Transmitting the Light

‘The twenty-first patriarch was the Venerable Vasubandhu. One time the twentieth patriarch said, “I do not seek the Way, yet I am not confused. I do not venerate the Buddhas, yet I am not conceited. I do not meditate for long periods of time, yet I am not lazy. I do not restrict myself to […]

Katagiri Roshi

‘The bodhisattva vow to save all sentient beings isn’t based on an evaluation. It’s not thinking that all sentient beings need to be saved based on ideas of good or bad, right or wrong. A bodhisattva vows to save all sentient beings because most people don’t know where they are. We are already in the […]

Other work

In a shameless piece of self-promotion, I want to invite anyone who is local to come to Zen Center to see a show of my photographs during December – which will be tricky at times as there will be a silent sesshin going on, and the holidays as well, when the building will be closed. […]

Uchiyama Roshi

‘In Buddhism, finding the meaning of life never means to search for it among toys. A life which relies on toys for its value means nothing more than that one is being led around by these toys, thus losing sight of living with true purpose or intensity. To live the buddhadharma is to live without […]


‘When you first seek dharma, you imagine you are far away from its environs. But dharma is already correctly transmitted; you are immediately your original self.’ (Genjo Koan). To be read alongside the Daido Loori quote from the other day. I have already posted this quote, but it never hurts to be reminded of the […]

The Hidden Lamp

‘Once a monk on pilgrimage met an old woman living alone in a hut. The monk asked, “Do you have any relatives?” She said, “Yes.” The monk asked, “Where are they?” She answered, “The mountains, rivers, and the whole earth, the plants and trees, are all my relatives.”‘ In Florence Caplow’s commentary (all of which […]


In England the winter light can be captivating; its watery quality from the sun barely making it over the horizon lends to rich colours. Here in California the light is more robust, but none the less interesting at this time of year. This week, once the rain and north wind had passed through, it was […]

What I think about when I am riding

This year I have had two regular teaching engagements outside of Zen Center: one at a tech company, and one at the county jail. When I mentioned this to someone I was meeting recently, they remarked on them being opposite ends of the spectrum, and of course in some ways they are. In terms of […]

Suzuki Roshi

‘Shikantaza, our zazen, is just to be ourselves. When we do not expect anything, we can be ourselves. That is our way, to live fully in each moment of time. This practice continues forever.’ I just opened Not Always So at random, and there is was: just enough, fully complete. Read it again.