Mzansi Zen (Jacana) published in 2016

StoepZen BookMzansi Zen is an affectionate, challenging and witty blend of stories, commentaries and poems about life in present-day South Africa. These are threaded through a day in an actual Zen retreat and are accompanied by wonderful photos and original drawings.

The author’s familiar and authoritative Zen style inspires us into taking up this life with both hands, calling us into an intimacy that is already beneath our feet.

Read it. It will change your mind and open your heart.


Zen Dust (Jacana) published in 2012

StoepZen BookIn this follow-up to his much loved Stoep Zen, Antony takes a trip down the lesser known back roads of the Karoo, from Kimberley to Colesberg, finding divinity in the dust and a Buddha in every pothole.
We are all of us on our way home. And, as Osler’s journey teaches us, as long as our eyes and hearts are open we belong wherever we go. In this way, however far we travel, our true home is always where we are.
With gentle wisdom and deep compassion, Osler connects with the people he meets along the way and shares their stories, past and present, as well as his own personal history and insights. The road is sprinkled with his special brand of poetry and interwoven with a fresh telling of the tale of Gotama, the man who would become Buddha.
Whether on familiar terrain or new territory, Antony never loses his sense of wonder. And he doesn’t shy away from the conundrums of a country in flux. Instead, he delights in the ordinary and infuses it with grace. Each encounter is a gift and his generosity in sharing will become a treasure on every bookshelf.


Stoep Zen (Jacana) published 2008

StoepZen BookLao Tsu meets Oom Schalk Lourens in this delightful meditation on what it means to practice Zen in a changing South Africa.
Antony Osler contemplates life as it passes by the stoep of his Karoo farm, sharing anecdotes and conversations, poetic images and indelible characters, watching the seasons, the people and his country as everything changes - sometimes radically - just so.
South Africa has experienced one of the most riveting, frightening and inspiring political revolutions in history. How, Osler asks himself, do we dance with this? How do we reach down through swirling emotions into quieter space where we can see a little further, love a little deeper, laugh a little louder?
‘I lift my eyes to Loskop and fear no evil. But if I don’t watch my step, I will fall into an aardvarkgat.’
Zen practice is to find the heart of each moment. Osler’s book is as full of heart as it is of wisdom; his musings on humility, acceptance, reconciliation and love are gentle - and often humorous - reminders of what it is to be human.


Mzansi Zen, Zen Dust and Stoep Zen can be ordered from good book stores, on-line book sellers, and from Emoyeni, Bodhi Khaya and the Buddhist Retreat Centre. All three books have been reprinted.

Signed copies can be ordered directly from Margie at Poplar Grove.




Human Rights Day Retreat 2018

March 18, 2018 – First talk of the Human Rights Day Retreat

PlayAntony, Osho introduces the koan 'Hsiang-yen's sound of Bamboo'.


March 19, 2018 – Second talk of the Human Rights Day Retreat

PlayAntony, Osho talks about friendship, relationship and intimacy.


March 20, 2018 – Third talk of the Human Rights Day Retreat

PlayAntony, Osho talks about the koan 'Ciming tends the Hearth'.



March 21, 2018 – Fourth talk of the Human Rights Day Retreat

PlayAntony, Osho goes further into the story of the Unfathomable Woman and the idea of Human Rights.


March 22, 2018 – Fifth talk of the Human Rights Day Retreat

Play Antony, Osho discusses some aspects of meditation practice and the history of Buddhism.


March 23, 2018 – Sixth talk of the Human Rights Day Retreat

PlayAntony, Osho looks at retreat practice and how to practise outside of retreat.



New Year Retreat 2017/18

Talk 2 and 3 of this retreat are not available, due to bad sound quality.

December 31, 2017 – First talk of the New Year Retreat 2017/18

PlayAntony, Osho talks about retreat practice.


January 3, 2018 – Fourth talk of the New Year Retreat 2017/18

PlayAntony, Osho talks about the koan 'Ciming tends the Hearth' and koan traditions.


January 4, 2018 – Fifth talk of the New Year Retreat 2017/18

PlayAntony, Osho continues with the koan 'Ciming tends the Hearth' and the Unfathomable Woman.


January 5, 2018 – Sixth talk of the New Year Retreat 2017/18

PlayIn this talk, Antony, Osho talks about the role of the monks in the koan of the week and about not being ruled by our likes and dislikes.




















Practice Note
In Zen practice we are always bringing forth ourselves, with all the complicatedness that the self brings. We come filled with excitement, anxiety, doubt, hope, determination - the prospect of the end of suffering and frustration is irresistible. We cross our legs and take up a posture that is clear and balanced. Grounded. We breathe. We feel our body from the inside. The self that we brought with us begins to fray at the edges, it begins to change, it even disappears, and then it comes back again. It is part of us. It is not the enemy. Suffering leads us to practice. And when we practice, our pain and discomfort soften. The self stops talking so much, it stops being so darn insistent. Then there is an opening for great clarity to appear - the carpet is green, the windows are open. But this does not remove our discontent once and for all, leaving us in a solid state of continuous happiness; the process is more like stepping beyond both our discontent and our clarity into a broader field, a field that contains them both. We realize that we are made up of both suffering and the end of suffering. Both of these are naturally us. With this understanding we can move from one to the other unhindered. That is a tangible kind of freedom.

Part of our reaction to suffering is to try to escape it. We apply effort. It is often said that the sixth segment of the classic Buddhist Eightfold Path - ‘right effort’ - is the crucial pivot on the path. From a certain perspective that is indeed the case. So, what is right effort – This much? That much? Too much? Too little? Enough? Not-enough? Trying to find the balance in our effort involves an endless measuring and an endless self-commentary. All of this is the activity of the anxious, determined, ambitious self. At some point, we give up the struggle to find and sustain the right kind of effort. And then simplicity appears. The floor, walls and windows appear. And great gratitude. We live in what the late Michael Stone called a monastery without walls. From within this kind of unbounded commitment, our intimacy with others appears as naturally as the sun rising over the koppie, and our response to our own life and the life of others is genuine and uncontrived – it is, as the koan says, as natural as feeling for our pillow in the middle of the night.