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Fri, 09 Feb



A Fire Runs through All Things: Susan Murphy in conversation with Ron Moss

Susan will be in conversation with Ron Moss at Fullers Bookshop, 131 Collins St, Hobart.

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A Fire Runs through All Things: Susan Murphy in conversation with Ron Moss
A Fire Runs through All Things: Susan Murphy in conversation with Ron Moss

time & place

09 Feb 2024, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm AEDT

Hobart, Fullers Book Shop, 131 Collins St, Hobart TAS 7000, Australia


At a time of climate emergency, Zen koans show us how crisis itself can reveal the regenerative openness of life, mind, and being.

Zen koans are a tradition of holistic inquiry based on “encounter stories” from East Asia’s most radical Buddhist tradition. Turning this form of inquiry toward the climate crisis, Susan Murphy contends that koans can help us enter the mind of not-knowing, from which acceptance and possibility freely emerge. Koans reveal intimate, mythic, artful, playful, provocative, humorous, and fierce ways to engage the work of protecting and healing our world.

The koans point firstly at ourselves — at the very nature of “self.” Until we hold “self” as a live question rather than its own unquestioned answer, we’re stuck looking on from the “outside,” hoping to engineer change upon a problem called “climate crisis,” all the time oblivious to the fact that we’re swimming in a reality with no outside to it, an ocean of transformative energy. Do we dare relinquish our wish for absolute control and fearlessly surf the intensity of our feelings about the suffering earth?

In addition to her use of dozens of traditional and new koans, Murphy illuminates the little-known Zen resonance with the oldest continuous body of indigenous wisdom on earth, summed up in the subtle Australian Aboriginal word Country. Murphy draws from her study and co-teaching with Uncle Max (Dulumunmun) Harrison, a distinguished Yuin Elder, to show how this millennia-deep taproot of intelligence confirms the aliveness of the earth and the kinship of all beings.

Author also of Upside-Down ZenMinding the Earth, Mending the World, and Red Thread Zen, since 1999, Susan Murphy has been teaching and leading Zen retreats in Victoria (Melbourne Zen Group), Tasmania (Mountains and Rivers Zen, Hobart) and New South Wales (Zen Open Circle), and is a widely recognised national and international Zen voice whose work has placed special emphasis upon unearthing the ecological heart of Dharma, and the potent resonance of Zen mind with indigenous sense of Country.

Susan will be in conversation with Ron Moss. Ron is a long-time Hobart Zen practitioner, nationally and internationally haiku and haibun poet, and first-responder volunteer fire fighter, whose haiku drawn from his recent book, Cloud Hands, provide a capping verse to each chapter.

Join Susan and Ron at the Afterword Cafe.

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