To the Top of the City

Coming into this weekend, I felt like I had a lot of time and space – there was very little on my schedule, though I knew I would have some writing and recording to do. Mostly, with the sun doing its best, I was looking forward to getting some exercise. Between the summer weather and continuing […]

Chan Master Sheng Yen

‘The Sanskrit word for fundamental ignorance, avidya, means ‘not-clear.’ What we are unclear about is the true nature of being – that of no-self, or emptiness.’ (There Is No Suffering) I quoted this during my class this week, as we discussed the second Bodhisattva vow; ‘Delusions (or desires depending on the translation, which in itself gave […]

Lou Hartman

‘You can’t stop your mind – I think we have all realised that. But you can put your butt on a cushion.’ (from an unpublished talk) I used to love listening to Lou give talks, when he still did. It took me a while to cotton on to the fact that something calamitous always happened before […]

A Blast Of Summer Weather

My habit has been to schedule Roaming Zen alternately on Saturdays and Sundays, as some of the regulars had trouble making one or other of those days. Without that, if I had decided to do the last roam on Sunday, it would have been a day of endless blue skies, and far less wind. These […]

Suzuki Roshi

‘We are studying now the sutra of the sixth patriarch, in the evening lecture, and PRAJNA (this is of course Sanskrit word) we mean, wisdom, but this wisdom is not intellect, or knowledge. This wisdom is so-called our inmost nature, which is always in incessant activity. Zazen practice is to — wisdom seeking for wisdom […]

The Morning Schedule

In the end, I woke up very early on Saturday morning, bothered by back pain, so I had no reason not to get up and go to Zen Center. I arrived just as the han started, and the ino showed me to a seat next to Bryan (one of the few changes since I left […]


With this and that I tried to keep the bucket together, And then the bottom fell out. Where water does not collect, The moon does not dwell. Chiyono is the last name chanted in Zen Center’s list of women ancestors, though she lived in the 13th century. This poem is quoted in The Hidden Lamp, where reference […]