look to emerging stories. Our podcast features exclusive interviews, narrated essays, stories and more.

What becomes possible, especially in the face of crisis, when we orient our consciousness towards uncertainty, emptiness, and a sense of relationship with the world beyond the self? In this week’s conversation, Australian writer and Zen teacher Susan Murphy Roshi immerses us in the tradition of Zen koan and its ability to shift our consciousness amid crisis. Delving into the power of the not-knowing-mind, Susan presents koan as a gateway to truly connecting with the world around us, and speaks to how we must respond to our moment of suffering from a place of openness if we are to remember our seamlessness with all of creation.

Read the transcript.

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Susan Murphy Roshi is a writer, filmmaker, radio producer, and founding teacher of Zen Open Circle in Sydney, Australia. Since receiving dharma transmission in both Diamond Sangha and Pacific Zen lineages, she has been leading regular retreats around Australia and teaching a country-wide sangha that extends internationally online. She is the author of Upside-Down ZenMinding the Earth, Mending the World; and Red Thread Zen. Her latest book is A Fire Runs Through All Things: Zen Koans for Facing the Climate Crisis.



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